Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Near Lake Ohau

I have  a feeling this yellow flowering plant is a pest plant a bit like those lupins in the same area.

Never the less lovely for tourists.

Note that clear air.

New Zealand Native Mistletoe

New Zealand native Mistletoe at Lake Ohau in November 2016
Info here : Mistletoe

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Pohutukawa - The New Zealand Christmas tree

Pohutukawa trees at the Wenderholm Regional park  - my favourite of the 34 regional parks here in  Auckland.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Auckland from the War Memorial Museum in the Domain

Looking north, Sky Tower to the left, North Shore centre skyline  , Devonport to the right on skyline

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Gardening part 2 - Diana's garden

Rhododendrons from my aunts garden, half an acre outside of Christchurch. Becoming very difficult to maintain, originally the dream garden of my uncle, but never the less still able to really turn on the colour this time of the year. Sadly she passed away on December 27th 2016.

Memory triggers

A few weeks back I happened to be in a church hall in Christchurch which was being used as a temporary Kindergarten post the Canterbury earthquake of 2011.
Its been  a very very long time since I was in this setting and I was struck by the comforting feeling of familiarity which had remained hidden in my subconscious ever since.

Children's art on the wall, tiny desks, tiny easels, water colours, pencils and a somewhat overwhelming feeling that not so much had changed.

I'm not publishing the children's work here without their  permission as this isn't a publicly available space however the pencil corner sums it up. The only difference being the felt pens that were not part of my growing up.

"Uncle Warwick's" Iris - gardening part 1

Gardening remains a big hobby with New Zealanders, perhaps not what it once was when every Kiwi family in the 1950's would have had almost their entire vegetable supply provided from the back yard.
Even when I was flatting in Wellington in the late 1970's my flatmate Andrew had most of the backyard of our tiny workman's cottage at the top of Tasman Street supplying our vegetables in the same way his dad had done.
Times have really changed with cheap vegetables available from the supermarket, diminishing property sizes and families setting their priorities differently the back garden and indeed the front flower gardens are not as I remember growing up. There is however the remaining older generation keeping up the standard.
These are somewhat sweeping generalisations.

Below an Iris from my Uncle Warwick's (92) garden. Warwick has very poor eyesight but still maintains his garden including vegetables, iris and clematis. It's a real credit to him.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Family connection with the history of flight in NZ - Lower Waitohi School Class of 1888-89

Photo on display in a cafe in Pleasant Point  - in the original Post Office (highly recommended as an eating place - home of the famous Deneath custard slice) , it was in a larger display about Richard Peace who some believe flew a powered flight before the Wright brothers Richard_Pearse.

However what was more interesting was the Currie family in the same class photo. They were my mothers, fathers, mothers brothers and sisters - Tilly, John and Jeanie - that is some of my mothers great Aunts and Uncles. I also think Lizzie McClintock was a relative on mums side. Interesting what you find when you least expect it.

Aoraki / Mt Cook on a rare good day

Note the strong blue of Lake Pukaki is a result of the fine glacial rock flour that is in suspension in the water and the way this reflects the sky.

Tekapo sunset

The infamous Lake Tekapo Lupins

These are the infamous Tekapo Lupins an introduced plant spreading across the Mackenzie country in the South Island . see War-of-the-lupins

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Karioitahi Beach

Ten minutes west of Waiuku township or roughly an hour from Auckland City is Karioitahi Beach, another of the black sand beaches.
There is a restaurant over-looking the beach, the only one I can think of on the Auckland west coast with this amazing view. Prices looked a little high but I did sample something off their mid day menu, unfortunately it fell short of the menu description, not that it wasn't "OK". I would much rather the plate over-deliver on the menu than the other way around. Having said that service, table settings etc was very good.

On a very windy and stormy day 

Its an ill wind that brings no good as they say and here was me thinking
people learnt to hang glide by running down small hills before leaping off a cliff.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Cornwall Park - Auckland

Cornwall Park is a haven a tranquillity in right in the heart of Auckland. The park features fine specimen trees, beautiful garden beds, panoramic summit views, grazing sheep and cattle, free summer and winter events, guided walks, free gas/wood barbecues.

The park is well used even on a week day, parking at the weekend is a little tricky especially around lunch time. Like many of the regional parks there are sheep and cattle in the park and they are very friendly - despite appearances ( see photo below with car) the cattle are separated from the people.

There is a brief description here Wikipedia

Natives, don't quote me but I think these are Kahikatea 

Mature olives trees 

Very tame cattle 

Mature Eucalyptus

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


Torpedo Bay Navy Museum - King Edward Parade

Excellent small museum that takes a lot longer than one might expect to visit. Navy museum

Heaps of boat models