Saturday, 31 March 2012

Recycle to art

Yesterday's FSO topic of neglected and abandoned structures reminded me about this artwork I'd seen at the Kohukohu Art Gallery a few weeks ago.  Of all the lovely works of art, this is what took my eye.  I didn't make a note of the artist's name and can't read it in the photo.  But I admire your creativity whoever you are.  

Take an old door:

Write a little story on one panel:

 Add a little sign to the doorknob and de daaaa - art!

Friday, 30 March 2012

FSO - Neglected structures

 A topic I love this week -  abandoned or neglected structures.  These always catch my eye and I posted about some of them along the road where I live a few weeks ago, so only a couple of this week's shots are close to home.  I've used them before but, to me, they are too perfect for the topic to be left out.

Two years ago this little bridge was neglected...
a few floods later it is now abandoned:

A little hut under a tree on an historic site - that of New Zealand's first Catholic mission at Purakau.  Looks like its most recent use has been as a hunter's hut.

 I can't remember precisely where this was, around Horeke I think.  We'd pulled off the side of a Hokianga back road for lunch beside a little creek.  

 The next two were shot out the car window, along the road to Taranaki last weekend.  The second was just before Mokau. 

 This little structure once played an important part of life at the Pouto Lighthouse.


I'm looking forward to seeing the neglected and abandoned structures from the rest of the FSO team.  They will be here.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

For Abby and Leah

I went to Taranaki and I found a little girl monkey.  No, the little monkey found me.  While I was wandering around waiting for the mountain to come out of hiding behind the clouds, the front gate opened and a little monkey ran in and hugged me around the knees.

If you've never been hugged by a monkey, you simply must go to Taranaki.  I don't know if they are all over the place in Taranaki but there's a place, not far from Inglewood, where I think you might see one from time to time.  The little monkey has a big sister so there are at least two of them.  And Aiden lives there now, so that makes three of them.


If I had a better memory I would remember the name of the place where the two girl monkeys live.  After I have visited that place, I will let you know its name.

You might not think it very strange that there are little monkeys in Taranaki but I got a big surprise because I'd been looking for tigers.

It's a long drive from Auckland to Taranaki and I'd been looking for tigers all the way.  For part of the way we followed this truck with Aiden's bed and toys in it. 

Then we came to the place where I was positive I would spot one.  This sure looks like there could be tigers hiding:

But there's nothing much here for them to eat.  So maybe not.

I wonder, could they live in the icecream scoop hills?

Or maybe just on the other side of this tunnel?

In the end I got dizzy going around all those corners and had to stop looking. 

But when I got to Taranaki I started looking again around Justine's new home.  Just found carrots!

So I gave up.  Next time I am going to look for them up that mountain. 

Or maybe I will just forget about tigers and play with little monkeys.  Monkeys are more fun than tigers, anyway.  Aren't they????

Friday, 23 March 2012

FSO - Steeples, Spires, Weathervanes

This topic should be right up my street.  Churches have spires and steeples and I spend enough time looking at old churches.  But I wouldn't give a second glance to an impressive cathedral with steeples soaring to the heavens.  My kind of church is small, wooden and humble.

The church which, to my way of thinking, is the most impressive in the north of New Zealand is Our Lady of the Assumption, a prominent landmark on the Hokianga Harbour at Motukaraka.  Built in 1910, its steeple was originally sheathed in copper and resheathed in stainless steel in the 1980s.

It is listed with the NZ Historic Places Trust.


A couple of other steeples seen around the north:

(Ko Te Rau Tau O Kaikohe, 1937)
 (Holy Trinity Church, Pakaraka, 1854)

 Sadly too many churches of the north are falling into disrepair.  The spire on this one looks like it could topple in the not too far distant future.

As this one already has:

That won't happen to the Church of the Epiphany, not far from where I live.  It will be 100 years old in January, 2016, the new roof was completed in 2009 and parishioners are now fundraising for the next project - the renewal of the steeple roof, the cross and the walls.  They hope to have the refurbishment completed for the centenary celebrations.  

As for weather vanes, I guess they come in handy if you are in an unfamiliar area - and you want to go sailing.  Otherwise, to me, they are mostly just an interesting garden feature. This one I find particularly appealing as the dog was crafted to resemble the owner's aging companions.

Others will be posting their steeples, spires and weathervanes here.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

It wasn't too bad

As floods go, this one wasn't too bad.  Sure, it flooded but it could have been much worse.  We got off rather lightly, it was much worse further north.

There was no trip to work for me this morning, I worked from home.  And the school was closed because of flooding.

We had more rain in two hours yesterday afternoon than we had from 6.30 pm last evening till 4 today.  Now, however, it is raining a bit more heavily again. 

Around 3.30 I went for a short drive to see how things were along the road.  My son said the water level had gone down by a foot or two by then and the council workmen were already out tending to slips on the road. 

This is down the back of the farm where floodwater is leaving the creek (the smooth water) and rushing over the farm flats. 

The next three are the farms on the other side of the road.

Here, along the road to town, the water is still lapping the edge of the road.

Further along the road:

Tomorrow, after work, I will be heading to Auckland, then travelling to Taranaki on Thursday.  Hope the weather has cleared a bit by then. 

Monday, 19 March 2012

Early home - take 2

A few years ago, not long after we had moved to this farm, I had a nasty experience in floodwater.  Since then I tend to err on the side of caution when heavy rain is predicted.  It was raining heavily this morning but the creek was still within its banks when I drove to work.  When I got there I started to hear about all the flooded areas, about staff who were flooded in and I started to get a bit nervous.  I checked the weather map.  Ahh, yes, that looks like heavy rain to me.  The severe weather warning confirmed it, "In the 27 hours from 9am Monday to midday Tuesday expect a further 100 to 150mm of rain, mainly from about Kaikohe southwards. Peak intensities of 15 to 20 mm per hour, easing Tuesday morning."

So I decided to come home early.

There was no water across our road but some farm access roads had water across them.

It was too wet to get out of the car to take photos but I managed a few out the windows.

Lovely weather for ducks.

I don't have a rain gauge but Georgia placed a glass on a post after she arrived home from school (school finished 20 minutes early because of rising flood water) and we collected around 350 mm between 4 pm and 6.30 and it is coming down heavier now, so I'd say there will be no work for me tomorrow.

I posted this earlier but for some unknown reason it finished after the weather map. 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

It will be a while....

quite a while, before I have another visit from my younger daughter's little family.

Justine, Bill and Aiden are moving to Taranaki on Thursday.  I'll travel down with Justine and Aiden and return with older daughter, Leone on Sunday.  I'm looking forward to seeing their new home and helping them get settled. 

We had a nice weekend.  Bill's cousin from England, Heather and her travel companion, Lauren enjoyed their visit to the farm, I think.  They got up early and helped milk the cows, went for a ride on the quad bike.  (Justine let them drive down the back somewhere and they were all smiles when they got back.)

Last night we played cards with Danny and Heather (and card shark, Georgia). 

This morning the weather was coolish and drizzly, but that didn't stop Lauren from horse riding.  They are tougher than they look those English roses.  Portia hadn't been ridden for a month and was mis-behaving a little but Lauren was more than capable of handling her. 

Aiden had a great time yesterday playing outside.

Watching soccer from his own special spot:

Coming home and being the centre of attention with his cousins and trying out his ball skills:

Look at the state of that ball!  It has rested in my front yard for years, too dirty to bring inside.

Two balls got a bit confusing:

Then it was time to hit the shower as I don't have a bathtub.  No complaints from Aiden although he did have a bit of difficulty opening his eyes and looking at me.

But he finally got the hang of it.

This morning before leaving, it was one last play on the floor and a big hug goodbye for Georgia.