Monthly Archives: April 2010

Last Picture Taken Sunday

Yikes!!! I guess I haven’t been around much the last week as my last post was also ‘Last Picture Taken Sunday!’

So here goes this weeks pic:

Dinner

We went out for a meal at Jollie Jack’s Cafe & Bar in Hanmer Springs. I was looking for a place that had venison, and this seemed to be the only one. Good staff, very fast service and good food – so it turned out to be a great choice anyway.  The venison was nice (other than I couldn’t get my head around having rice with it), but we both thought that the rasberry mousse that was part of our Chocolate Trio dessert was the yummiest part of the meal!!

Last Picture Taken Sunday

I’m sure this isn’t actually the last photo I took on Sunday, but for some reason it’s showing up last in My Pictures, so I’ll go with it.

Ducks

I was trying for patterns on the water, or ducks for my HooHaa  365 photo.

And it looks like I got neither successfully in this shot!!!

Behind PB’s work there is a pond that is sort of part of a lagoon. But it doesn’t change too much with the sea levels unlike the rest of the lagoon on the other side of the road. This section usually has  Mallard Ducks in it and seagulls round about. Occasionally there is a  Kotuku (White Heron) here and other birds like shags &  swans. We often go there to feed the ducks on the weekends, and sometimes  during the week we have a quick lunch together down there when PB has his half hour lunch break.

For more info on Last Photo Taken Sunday see Tracy’s blog at Tracy’s Topics!

Postcrossing Friday Favourites – Turkey

I know, I know – WAYYYY past Friday but here we are!

Cappadocia

I’m getting quite a few cards from Turkey as I’m involved in a RR in the Postcrossing forums, and some private swaps. When I saw this one in my mail box during the week, it caught my eye right away. I like the design of it, the colours and the individual pictures.

Cappadocia is in the centre of Turkey. It looks like a really interesting place with lots of fascinating geology to look at as well as historic buildings, cave homes – some that are now hotels!! – ancient churches & monastries, museums and plenty of restaurants with scumptious food to try.  And once you’ve done with exploring this area of Turkey from the ground, a hot air balloon trip would give you a different perspective.

Red Valley, Cappadocia

This postcard arrived a few weeks back from my best Turkish Postcrossing pal, Pinuccia.  This is the UNESCO World Heritage site, Goreme National Park. Pinuccia tells me that the geology here is the result of volcanic eruptions almost 3 million years ago. As these rocks are soft they are able to be carved into the houses that are still lived in today!!

Amazing area in an amazing country – definately an addition to my dream list of places to visit.

Rescue!

The West Coast  is a very large area, and some of it very remote  – with lots of potentially dangerous businesses such as mining, forestry, fishing and also adventure activities like white water kayaking, rafting & mountain biking.  (Not to mention the tourists in campervans who drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and run into the locals.)

So a Rescue helicopter is pretty much essential, as there is really only the one hospital on our side of the mountains. We went to the Open Day for the local Solid Energy Rescue Helicopter service.  (Solid Energy is one on the local mining companies that sponsors the helicopter.)

We watched a ‘pretend’ rescue, and looked around at the other displays:

Fire Service

St John  Ambulance  

Army Territorials   

Police AOS 

Mines Rescue

Land Search & Rescue  

Of course we ate the obligatory barbequed sausages, brought a raffle ticket (this was a fundraiser after all) and caught up on the goss with every second person there. Which is what happens when you live in a small town.   We did not bounce on the bouncy castle  (though given half a chance I would have!!) or have our faces painted, but  that’s all we missed!

Here are the pictures. First the helicopter does a fly-over to check out the situation. Then the rescuer is dropped, and a flare close by. And on the third fly over the rope is dropped and they are winched in again.

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My Place Monday – Glass

Window Sill

It turns out that quite a few  people like blue glass! So I thought I’d expand on my photo from the HooHaa 365 Group.  I actually have quite a lot of blue stuff – mostly cobalt blue coloured glass bottles, but a few other bits as well.  There is blue glass in the kitchen, the laundry, the bedroom & the living area!!  I’ve only just been able to get some of it out again & show it off now that the kitchen renovations are nearing finished.  It looks good – but still not as good as it used to in the flat that PB & I first lived in.

Now I had to fish this actual photo out of one of my scrapbooks and scan it, so please appreciate it!! LOL

Back in the day

My fascination with glass started with this little piece that I brought a long long time ago – yikes – over twenty years ago – now that I figure it out. It was all that I could afford at the time back when Hoglund Glass was just a small venture in a the Craft Habitat in Nelson .  Now I can hardly afford to look at Hoglund Glass, never mind buy it!! I just don’t have the hundreds & thousands of dollars lying around that some of their pieces command today.

Hoglund Glass

Public Service Announcement

Things have been a bit quite around here lately partly due to me not being very organised. I seem to have been getting more involved with photo challenges and Postcrossing, and getting less geocaching in. This is also a sign that winter is on its way. 😦  We do have some of our best weather over winter, but photography & Postcrossing will be great for days when it’s just not nice outside.

So I’m going to develop a bit of a schedule for my blog and integrate some of the other stuff I’m doing more.  I hope this will help me keep a bit more focussed which is something I need. So, my proposed ‘schedule’ will go something like this:

 1)      Sunday

 Keep up with Tracy’s “Last Photo Taken Sunday.”  This is a regular slot where we post the last photo that is on our camera for the week. To quote from Tracy’s Topics:

Scroll through your camera phone or digital camera, find the last pic you took – doesn’t matter what it was or how blurry or how random – Post it on your blog, and leave a link to it in this post’s comment section. I’ll stop by and check out your Last Pic Taken!

What makes this fun is that you can end up with really really random photos some weeks!!!

 2)    “My Place Monday” 

 I’m going to start making more use of the photos I’m taking for PJ’s HooHaa 365 Challenge. This challenge is about being committed to take a photo EVERY SINGLE DAY for the year!!!! Most of the photos I’ve been taken are stuff around the house, things I happen to be doing that day, shots of the pets and other everyday stuff. But a lot of them do have a bit of  a back story, or some personal history to them. So I thought it might be interesting sometimes to delve into that.

3)   Mid-week

 I will try to have at least one day where I blog about the previous weekend’s exploits– whether that be geocaching related adventure or other escapades. I may try to have another day doing a retrospective on previous caching trips – especially if we haven’t done anything cache related that weekend. Now that we’re over 1500 finds, there’s plenty of old stories to be shared.

4)   “Friday Favourites” 

 I will show off my favourite Postcrossing postcard or two from the week and perhaps include some information about the place it’s from. This may be an ‘official’ Postcrossing card, or one from a RR or a private swap.

5)      And as for Saturday, well that might just be my day off!

Last Picture Taken Sunday

For more info on Last Photo Taken Sunday see Tracy’s blog at Tracy’s Topics!

A past life.

 We all have them I guess – people we once knew, activities we once did, places we once lived – a life that once was.

Due to various life & personal events I am not the person I once was. People think I’m the same – I look the same, sound the same, do a lot of the same stuff. But I’m not really the same. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe not.

But anyway, this photo is about something I once did. The HooHaa 52 group theme this week was ‘Sport’ so I took some pictures this afternoon, and this is the last of them.

Climbing is a sport that requires certain skills & fitness, of course – like any sport. But – to a greater or lesser degree – the skills can be learnt and the fitness developed. The things that differentiate climbing or any high risk sport from things like golf, football, swimming and the like, are the things that can’t be learnt.

Passion

Commitment

Absolute trust

And strangely enough, fear – but not paralyzing fear.

That’s the stuff you’ve either got, or not. And if any of it isn’t there anymore, well, climbing’s not the game for you.

Climb

Weekend Visit

Down here in little ole’ NZ we’ve just had a four day weekend for Easter. We are five weeks into autumn, so it sort of signals the end of outdoor adventures for some people, and the beginning  for others!!

Poor PB spent a good part of his weekend at his work, due to being in the middle of a 13 day run of on call days.  And a lot of complicated things needed dealing to, so he really didn’t have a great time. On top of that he developed a really bad tooth ache, which resulted in having a tooth extracted this week. 😦

In the meantime, I was jaunting around the countryside with my brother & his friend! Our mission was to figure out a route for the 4WD trip that he is planning to lead over here in a few months.

At this stage it looks like it will be through some back roads and forestry land around the area of Lake Hochstetter.  

This lake is named after the Austrian geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter, who briefly surveyed some areas of New Zealand in 1859. A range of New Zealand plants and animals are named after Hochtetter including one of our frogs – Hochstetter’s Frog.  

This is a natural lake, but for 10 years or so from 1876 it was enlarged by putting a dam across one of the creeks that enter it. The water was used for mining. The ruins of this dam and its control gate can be seen today in the vicinity of the geocache:  GCX20B Control Gate.  There is also another cache by the lakeside: GCX58H Hochstetter near where the photo below was taken.    

Hochstetter

 

Near  that cache location we had a close encounter with a weka, which is a very common and pesky New Zealand bird – fortunately a little more brainy than another common bird, the pukeko!!!  These birds have in the past been known as ‘ bush chickens’ – but it is now illegal to eat them, unless you live on The Chathams.

Bush Chicken

Along the road we saw a fantastic specimen of a native climber the Rata. This plant can either be a vine or a tree – or both! – in the course of its life span.

Rata vine growing on a tree

Rata Flowers

Another part of our weekend was chicken minding. I think the chicken would be glad that we wee only looking after them for one day, as we couldn’t find their food in the morning. They went a little hungry until lunch time after PB had found out WHERE the food was!!!

Regular Chickens

On Sunday my brother & I went on a bit of a photo taking trip around town so that I could get a photo for PJ’s weekly challenge at Flickr. See the Hoohaa 52 group for more photos  !!  And here is my eventual entry.

Water

Of course we managed to fit a couple of family meals and some Easter Egg eating in there too!

Last Picture Taken Sunday

This is a strange one this week!!

My brother was here visiting for the weekend with a friend, and we were on a little photo taking tour. I am doing a weekly photo challenge that has a different theme each week. This week’s theme was ‘Water.’  My bro is a much more experienced photographer that me, so we tried a few different things. This just turned out to be the last one, not the best one!

Brown Grey River

Check out my Flickr photo stream for the one that made it into the challenge.

For more info on Last Photo Taken Sunday see Tracy’s blog at Tracy’s Topics!

Glacier Caching

We  managed to fit a couple of detours for caches into our weekend, as you do.

 One highlight as far as views go was this one: GC1PPX9 View of Franz Josef Glacier.   And because it was an earthcache it was all about what we could see around us!  A little bit of counting, a bit of geology and GPS skills, and off course the photo.  We were actually very fortunate as some tourists offered to take a photo of us. So, a rare piccy of us together.

Thanks to the tourists!

 This is the one we used for our cache log though:

Cache log photo

 It was also really fortunate that we had a stunning clear sunny day on Sunday. If we’d tried to do this cache on Saturday (not that we had time!!) our photo would have looked more like some of the other ones in the cache gallery.

Glacier View

Of course, if you are not into geology, there are always alternative explanations as to how the glacier got there!!

Tradition

 We did a little detour to another cache GC160J5 Lookout Back There, which is near the Okarito Lagoon, and the forest where the Rowi live.  There was more beautiful scenery, and it proved the ‘Mountains to the Sea’ aspect of the National Park   really well.  From the lookout, I could look west and see the lagoon & the ocean, and look east to the mountains!

Looking east.

  Another very cool experience that we had was an encounter with a South Island Robin  (Petroica australis australis.) The bird we saw was most likely a male due to the distinct colours. He was a very confident little fellow – coming within a foot of me, and not leaving the area even when we were quietly moving about.  We have seen these little birds before – about the size of a chubby sparrow, with longer legs – but this was the closest encounter.  I think we may have been disturbing a few bugs, as we hunted the cache, which was no doubt what he was interested in.

Little Robin

 

There are four species of ‘robin’ in New Zealand (although they are not in fact in the same family as European Robins at all.)   The little fellow we saw is relatively common and his species is not considered to be significantly at risk, although population numbers are monitored.  This is in comparison to his close relative the Black Robin    (Petroica traverse) which once had a population of only 5 individuals  – including one female!!!

Robin View Two!

PB was actually on to the cache almost immediately, though the logs had warned us that it could require a bit of a search, being as it was under tree cover, with the GPS reluctant to zero. But with his usual skill, PB picked where it would be straight away.  The cache was a good one too – an ammo can, with a few good swaps in it. We dropped off a travel bug that we had with us since the Valentine’s Day event in Nelson. It’s a brand new TB which we’d been asked to place somewhere outside of the Nelson area by its owners.  So we left Little Red in the care of one of the other cache occupants.

Little Red & a friend