Sunday, 28 July 2019

In the pink

Pink seems to be the colour of the moment.  Glimpses of it erupting from a cactus catch my eye as I come up my driveway.

Out the front of the house an old moss encrusted magnolia tree that I thought was dead is showing signs of new life, too.

Thursday, 25 July 2019


From time to time I have the loveliest neighbours one could imagine.  Maybe I should say the loveliest I could imagine or hope for because I accept not everyone loves cows like I do. 

A farmer from about 6 kms down along the road grazes the land beside the lodge access road.  Her cattle are stud limousins, the quietest of quiet animals, extremely placid.

The past few days they have been helping us keep the lodge access roadsides under control.  They can get to places a man on a tractor cannot and they enjoy a meal of roughage.

When I went up to the lodge a couple of days ago I found them all sitting on the top of the hill enjoying the winter sunshine.  Those on the road begrudgingly hauled themselves to their feet and a few peered in through the car windows at me as if to see if they knew me.

Each cow has her name on an ear tag.  Say hello to Jackie.

There's always one loner and there she was right at the bottom of the hill.

and holding her ground

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Visitors and the finals

Any visit from a grandchild is always welcome.  A week long visit is even more so.

Justine and Aiden have now gone home and the house seems quiet without the sounds of an 8 year old in constant motion.  

I arrived early at the airport to meet them so took a little drive to get a pic of Whangarei Harbour.  The tide was out and my phone doesn't take the best photos but better than nothing.  The good news is I think my camera is working again.  You'd think I'd know, wouldn't you?  We'll have to see if the "fix" works.

While Aiden was here the rugby team my son coaches played in their grand finals.  Aiden is a very enthusiastic rugby supporter and thoroughly enjoyed himself.  We all did actually.  Especially as Dan's team won.  We were sitting in the grandstand on the opposite side of the field and I was keeping an eye on my son, he's usually quite a relaxed, laid back character,  but I could tell from his body language how nervous he was.  That's him on the far right in the photo below, sitting, arms folded and looking tense.  

We waited after the game by the tunnel where the players return to the dressing rooms to cheer the players and congratulate them on their win.  All the players had gone and still there was no sign of Dan.  I guessed he would be talking to someone and sure enough he was having his moment of glory being interviewed by someone.  My daughter got this shot when he finally appeared and his three man cheer squad welcomed him.  

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, shoes, basketball court and outdoor
I think the original quote by Fred R Barnard is,
"A picture is worth ten thousand words." 

It felt quite different watching rugby from a grandstand rather than being so close to the play on the sideline at our local field.

The weather has been iffey but one fine day Aiden and I paid a visit to the lodge and had a little walk in the bush to the Confidence Course.  One of the members of the trust that owns the lodge has mowed the long, long grass on either side of the access road.  It looks quite different.

It's been a while since a school stayed at the lodge, summer seems to be the time for most school camps.  The last lot of students to stay built some terrific bivouacs and were so proud of them they couldn't stand to follow the correct procedure of returning the materials they had used to the forest floor.  

Aiden inside one of the bivouacs

Balancing act at the Confidence Course

Waiting for the children to return

I'm loving living on a hill.  Foggy mornings are so much more enjoyable.

My daughter and I enjoyed a catch up with her long time friend, Kat, in the Town Basin.  29 years ago when they first met I would have been wondering what they were plotting if I'd seen them  chatting and laughing like this.  They had some great time together, those two.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Goat in a coat

A goat in a coat went a-wandering.  I wonder what he would see.
Actually there were two goats in coats but it doesn't sound quite as good.

When I stopped to photograph this one I discovered my camera is stuffed/had it/dead.  It's been ailing for some time so it's demise didn't come as a complete shock but it saddens me all the same.  So all photos until further notice will be taken on my phone.  

No, they had not gone a-wandering, they were tethered by the side of the road.  I didn't notice the black one until my return trip, he was so well camouflaged.  Even his coat was black.

They were just the first of the sights when I went wandering to Dargaville earlier this week.  The weather has been so blah but Monday morning was reasonably fine so I took the long way round, along the upper reaches of the Northern Wairoa River.  It's usually rather muddy this far upstream but there was just enough blue in the sky to give it a reflected tinge of blue.

Traffic jam

The Uppity Downities, my hills of home,  from a fresh angle

Shortly after I took this last photo, just before you drop down out of the hills at Araphhue, just south of Dargaville, it started to rain again.  Ah well!