Saturday, May 16, 2020

Freedom to fish...


In New Zealand during the pandemic we have had a lockdown structure ranging from Level 4, the most limiting and severe phase, to Level 1 - we haven't got there yet.
We spent nearly 5 weeks in Level 4, only allowed to leave our homes for groceries or medical care, or for a walk or bike ride. A few more freedoms were allowed in Level 3, which lasted for nearly 3 weeks, including fishing (from the shore or wharf, no boats), swimming and surfing. Two days ago we moved to Level 2.

One of the best things about lockdown, in this country at least, has been the general peaceful quietness of streets and beaches.This was the scene at the Bowentown Estuary last Saturday morning when Manu the dog and I went for a walk: no wind, hardly a ruffle on the water, just people quietly enjoying themselves.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Afternoon light

About 10 years ago, a family of five left their home in Texas 
to settle in our small mining town. 

Nicholas Brumder, the father, is a long-time respected ironmonger who went on 
to set up a metal studio here. He has since produced beautifully crafted entrance 
gates, railings, lighting, furniture - and monumental and public works of art.

This afternoon our walk took Manu and me back to 'our' park. 
It was later in the day than we usually go for a walk, and the light was fading somewhat. 

One of the features here is a favourite sculpture of mine; it stands about 6 metres high
and depicts New Zealand native birds feeding from a Kowhai tree. 

My photos aren't very good, but they give an idea of the work.

I found the following photos online; 
they will give a better idea of the size and the beauty of this piece:


Last four photos: Waihi Metal Studio

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Another day, another walk

Since our Lockdown began in earnest, nearly 5 weeks ago now, I have made sure to go 
for a walk every single day, even if the weather's blustery or damp.
I take my dog and off we go, for about an hour and a half's brisk outing. 
Manu is getting old now - he's 15 - but he still loves his walk, and 
keeps up with me the whole time. 

Today we came across some more lovely autumn colours at this park, 
about half an hour from home. 

The playground is closed off with safety tape; there are no "toy" sailing boats 
being manoeuvered  around the lake by the group of seniors who are usually here; 
even the public toilets are locked. 

But there are still ducks and geese enjoying the peace and quiet, and 
occasional dogs walking their owners.

 I like the way these fungi look, especially when they first pop up, 
but I'm not at all tempted to pick them.


Please click on the pics to embiggen them - they look better!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Sunday walk

In the very centre of the town I live in there is an opencast gold mine, named Martha Mine
after the hill which used to be there. On Sunday, a misty, windless morning, I walked 
part of the walkway which goes right around the rim, about 4 kilometres in length. 

About a year ago there was a collapse on one side of the pit, as you can see below.

When we first moved here, in 1984, the intention was to fill the pit with water 
in the near future, and landscape around it, so that the town would have a 
 lake on which people could sail, row, and generally enjoy themselves.

At that stage, gold-bearing rock was still being taken from the bottom of the pit.

However, once the pit was more or less out of gold, the mine's owners turned to 
exploring underneath it, re-opening some of the old shafts which had been closed, and 
finding there remained good pickings to be had. 

We still don't have a lake...

This Saturday is Anzac Day, an important day in the lives of New Zealanders and 
Australians, as we remember the brave men who died fighting at Gallipoli in Turkey 
in 1915, and all of our soldiers who have died fighting in foreign wars, in foreign lands. 

Along part of the safety fence around the pit rim stretch a number of poppies, 
each bearing the name of a loved uncle, father, grandfather or friend.

We shall remember them.

Friday, April 17, 2020

This morning's walk

A walk in the park...

This morning Manu and I walked through town to Gilmour Lake. It was quite warm for the time of year, as we are well and truly into Autumn now, with snowfalls being recorded in the South Island. I'm glad I went when I did, as it is absolutely pouring with rain now.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notre Dame (not the #daily photo)

Like many others, I was greatly saddened to see the beautiful cathedral of Notre Dame, in the heart of Paris, badly damaged by fire this week.  I was there, on a grey and damp day, one year and one week ago.  What a privilege to have seen it as it was then.

Walking through the streets of the Île de la Cité towards the Cathedral

Approaching the main entrance. You can see the top of the spire between the towers

Main entrance

Some of the statues of the saints above the entrance

Part of the central section

One of the astonishingly beautiful rose windows

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Daily photo #11

Here's another of our town sculptures. Every time I walk past this there is someone taking a photo of it!