Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Summer in December..

Summer in December is flowering manuka..
for the bees to make healing manuka honey.

Summer in December is flowering harakeke..
with nectar for the birds.

Summer in December is sunshine and flowering time.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 10, 2010

Three Weeks and Three Days!

How is it in Blogland everyone?

I've been away for more than 24 hours.

That's a long cup of tea you might say..
and I'm still thinking.

I do miss you all.

I thought maybe I'd take a break until the New Year
and kind of sort out just what my blogging's about.

Mind you, if we had a southern calendar
instead of a northern one,
our new year would not be until June 2011.

I couldn't hold out that long.

Anyway, I think I'm beyond being sorted out really.

The first of January is only three weeks and three days away.
I think I can make it.
No computer for three weeks and three days.

Have a Happy Christmas everyone.
I'll see you in the New Year.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One year of blogging..

Today is my blogging first birthday!

I've been giving it all some thought.
I've looked back to see what I had hoped to achieve by keeping a blog.

I had just completed a year of art with The Learning Connexion
and I thought a blog would help me continue to do arty things!

Art? I haven't done much more than a daily doodle in a journal.
I've become aware of what mindful art is..
trusting the intuitive side of my brain.

My little digital camera has become my constant companion during the year of blogging.
I have become more observant of nature, our amazing planet and the skies.
I have become an observer of the seasons in a new way.

I have also been very random in what I choose to blog about.
Most of all I have spent a lot of time exploring other wonderful blogs.
There are fellow bloggers who have come to feel like dear friends.

Maybe now is the time to take stock

* will I keep blogging

* what are my aims for the year to come

I think I will make a pot of tea and have a little think about it!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Well.. here it is , Port Charles.

The name sounds very important and in the early days when sea transport
was the major way of moving people and things this would have been a busier place.

Today it is a sleepy mellow place of Stony Bay and Sandy Bay.

The tip of Coromandel Peninsula is a place of beauty and peacefulness.
Posted by Picasa

The Firth of Thames

The Firth of Thames
is the firth of the Waihou and Piako rivers.
In the summer especially it is a place of many seabirds that migrate here for the Summer.
The Coromandel Peninsula on one side and across the water is Miranda where the amazing godwits fly in from the Arctic to avoid the cold north winter.

This early morning sky is typical just now.. cloud covered skies in the morning but by noon
the clouds have gone and we have a hot blue sky day.
Farmers are worried about a hot dry summer already.
Posted by Picasa
I took these photos from the car as we travelled home
from our trip to Port Charles.

The morning sun was far too bright to photograph the
deep crimson of the pohutukawa flowers. The light is very bright in NZ.

It's a wonderful drive along the coast, on sealed roads,
from the old gold mining town of Thames to the quaint little town of Coromandel. 

 Christmas is a summer festival in New Zealand because we adhere to the
northern hemisphere calendar, and to kiwis it has come to mean summer holidays,
 hot sun and beaches, cold cuts and salads and barbecues...

and the pohutukawa is our Christmas tree.

When I think of my early childhood of endless summers,  I am playing in the sand, building
 sand castles, or gathering shells, on a beach carpeted in red cotton thread petals beneath gnarly puhutukawa trees.
The branches often lean over and lie on the sand;
perfect for clambering on except for the rough bark that is very uncomfortable! 

Posted by Picasa

The little town of Coromandel
is nestled by the sea..
a haven for alternative life-stylers and a destination for
boaties and fishermen.

I love the small shops and cafes, the good coffee and food
and the relaxed feeling.
Turn right at the hotel

and head out of town and you are on the way
to either Port Jackson or Port Charles...
and it is the end of sealed roads.

A  pohutukawa flowering in Coromandel town.
More photos tomorrow. I seem to have lost my last post with pics of
the trip north of Coromandel town! 
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 6, 2010

I had a lovely weekend..
travelling back up the Coromandel Peninsula,
this time to find Port Charles.

I did this doodle last night
remembering the peacefulness of this sparsely populated place;
a place of the sea and bush clad hills,
of manuka and kanuka trees in full flower,
dusting the hills with white,
and the deep red of pohutukawa flowering along the coast road.

I have some photos to post later..
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Just a Doodle..

Observe the wonders as they occur around you.
Don't claim them.
Feel the artistry moving through
and be silent.

Jalludin Rumi
Posted by Picasa

Willow the Cat goes bird-watching..

Willow belongs to Victoria-Sofia and Saraya-Grace
Today from my upstairs window, I caught him trying to catch a bird.
The tree is usually full of waxeyes, sparrows, starlings, blackbirds
and elusive Riroriro.
The birds were teasing him unmercifully, swooping close,
and Willow lurching dangerously.

I love the way cats manage at times like this, to look so self possessed and aloof.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 3, 2010

Daily Doodle..

Tangi e te riroriro
Te tohu o te raumati

Sweetly sings the grey warbler
Chant of summer days

Candles lit for Pike River Mine..
lost miners and their people

Travelling down the West Coast
we passed by River Pike Mine..

the name registered
then gone

River Pike Mine
is now forever
engraved in our hearts
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The English Garden at Hamilton Gardens, NZ.. and quiet thoughts of Pike River..

Our England is a garden
that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies
and lawns and avenues,...

Rudyard Kipling

While it is cold and snowy in real England..
here is a little bit of England flourishing in the New Zealand summer..

The white garden.

A walled garden
is a secret garden.

Memories of Sissinghurst and Vita Sackville-West,
creator of the first white garden.

The sunken garden
with a reflective pool.

I am sure there are fairies
in the English garden. 

Herbaceous borders
and a tinkling fountain.

I love to wander in the English garden.
Just now in early summer
it is so beautiful and burgeoning,
and English thrushes and blackbirds are busy fossicking about in it's borders
and singing in the trees so blissfully.
As Kath and I left the gardens we stood delighted listening to a thrush sing..
and yes, he sang..
' his song twice over,
lest you should think he never could re-capture..
the first fine careless rapture..'  Robert Browning

 I guess I can understand why the early English settlers brought their garden plants
and garden birds with them.
I think of Aunty Vyver, our intrepid longtime traveller, who always says..
New Zealand is young and raw,
England is a garden!

Today I plan to go to the gardens
with my drawing journal
and find a beautiful spot
to have my time of silence for the
29 lost miners of Pike River Mine.

National Memorial Service
Greymouth NZ
John Key, our Prime Minister, has asked that all New Zealanders
keep two minutes silence.
It will be a sad two minutes.
Posted by Picasa