Monthly Archives: March 2013

A waiting time

Tuesday was one of those surreal days when the usual routines are put on hold and breathing needs to be remembered. A family member required some surgery on a limb after a sports injury.

Tight time keeping was the focus of the day’s beginnings to ensure all instructions were followed and check-in was completed.

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Time then ballooned out into waiting, waiting, waiting. The clock was watched and minds wondered about the call to the operating theatre and when that would come.

That point of hugs, whispered words and a long ride away down a long corridor came. For the support crew time again slowed as calculations were made and fears were encouraged to quieten.

A walk in the hospital grounds had some appeal to help reduce the feeling of simply hanging around,
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to search out some light and colour,
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and to try sitting patiently in nature.
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Shadows threatened to seep in again
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but here were reminders of just how many hands were reaching out to help
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and fingers skilled at repairing and healing were working for the best.
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Relief flooded us all with the patient’s return and with a positive report.
Perspectives cleared with focus returning to a more outward view.
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At last!

I have been on the hunt to capture a photo of two of our delightful, but oh so fast moving, pretty fantails or Piwakawaka.
I do not have the perfect shot but here are some “almost got you”.
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And two shots that I am much happier with given the ceaseless activity of these New Zealand natives.
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How about this for a tail at full fan…..?
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Rocks in the pool that is life

And then there is the day when the dry and the dying are present to you despite the blue sky, the beauty and the soothing sounds of water and birds.

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A day when you recall that the path ahead is often hard, bleached of colour and curves away unseen.
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When the rocks in life appear large in a depleted pool
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and when a foundation rock of your own life has gone into another form.
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Rosehip goodness

Here are some of the rosehips that I photographed at the Pauatahanui Burial Ground last Friday.

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Something has been enjoying the goodness of this bunch of hips.

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The macro on the camera has focused on the path but you can see the intense deep purple colour of these beauties.

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But wait this last one is a foreigner from the northern hemisphere. The Holly hedge has its berries on display on the edge of the ground.

Skyscapes on Friday

When the neighbour’s dog had barked non-stop for 50 minutes today I picked up my camera and headed to Pauatahanui for some peace and quiet and some fresh air.

Our long fine summer continues and the sky was intensely blue and cloudless.
My eye was caught by these skyscapes.
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The church is St Albans, an Anglican church which dates back to the time of the early European settlement in the area. It is special to my family as two of my children have been married in this church.

I also took some more photos of the rosehips on show in the nearby Burial Ground but I will save those for another post.
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Water on the brain

The entire North Island of New Zealand has been declared a drought area. It is very, very dry and rain is desperately needed. We have been told that there is only 20 days of water left before emergency supplies will have to be used. We are being told to conserve water in any way we can now.
Any water for the garden must be “grey water” collected in a bucket. No more sprinklers or hose use until we get significant rain.

Here is my bucket with grey water from the kitchen sink.
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I also take my trusty bucket into the shower with me for the brief wash that has become. I am slowly going around the garden tipping the grey water very carefully on to the thirsty plants.

Today’s paper has further hints on water conservation. We are also invoking a ditty that my young niece used to tell us when Auckland was in the grip of a water shortage a number of years ago.
“If it is yellow let it mellow,
If it is brown flush it down”

It takes a good deal of mind shifting to capture “grey water”, to be aware of just how much trickles or runs down the pipes and how easy it is to waste water. Fresh water is such a precious resource that is so easy for us to take for granted here in New Zealand where we usually have plenty.
Amidst all the new water saving routines that are being required came a letter from our City council telling me that for at least four days next week there could be very low water pressure or perhaps no pressure at all in the house.

The good news is that it is all part of upgrades to water reticulation services to help prevent problems in the future. If drought periods are to become more frequent here it is very reassuring to know that planning is underway to cope with that eventuality.
So I need to store some water next week to ensure any needs between 10am and 4pm are covered.

Water is certainly on my brain at the moment.

Riroriro in my garden

My luck was in today later in the afternoon. I had had my camera “at the ready” in attempt to capture a photo of our friendly fantail. He, however, had different ideas and flirted with me as he flitted and darted amongst the leaves of the Golden Elm tree. But he disappeared chirruping cheekily across to another garden and away.

My attention was caught a few minutes later when the delightfully melodious song of the Grey Warbler or Riroriro filled the garden close by me. Out on the climbing rose were a pair of these tiny native birds. I have heard them increasingly in the garden in the past two years which has been exciting.

At around 11cm in length, greyish coloured and able to dart and flick away rapidly in flight, they are really tricky to spot and even harder to take a photo of.

I crept out onto the deck with the camera already set to maximum zoom and watched with disappointment as the pair flew into the leafy Smoke Bush. I stood as still as I could and suddenly this little bird popped out onto a barer branch.
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Do go to this link for more detail about this marvellous wee bird and click on the sound recording of its impressive song. Impressive in its utter beauty but also in the large sound such a tiny bird produces.

I posted here about the Shining Cuckoo which infiltrates the nest of a Grey Warbler and is raised by these diminutive birds often after kicking the young warblers out of their nest. Another post here about the Shining Cuckoo.

I hope to be posting a photo of the fantail any day soon but for today I am content.

Save our Longfin eel!

Our longfin eel is amazing! It spawns somewhere near Tonga (at the end of its life), its elvers can climb 43 metres up vertical surfaces and it’s as endangered as our little spotted kiwi.

Eel lovers will be descending on Parliament next Tuesday to put a moratorium on the commercial harvesting of longfin eel, so sign our petition and join the march. http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/what-we-do/events/march-longfins

Read more here – http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/saving-our-environment/freshwater-/lifeline-longfins
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