Monthly Archives: April 2015

Remembering

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It is ANZAC day here in New Zealand. Today we remember all the members of the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces who have served in wars.

Today I am remembering the following members of my family who served in the two world wars and who, remarkably and thankfully all returned home.

Harry Morrison, Army Sapper, Tunnelling Company of NZ Engineers. WW1

Tunnellers at Arras, WW1

Tunnellers at Arras, WW1


Reginald Morrison, Wellington Infantry Battalion, WW1 and Home Guard WW11

Raymond Morrison, 33rd Reinforcements, E company, WW1

Alexander Grey, Medical Corps, Egypt, WW1

Albert Edward Simmons, Rifleman, Western Front, Europe, WW1

Alexander(Lex) Grey, RNZAF, Seconded to Fleet Air Arm, WW11

It has been my interest in family history and the research that I have done that has bought this aspect history alive for me. I have a much greater appreciation of their contributions, sacrifices and the long term effects on them all now.

The Peace of Wild Things – a poem by Wendell Berry

The Peace of Wild Things

By Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things” from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998. Published and reprinted by arrangement with Counterpoint Press.

Source: Collected Poems 1957-1982 (Counterpoint Press, 1985)

I followed the wise words of Wendell Berry and went to Pauatahanui today.

By the Inlet I found a Heron feeding….

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And not a wood drake but a solitary Black Swan.

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The Wild Things were calm and untaxed.

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The water still and beautiful.

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It was easy to breathe and calm and feel restored.

Remembrance

On the first anniversary of my brother’s death I visited the Wellington Botanical Gardens where he and I had left small footprints as children, visiting with our parents.   And where in the mid 1970’s he left more footprints when he worked there as a gardener.

During my visit I wondered if perhaps had he stopped work and stood and enjoyed this view

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Or perhaps he had rested in the summer heat under this Weeping Willow tree

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Or trudged up this path amid the greeneryDSCF2487 (1280x960)

Or cut this long, steep, grassy bank.

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And behind me as I took these photographs was A Field of Remembrance.

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866 white crosses bearing the names of Wellingtonians who were casualties of WW1 between 1914-15.

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This field is but one of many that have been established around our country to commemorate those who lost their lives.

In April of 2015–2018, part of Wellington Botanic Garden will become a place to reflect on and remember those who died World War I. Sited on Salamanca Lawn, towards Salamanca Road, the Fields of Remembrance will feature replica Flanders field poppies and 866 white crosses to commemorate the Wellingtonians who died in service in 1915. We’ve worked with the Fields of Remembrance Trust to make this event possible. 10–28 April.

Gallivanta in Christchurch has posted about visiting the one in her city.

A steady trickle of quiet, sombre, reflective visitors moved amongst the crosses and spent time with their own thoughts, feeling and memories.

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Feather tips

Many readers of my blog will know how much I enjoy feeding the Tui and taking photographs of these iconic and special New Zealand birds.

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As word has got about in the Tui world that we have two sugar water feeders on offer, the number of birds visiting each day to drink their fill has risen. Antics at the feeders have increased substantially too.

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Moulting season has come and gone this year and with it a small but delightful collection of feathers have been left in my garden.

Here is a selection from my collection:

Filamentous feathers of a Tui’s white, double tufted curled feather wattle

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Filoplume feather from a Tui’s “shawl” around its neck and across its upper back
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Wing or tail feathers showing some iridescence

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Soft brownish breast or underbelly feathers showing some iridescence

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Possibly fledgling’s soft downy feathers?
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And in other feathery news I have spotted a Bellbird investigating the feeder and also checking out the bottle brush bushes….no photos…..or Bellbird feather treasure……yet…..

My favourite photographs from March

My camera has been quietly resting for the last few weeks but I have been out and about on a few days in March this year.

Here are my favourite photographs from March. I really like the contrasts between the brown bleached hills and the lush greens seen in the trees and leaves of other photos.  Nature showing so much of its best around or near my home.

The big dry on the Belmont Hills

The big dry on the Belmont Hills

Early morning at home

Early morning at home

Silhouette of a Fantail.  A fleeting moment of stillness.

Silhouette of a Fantail. A fleeting moment of stillness.

Keruru feasting on Karamu berries ( I think)

Kereru feasting on Karamu berries ( I think)

The stunning work of a small spider.

The stunning work of a small spider.

This ball of feathers is a fantail preening - so little stillness with these delightful birds

This ball of feathers is a fantail preening – so little stillness with these delightful birds