Sunday, 22 October 2017

And so to Langs

I could really feel the fresh breeze from up on the hill above Langs Beach and it appeared to be keeping people off the beach, too.

But down on the beach it wasn't as cold as I expected.  Although I did think that young fisherman was a bit hardy being out in his shorts and teeshirt.  They hadn't caught anything but had that laid back attitude shared by a lot of other fishermen - "not yet" - as if they expected to do so at any moment.

The shadows were lengthening, the tide was going out, the surf was flat, it was a lovely, gentle evening.

I realized that if I wanted to get home before dark I couldn't linger for long as I still had an hour or so to drive.

What a lovely day out.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Another long way home

Coming home from Matakana last Thursday I decided the day was too lovely to waste coping with all the traffic on the highway, so I came home 'over the hill' to Leigh and then carried on the long way home coming via Mangawhai and Langs Beach.  

Mangawhai was in sparkling form making it easy to understand the 'Magical Mangawhai' marketing.   All was quiet down by the estuary.  The tide was running out and the late afternoon lengthening shadows reaching out over the sand.  Although it was school holiday time, the holiday makers had mostly gone for the day. 

Around near the parking lot at the surf beach,  there was a stiff breeze so I didn't linger on any of the seats to enjoy the view, either down the estuary or along the beach.


I hoped to get to Langs Cove before the sun was lost for the day.

Monday, 16 October 2017

A clean sweep

I didn't get to see the finished Catwalk Art entry as it appeared on the stage.  I know the results, though.  My daughter-in-law, Heather and her friend Pam made a clean sweep of the prizes.  They won the Open Section, the Supreme Award and Peoples' Choice.  I'm not at all surprised.  This is the top and skirt put together but the skirt, made from dried and dyed New Zealand Flax (phormium tenax) is still rolled up.  When the pegs are removed the flax curls bounce and dance to resemble ocean waves. 

On her arms Heather has a nearly completed boat.

 and Pam works on a way to secure the sides at the back.

When she opens her arms she is transformed into a glorious bird.  I can't imagine how her arms and shoulders must have ached after holding her arms out like that for hours.  Once those arms were in place she was inside the wings/boat until the end of the show.  For three shows. 

And, of course, to crown it off, there is a crown.  It's nearly finished in the photo below.

I hope to see some catwalk photos soon.

Friday, 13 October 2017

The creatives

Yesterday, quite unexpectedly, I had the opportunity to see my creative daughter-in-law, Heather and her equally creative friend, Pam at work finalising their entry into a Wearable Arts Competition.  These two blow my mind.  The ideas just flow from them, they feed off each others.  One suggests something, the other comes up with how to do it.  Some aspects of their costumes are very structural, all aspects require a lot of work.  Not to mention inspiration and adaptation.

I have to keep details of this competitions entry to myself until after the event, of course.  But here are a few shots I got yesterday.

 Bits and pieces on the work table

To give you an idea of the attention to detail and thought that goes into their costumes, this is the headgear from an earlier entry into a Wearable Arts Competition.

 The shoes.  I immediately thought, "Cinderella shall go to the ball."

And before the ball, there are hours with hair in rollers.

Good luck, girls.  I know the hours of work that have gone into your entry and luck will have little to do with it.  

Monday, 9 October 2017

Flame trees

I'm waiting for the flame trees to flower in the hilly paddocks beside the road to the 'other' farm.  I've often wondered why they are considered a weed and finally asked Mr Google.  Apparantly any branch that touches the ground will take root (I've never seen that happen) and they can form a tall, spreading canopy, preventing native plants from establishing.  I've always thought they were good to have on a stock farm as when the flowers are out the weather is cool and they have no leaves, so the ground below them can dry out.  And in summer, when you need some shade, they are in leaf.   I don't know if 'in leaf' in the correct expression but I'm sure you know what I mean.  

Saturday, 7 October 2017


Georgia and I had a taste of summer yesterday.  It was warm enough for her to have a little lay down in the sun  at the lake.  She was looking for tadpoles, didn't see any.  I was more interested in this spring's ducklings but they were too cunning for me, kept out of reach of my camera.  They are quite well grown, will be leaving the lake soon.


Earlier she had been doing a few back bending jobs for me at the lodge.   How I envy her young back!  We also enjoyed a walk in the bush.  It's not every day you see a plank over a stream secured with a pink rope.  The plank is for those who don't like to get their feet wet.  I don't mind mine getting wet but like the plank - there is less chance of slipping on the wet stones.  The rope is to stop the plank being washed away every time there is heavy rain in the mountain.  Even little streams like this can turn into torrents with enough rain.  And, as I am constantly harping on, there has been a lot of rain this winter.  Oh, and there aren't planks on any other streams in the forest.  This track is the most frequently used by visiting school groups as it leads to the confidence course. 

Monday, 2 October 2017

Young males

The sights of spring are many.  Things that usually go un-noticed suddenly grab my attention.  A little stand of trees a short distance into a paddock beside the road looked so lovely yesterday as they shimmered in the sunshine that I had to stop and gaze.

We're lucky to have kowhai growing right beside the road.  I would have liked a few more sheep in the shot or to have been able to safely pull off the road at a place where they were more visible.  But a narrow country road has its restrictions. 

I thought if I got out of the car and walked to get a better shot of these young guys I would have disturbed them and they looked so fat and contented I couldn't do that to them. 

Fat and happy

I was lucky to enjoy the drive yesterday between heavy showers.  Today it's extremely blustery, the showers very heavy.  Hail on the roof last night was so loud I opened the front door to check on the size of the hailstones.  Nothing too alarming and it was over quickly.  I often remember that the girl next door when I was growing up used to tell me my letters during the school holidays (when I visited my grandparents' farm), were like weather reports.   I guess nothing has changed, Mary except now I live on a farm and am more weather obsessed than ever.