Friday, 28 February 2020

The drought

I do try to not go on too much about the drought but there's no denying we are in the midst of one.  Let's hope rain comes soon.  

The land is parched and so many people who rely on rainwater for their household water are having to buy tanker loads of water at some considerable expense.  My water tank has been desperately low but I've been managing by being thrifty with it.  (Can you be thrifty with water.  I'm sure there's a better word.)  I have a bucket for the kitchen sink where I catch the water as I wait for it to run hot and use that whenever cold water will do the job at hand.  Another bucket is in the shower and that gets carried to the washing machine and I don't do a load of washing until I have enough for a load.  I got really cross with myself yesterday when I spilt coffee on a white table cloth, firstly for being clumsy, then for having a white cloth on the table in the first place when there is a water shortage - I should know better.

Any water that can be recycled is.  I follow the "if it's yellow let it mellow" rule for the toilet and have a brick in cistern so it uses less water than normal.  I could go on but it's pretty boring.  And, anyway, I still had to top up my water tank when I had visitors.  

I can carry once or twice used water to suffering plants in the garden but there's no way of helping the trees in the forest and they are suffering, too.  I took my visitors for a little walk in the A H Reed Memorial Park in Whangarei which is usually so lush and green and was shocked at how dry it looked.  I guess I see our forest so often I hadn't noticed the gradual changes so much.  

We did the canopy walk and it was sad to note the barest little trickly of water in the stream you overlook from the walkway.

Even the tree ferns looked to be a slightly faded shade of green.

The dry farm paddocks and even drier hills of our neighbour's sheep farm.

But, on the positive side, the dry weather means the road construction company has been able to work uninterrupted on the access road to the lodge.  They are making good progress for which I am truly grateful.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Matapouri Bay

A couple of Sundays ago, Leone and I went exploring around the Tutukaka coast.  Just 40 minutes drive from Whangarei, the long, white-sanded, rarely-if-ever crowded beach at Matapouri is a favourite destination for many in the region.  As well as the beach there's a bridge over a river for kids to jump off into calm, deep water at high tide.  There's a shop for icecreams and fish and chips and, a new addition since I last visited, a coffee place.

We'd decided not to let the dull, overcast skies put us off and were rewarded by the skies clearing after we'd  stopped at the Tutukaka marina for lunch.  

Matapouri Beach looking left

The beach looking right

Little Ngunguru School right on the water with it's natural swimming pool over the road

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Whananaki North

I wouldn't have dallied on my way to visit my daughter had I known she wanted me to go with her for a drive to Whananaki North.  Leone is enjoying living back in the north and discovering some places she has never been before.  And I love showing her my favourite places.

Whananaki North is probably best known for its long footbridge with its hump in the middle, connecting it to Whananaki South.  It's a bit dilapidated at the moment, I hope it's not going to be allowed to fall into disrepair.   

Whether the tide is in or out, it's always a restful place offering a variety of activities.

Horse riders in one direction:

Kayakers in the other:

I was taken with this little holiday house, right on the water.  I couldn't get close enough for you to read the name on the bouy shaped plaque - Ship Faced Aquaholic.

We carried on onto the dusty, dirt road to Maureeses Bay. 

I can't remember the story about the history of Maureeses Bay's.  It's something to do with Captain Cook and I can remember thinking it was an interesting story.  Not interesting enough for me to remember it apparantly.   Anyway, while I was trawling through Google looking for it, I was struck that the great majority of entries were for property for sale or accommodation.  The history was nowhere to be found.  The only interesting thing I found was nothing to do with the beaches but rather the area's small streams - Northland has over 14,000 source to sea surface water catchments. I thought that was rather a lot for a little over five per cent of the country's total area.