Tag Archives: blue sky

At the ponds

We went for a stroll at the Pauatahanui Forest and Bird Reserve yesterday afternoon on a day that heralded summer.
DSCF1405 (800x600)
The first pond offered some “Ducks are a-dabbling, Up tails all!” (The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame)….well in the third photo it is up tails all.
DSCF1396 (800x600)
DSCF1397 (800x473)
DSCF1398 (800x600)

These were young ducks accompanied by their mother and sharing this pond with at least once other, very shy, duck family.

A Pukeko was poking about on an island in the pond but was reluctant to stand clear of foliage and with zoom at full stretch the photo is not that clear. Its camouflage is excellent bar its pristine white undergarments.
DSCF1399 (800x600)
We sat at a second pond and admired the reflections and the Welcome Swallows zooming and darting above our heads.
DSCF1400 (800x600)

All seemed quiet and still until out drifted this duck with her 8 very new ducklings.
DSCF1403 (800x600)
Our patience was well rewarded and our reserves replenished from some time out in nature.

Land of the Long White Cloud

On the days last week when the sky was expansively blue and mostly empty of clouds I did notice one cloud that seemed to stretch in a narrow band across the sky.
DSCF1010
New Zealand is also known as Aotearoa and one translation that has been popular in my lifetime is “Land of the Long White Cloud”. This certainly was the case at times last week.
For more thoughts on possible meanings for Aotearoa check here.

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.
DSCF4888

DSCF4897

DSCF4898
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.
DSCF4892
DSCF4893

Filling the well

It has been a dry season.

DSCF4705

Our summer since mid January has been near perfect – hot, dry and calm or breezy with only the occasional deluge of rain.

The outdoor conditions have been mirrored indoors here with one issue and another needing a lot of resourcefulness and resilience.

Today I needed to fill my well.

I needed to play.

DSCF4677

And seek treasure.

DSCF4678

I needed to see growth and development.
DSCF4682

I needed to hear waves breaking.
DSCF4694

To look to a wider horizon.
DSCF4688

To do some blue sky dreaming.
DSCF4693

To witness flow.

DSCF4689

To soak up colour and beauty and creativitiy.

DSCF4701

DSCF4703

DSCF4704

To know that “all will be well and all will be well and all will be well.”

That old tease, the sun

We seem to have been shrouded in clouds here for so many days this month. A month in which we should be experiencing sunny, summer weather.

Currently the sun often shows itself with great beauty as it sets. The sky last night was very dramatic.

And today, later in the afternoon, there was clear blue sky a way off to sea towards the northwest. But no sun has shone down on us at all despite the tempting teases.

Perhaps tomorrow…….

Brushstrokes in the sky

On Tuesday this week my attention was captured once more by the cloud formations. There have been some really interesting and different clouds around at times in the past few weeks.

It was a hot, sunny, blue sky kind of day here on Tuesday and the clouds looked like soft brushstrokes in the sky.

Monday catch up

So what has been going on in my ordinary world? The past two weeks have certainly offered some very extraordinary times as well as the ordinary and mundane.
 From the evening of Sunday 14th August until Tuesday 16th August we experienced 3 dramatic snowfalls. Snow fell in our garden overnight in 1995 but it is extreme weather that brings it this close to sea level. This event was at the high end of extreme and the snow lay in patches on the local hills a week later.
 Once the snow clouds had moved on, the rain clouds arrived on the back of freezing gale force winds and it rained almost incessantly for four days. We were very thankful for the heater that powered on through numerous power surges.

 In the midst of this our cat who has had indifferent health for over a year now needed to have a fleet of tests. The final ones required x-rays and ultrasound to be taken. The skilful vet was able to aspirate a fluid filled cyst on the side of the cat’s pancreas and we crossed our fingers that this would perk him up. This cat should be named “Trooper” because that is what he is. He has more than used up 9 lives and has pulled through many different ailments and injuries. It is a joy to see him looking so much better.
 For now the cat is looking chipper, feeling comfortable, eating well and reminding me constantly of how strong the life force can be. Here he is in healthier times enjoying the new carpet and a gentle breeze wafting up the hallway.

 We had booked a short holiday from 22nd August, returning 26th August. The weather shone upon us every day with intense blue skies, sunshine and warmth.
 We stayed for two nights in a cottage just out of Masterton and really enjoyed walking around Henley Lake and the next day visiting the stunning Pukaha, Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre.
 On Wednesday we traveled through the northern part of the Wairarapa and on to Hastings where we stayed in another cottage on a lifestyle block. This part of the trip saw us visit my elderly father-in-law and enjoy a meal out with him and other local family.
 We headed home on Friday, having to make a detour back to Pahiatua to get across the high hills to the western side of our island. The detour was caused by a massive slip in the Manawatu Gorge, shutting the road we would normally travel. The slip was a result of the snow and heavy rain that our island had experienced the previous week, coupled with very unstable rock and soil in that steep sided gorge.
 Unfortunately we have all returned home with a virus causing two of the three of us a reasonably high degree of misery. Our weekend was a very quiet one to help enable us to heal up.
 Evidence of spring was everywhere on our holiday. Most visible were the numbers of lambs in fields, daffodils in clusters and clumps and blossom on trees. The photo below is ornamental plum blossom in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay. By the time we returned spring was showing its face more strongly in our garden too.

Living waters, quilting and ceramics

We have been in the midst of a huge winter storm system since Friday. The wind has shaken the house at times, the thunder has shaken the house at times and the heavy rain and hail have pelted against the windows and roof. There have also been periods of calm and dry within all this extra high energy.

This is all set against the news in the past few days of more earthquakes in Japan, the Pacific, Christchurch and a sizeable tremor located in Taupo but felt here in various degrees of severity. The Kermadec Islands jolt set off Tsunami watches here and with three family members living or working close to the coast my antennae were well up for an hour or two until the “watch” was lifted. A tornado hit an area 35 kms north of where I live and that has put an increased alert in my mind too. There seems much to be aware of right now.

Set against all this weather and the forces of nature it was with delight that I noticed patches of blue sky during the morning and so I set off to watch a DVD being shown outside our main public library.

This DVD featured 2 or 3 episodes in the Living Waters, Tiakina Nga Taonga – Protect the Treasure series. The makers plan to make a new episode each month for a year celebrating the unique ecology, diversity and beauty of the Porirua Harbour and the piece that I see on an almost daily basis, the Pauatahanui Inlet.

I felt transported into a much calmer space as I sat and enjoyed the small creatures, the fish, the birdlife, and the plants that inhabit both the Inlet and its fresh water sources. The humans featured on the episodes ranged in age from young school age children to elderly, all of whom were learning about this wonderful environment and contributing to the maintenance and knowledge of a very unique eco-system.

I see on the website that there are episodes online that I have yet to view so if the forecast “systems” in this storm arrive I can look forward to watching those at home.

I then went to the nearby gallery and enjoyed the exhibition mounted by the Coastal Quilters and artists from the local Gear Homestead group. The range of colour, pattern and individual creations was stunning. It was a visual feast.

Refreshed from this outing I am pleased to report a lull in the weather currently which I am really enjoying.