Thursday, November 18, 2010

Early Summer Garden

I love late spring/early summer.

It is the time when my garden is at it's best. 

All winter it looks drab and by Christmas it will be looking "tired" but right now, it gladdens my heart to see it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park I Salute You

Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park - I salute you!

The lovely lady at the Rotoiti Holiday Park went above and beyond the call of duty in responding to a "domestic emergency".

One of the gorgeous motel units at Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park.  You can check out all the facilities at the best Rotorua Holiday Park.  From here you could fish any of the Rotorua Lakes whether it be Rotoiti, Rotorua, Okataina, or Tarawera.

Whose emergency you ask?


Regulars will remember that a number of months back hubby got a temporary job at the local mill. He loved the work and it gave us the opportunity to financially recover after several years on ACC after his back surgery.

Despite the surgeons best efforts, some part of the spinal cord was damaged during surgery and left hubby with a foot drop that has made work a little harder to find.

So to get the opportunity of the work was great. But of course, it was only temporary and eventually came to an end.

And then today we suddenly get the call - another temp position at the mill was available - could hubby start in the morning?

The morning!! I didn't even know where said husband was!

Today of all days he had wandered of to a fishing competition on Lake Rotoiti, a popular fishing and holiday destination.

And no that isn't hubby but it is the sort of fishing you can do at Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park

And today - of all days - our phone goes on the blink.

So I leap in the car and race off to the local village and use the pay phone to send a message to his cell phone.

Mmmm - his cell phone. This is the man who doesn't look at his cell phone from one week to the next. Can I really be sure he has the message?

So I email the Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park where the trout fishing competition was being held and ask if they could get a message through to him.

No problem, they say, we'll hand the message on to the competition organizers.

Mmmm - people are always saying they'll pass a message on - and don't. Can I be sure he has the message?

What say they hand the message on but fail to impress upon the competition organizer the urgency?

But here is the lovely part. A few hours later the lovely lady at Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park emails me back to reassure me that hubby has the message and is winging his way home ready for a start back at the mill in the morning.

So tomorrow morning, bright and early, hubby will be back at the mill for another stint.  We don't know for how long but with Christmas just around the corner even  a few weeks will be a bonus.

And I'm left knowing that the good ol' kiwi spirit where you help out your fellow man even if there's nothing in for you, still shines.

Thanks Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Whakamaru Dam In Full Flow

We've had a lot of rain over the last few weeks.  More than anyone wanted.

Grass is growing - but it's to wet to mow.  Weeds are growing - but hard to find a dry morning to attack them.

But there has been one good side to this - the water was let through the sluice gate (or whatever they call these things) at the Whakamaru dam for several days.

The image above and below is from the bottom of the sluice where the water rejoins the river. I never seen it quite this wild. The air was saturated with water and I got wetter than a duck in a downpour getting these shots.

Above and below here show the view from the top of the dam looking down onto the sluice way and the river beyond.

The river is normally quite tranquil beyond the dam but you can see that the waves are just about submerging the tiny island.

Certainly added a new level of interest to the morning walk for a few days.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

North Island Kaka

Wow! Discovered a North Island Kaka in my garden this morning.

 Hard to see but it is about half way down the image and one third in from right hand edge.  A brown bird just above a cream colored flower.

 Here is a closeup of the NI kaka taken from the Tiritirimatangi site . Photographer, Peter Craw, obviously has the talent for getting a whole lot closer that I did!

The kaka is normally only found in large forest areas and is not usually seen then.  They are fully protected with only about 10,000 birds of both North Island and South Island kaka combined left. 

They enjoy nectar which is what he is doing in our Banksia tree.  The Banksia is actually an Australian native tree but I planted it because I know many NZ native birds enjoy its nectar rich flowers in the winter.  We always have lots of tuis and bellbirds in this tree but I have never seen a kaka before.

I've never seen one even in the wild so you can imagine my excitement when hubby's friend spotted this one.

I've been following his activity all morning - he is moving around our trees, visiting the 2 Banksia, a winter flowering gum and a vanilla tree and seems to be feeding from them all.  He might have just been attacking the bark for grubs in the vanilla tree.  Interestingly, none of these trees are NZ natives but that didn't seem to bother him one jot.

For any NZ bird fanciers who should read this post - our garden is at Whakamaru in the South Waikato and there are large areas of forest about 10 kilometres away with a few small tracts closer.  The kaka is certainly a bird that I never expected to find in my garden.

Long may he continue!

Monday, September 6, 2010

All Is Well

I know that with the recent earthquake in the South Island lots of my cyber-friends are concerned about how we are faring.

Hubby and I are fine.  We live in the North Island so are 500-600 kilometres away from the epicenter of the 'quake.  We slept right through it and never felt a thing!

However, what IS quite surreal is seeing all the images of the devastation on television.  These things happen in other countries - not your own.  Not sure why it is quite such a shock because NZ sits right on  top of several fault lines and we have frequent earthquakes.  Usually they are fairly small whereas this last one, at 7.1 was a biggy.

This link shows a few images.

We have built our tourism industry around boiling mud pools, geysers  etc - all a good indication of plenty of underground activity.  And we have harnessed all that activity to provide geothermal power.  So it isn't as if we should be surprised.

I live about 50 kilometres from Lake Taupo which produced the biggest volcanic eruption the world has ever seen about 1800 years ago.  So one of these days I will be in the hot seat.

But not today!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Feel Good Post

Couldn't resist posting this.  Just made me feel good.  There is so much senseless violence in the world that it is heart warming to see people caring for a baby bird.

Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Advantages of a Less Than Perfect Childhood

Does anyone want me to mumble some excuse about why I haven't posted recently. No? Okay, we'll get right to it then.

About 6 weeks ago I had my 60th birthday.  It's a strange sort of birthday because it sounds so incredibly old.  Little children ask if you remember the discovery of penicillin and even teenagers want to know about the first car you ever rode in.

So 60 sounds old - but it doesn't feel old.  I mean I've got aches and pains that I didn't use to have and some of my bendy bits are not quite as bendy as they used to be. 

But in my head, I'm just a youngster.  Full of enthusiasm and waiting to try out my latest interest.  And this is where we get to the advantages of a less than perfect childhood.  (You were wondering when I would get to it.)

A less than perfect childhood means that life gets better instead of worse as you get older.  I feel so sorry for these folk who say that their childhood was the best time of their life.

For them - life goes steadily downhill.  How ghastly!

For me, the recipent of a less than perfect childhood - each decade gets better.  My fifities were great - not perfect - there is still time for perfection - but pretty damn good.

So I think the sixties are going to be even better.  This is not a foolish assumption. Each decade of my life has been an improvement on the one before.

And there are real advantages to being an "old woman".

You can look at young men and admire them and not feel any need to do anything about it.

Nobody cares about how you look so you can stop worrying about any perceived imperfections.

Somewhere along the way you stop worrying about what other people think.

You've either found a good man (or woman) or got the hang of living without one.

You've got this "art of living" thing figured out.

So a less that perfect childhood is a great thing and if anyone out there is perhaps going though the aftermath of one then remember this - your life will steadily improve.

By the time you get to sixty you're going to be having a ball!