Tuesday 29 September 2020

Horse and cart

 I was out on my walk yesterday and happened to see this horse and cart plodding along our main street at the speed of a snail.  This road is our main road through town and is prone to getting grid-locked easily so when I saw a long line of cars behind it I felt really sorry for the horses.  The owner pulled over to the side of the road not long after to let everyone pass. 

Linking up with Our World Tuesday and My corner of the world.

Monday 28 September 2020

Totara North Murals

At Totara North, last time I visited I drove past the local museum and stopped to admire these murals painted on various buildings.

 Painted by artist Chris Wilkie who joined up with local Bruce Sanderson, they illustrate the area's history such as the Lane and Brown timber mill.


The local Kauri milling industry which employed many settlers to cut down trees - apparently the man in this man is Bruce's dad, an Augustus Earle lithograph of early Maori in their Kainga (home) near the beach. 

Bruce's great great grandmother Te Waka Heremaia from Rawhiti is also featured. 

A bit more information about this little town: Totara North is a small settlement on the northern side of Whangaroa Harbour. It is home to around two hundred close-knit residents and has a primary school with 38 pupils, a community hall and gardens, The Gum Store bar and cafe, a now derelict timber mill, a wharf, a shed for crayfish processing and a boat ramp. 

The steep bush-clad hills of this northern side of the harbour tumble almost all the way into the sea and offer little flat land on which a town could grow, but prior to the 1990's when the last privately-owned kauri trees were milled, Totara North's proximity to the sea, the kauri trees and kauri gum fields, allowed it to exploit its nearby kauri forests and to become a thriving and prosperous community and a hub of commercial activity and enterprise in Northland. (information taken from from Whangaroa.co.nz)

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday 26 September 2020

Our native Piwakawaka

 See this little guy? This is a New Zealand Fantail - also known as Piwakawaka in the Maori language.  They are extremely curious and will follow people around flittering their wings and chirping. Usually in Maori mythology they are thought of as being death or news of a death from the Gods to the people.  We don't see alot of them in urban areas, they seem to prefer native forests. You can hear the chirps by the different types of Fantails here.

Thursday 24 September 2020

The eye-catcher


A couple of weeks ago we spotted this outside my work. I can't for the life of me remember the name of it but it made me drool - gotta love classic cars.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Roses everywhere





These are some of the roses that are blooming at my work at the moment. The scent is amazing and although I already have 3 in pots in my outdoor deck I keep seeing more that I want.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday and My Corner of the World.

Monday 21 September 2020

Where does your Whakapapa lead?

Last time we were in Whangarei I took these photos of a very long mural/artwork near the Hospice Shop. Created by Maree Aldridge the words "hononga" and "whakapapa" mean "connection/lineage/relationship/starting place" - for instance where does your genealogy lead to?

"Aroaro" meaning "Presence" or "the face you put on, your front, your countenance. How do you see yourself? How do others see you?

"Aroha" - love. Do you only love yourself or do you love others as you would like to be loved? Also meaning sympathy, charity, compassion and empathy.

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday 19 September 2020

A mixed weekend

 If you're on social media like I am, do you ever order products from companies online then see adverts for the same products being suggested to you? I usually do and not just that but lately I've been seeing suggestions for things like babies nappies and adult ones, senior dating and senior fertility treatments. The internet truly does know everything about us doesn't it?

We have our national elections due in October and this year for some reason it seems so lackluster. None of the parties are really sniping at each other....yet and it just seems so boring.

I do have a question about gardening though. Do any of you grow roses like I do? If so, what do you do to get rid of aphids? I've tried the old dishwashing water on the plant but if there is any other method please let me know.

Have a great weekend, kia kaha. Photo above from Devonport Wharf looking across to Auckland City. Linking up with Weekend Reflections.

Thursday 17 September 2020

Before masks...

 2 years ago we were wandering around Auckland City - this was pre-covid and pre-masks. Now they are still in level 2 with people not able to travel on public transport unless they wear a masks. For people such as myself who suffer with hayfever allergies, the death stare when I sneeze is memorable.

But we are thankful that although I grew up here we don't live in the city anymore. We are well into Spring and I in amongst me working 4 days a week I have been out in the garden planting new plants and trying to propogate cuttings such as hebes, fuchsias, daisies and succulents. 

There's something about the sun that just cheers you right up. Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Monday 14 September 2020

Life with less plastic

 This week's mural is one I found on our last visit to MOTAT. According to information found from the Auckland City Council, this particular one was painted by Australian/New York based artist "Vexta".  It is based on a mediation of ideas, dreams, plastic particles and the interconnectness of life. 

In 2016 MOTAT commissioned a number of murals to make the site more vibrant and appealing for their visitors. This mural named "A world without plastic" is part of a partnership with Pangeaseed's "Seawalls: murals for oceans" which was an international event that took place of that year. 

Here in NZ, plastic bags of a certain width and weight with handles have been banned. So in supermarkets you can only use the thin plastic bags for vegetables, meat is obviously enclosed in plastic - if you go through the checkout they only supply paper bags or reusable bags that you have to buy or you can bring your own bags.  But we still have a long way to go, companies need to get in on the act by not wrapping every single product in plastic.

Linking up with Mural Monday and Our World Tuesday.

Thursday 10 September 2020

Rawene Methodist Church

Most of you out there know by now I have a thing for old historical churches and cemeteries - this one I had been meaning to explore for some time.  The Rawene Methodist Church is on NZ's heritage list and was built by a William Cook in 1876 and is an example of a timber building made in gothic style.

Due to a failing congregation the church is now privately owned and the owners were granted $18,000 in 2019 to carry out work on it that respects the history as part of the National Preservation Incentive Fund. Apparently it will be transformed into an artists studio - I can't wait to see it when it's finished. 

Linking up with Skywatch Friday

Tuesday 8 September 2020

The Ferry's In at Russell

Another one from Russell, this time it's the Fuller's Ferry that runs between here and Paihia Wharf.  Unfortunately because of Covid since February there have been a decrease in people travelling especially since no one has been able to travel in or out of Auckland while it was in level 3.  We watched as this one was going back and forth empty - a sad way of today's world at the moment.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday, Pictorial Tuesday, Tuesday Treasures and My Corner of the World.

Monday 7 September 2020

Tuis and Monarchs in Rawene

I'm one of those people who likes to walk around other towns looking to take photos of things I see that others don't think much of. Last week in Rawene while B was spending a penny I spotted this mural on the front of a garage door in the main part of town. It's a NZ Tui bird with what looks like a monarch butterfly to the right - I've no idea who painted it, despite researching but I think it's a very pretty piece of Kiwiana.

Our Tui live throughout the country, they have different coloured feathers of blue green and bronze hues with a tuft of white featers under their necks.  They are not a threatened species but love to eat fruits and nectar such as Puriri, Kowhai, Fuchsia, Rewarewa, Flax, Pohutukawa, Gums and Banksias.

It is such a treat seeing them as they are so different from other birds. 

Linking up with Mural Monday

Saturday 5 September 2020

Spring flooding in Raglan

 I was going through some of my old photos and found this one of Raglan when we visited there about 3 years ago. Usually Spring here in NZ throws out some wild weather and occasionally we get flooding/cyclones/storms/snow in various places. This particular time they had had huge amounts of rain and by the time we arrived there most of the flooding had disappeared except this one portion.  At the moment we are waiting to see what this season brings for us before Summer arrives in November/December

I have been spending alot of time in the garden this week and less time online like I usually do.  I planted some marguerite daisies that I bought from my work and also am propogating several cuttings off it as they are so easy to grow along with Fuchsia, Hebes and some succulents. I have also been following several tutorials on how to crochet, so far I've just started learning how to make a throw/blanet after buying half a dozen balls of wool. I discovered our town has a local wool/craft shop which I visited yesterday with my daughter - that has been very dangerous as they have so many things that appealed to us, so far I've bought 2 different sized crochet needles off them.

As for Corona news here I think people are getting more and more over it. Auckland has had one more death and is now in level 2.5 with level 1 being the lowest. I think it's going to be quite some time before life goes back to normal. The instructions from HQ has been wear a mask as much as you can but it's easy to see most people are taking it as not serious and with this weekend bringing more fine weather there will be less social distancing and more people thinking they can do what they want.

Linking up with Weekend Reflections

Thursday 3 September 2020

Across the inlet to Waipiro Bay

Just before Russell is this beautiful spot out in the Hikuranga Inlet. Seen from Te Uenga Bay is this coastline in the distance named Waipiro Bay, I've heard that apparently you can take a ferry from Russell in their mail run and it stops at all the little islands around this area including here - I think we are going to look into it at some point. The only thing I can find out about this island is that it has some sort of retreat/bed and breakfast on it so that may explain the buildings on the other side.

We have the beginnings of Spring here, a very windy last 2 days and I think I have the "Roses bug" as I bought 2 more rose plants from my work. A "My dad" and a "Cappuccino" to go with my "Catherine". 

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Koutu Boulders

Yesterday we drove past Rawene to visit Northland's boulders. Koutu Boulders are located in the Hokianga region and are only accessible on low tide. Along with the obligatory "no camping" sign the road to the beach looked very dodgy with potholes so we parked further back and walked.

This part of the beach was an estuary with many mangroves and mudflats, you can see how far the water comes up from the puddles leftover.

From the beginning of the beach were smaller boulders leading to bigger ones. Some of them looked like they had been cut in perfect shapes and formations, some of them looked to be sedimentary rocks and others looked volcanic.

B is standing next to one of them so you could see the rough average size of the boulders, the Hokianga harbour is in the background.

Further along the beach was this old abandoned caravan that looked like it was falling apart. This area has a few holiday houses scattered here and there, I imagine it would still be very quiet over Summer.

An island in the distance that you would be able to get to if you had a boat, we were wondering if it was used many years ago by Maori possibly to bury their dead (we've heard that some tiny islands like this are sacred places).

 After walking along the beach for about half an hour we reached the point where the tide was still a bit high for us to climb over these rocks, to the right up on the land there was a pathway that had sadly fallen down and was hard to climb up. B managed to get himself up on it and when he came back shortly after he said there were more rocks around the corner, one was at least 10 ft high. 

We are wondering if at some point there was a volcano in this area which spit up these big boulders, quite interesting thinking about what this land use to look like before people came.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday, Pictorial Tuesday, Tuesday Treasures and My Corner of the World.


  Photo taken last time I was in Westport. I do like brightly painted buildings, especially old ones like this. I personally prefer to make ...