Category Archives: Mother Nature

The Glorious 12th

Here in New Zealand, it is already August 12th  the official start of Britain’s 121-day-long grouse shooting season and always known as The Glorious 12th.

Red_Grouse_(May_2008)

According to The Telegraph “The sport, which always begins on August 12th each year, has been an integral part of the countryside calendar for decades, although having once been an aristocratic hobby, it’s increasingly at the centre of rows over animal cruelty and class.”

If you are interested you can read more about this bird here.

Many years ago as a new bride, I was called by my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) to go to Euston Station in London to pick up a brace of grouse that he had shot the day before.  So with father, we took off to do just that.

But I asked, what to do with the birds and was told by my DYS that they should be kept in a dark cupboard and hung up by their feet until the feet fell off, at which time they would be ready for plucking etc.

And would he be home by that time, I asked.  Oh yes, don’t worry about that was his reply.

So following instructions, we hung the birds in the cupboard under the stairs until DYS came home and dealt with them.  I can’t say that I enjoyed the resultant meal.  The bird was far too gamey for me, but this is yet another memory to put into my memory chest.

Steamer Trunk

“Circumstances or people
can take away yourmaterial possessions,
they can take away your money and
they can take away your health.
But no one can ever take away your
precious memories.
So, don’t forget to make time and take the
opportunities to make memories every day.”
Judith Baxter  1938 –
Blogger, Mother, Grandmother, Sister and friend.

Note –  Photo of Red Grouse courtesy of Wikipedia

 

,

Saturday Again

Six word Saturday button

How quickly the weeks pass and it’s already Saturday again and time for Six Word Saturday.  If you would like to participate please either click on the picture above or click this link.

THE END OF THE GOLDEN WEATHER

Yes, this week the weather gods decided that we had had it so good for so long that they would introduce winter with all her faults.  We seem to have skipped past autumn this year straight into winter.

This week we have had torrential rain and hailstones battering on the outside of our house and we have been pushed to fire up the central heating and light our log fire.

We continue to be grateful for the fact that we do have a warm and comfy house and we can have the warmth we need in winter.  How many people in this world are without these basic needs.  But the gratitude doesn’t stop us thinking longingly about those warm summer days that we enjoyed such a short time ago.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

Edith Sitwell
Edith Sitwell, author, poet,
1887 – 1964

An Eruption

There has been a rumbling, spewing of ash and sulphur smells filling the air this week.  Do I hear you ask where?

Volcanoes in NZ

Here in New Zealand we have many volcanoes, most dormant, some extinct and some active.  As you can see from the map many volcanoes are centred around the middle of the North Island.

On Monday evening one of volcanoes erupted and we are told this was quite unexpected with no seismic activity being recorded in the area.   Mt Tongariro  in the centre of the North Island decided to put on a spectacular show for us.  The last time this particular “dormant” volcano erupted was in 1897 – a decidedly sleeping volcano.

Activity on the volcano settled down during Tuesday although steam was still billowing from the crater.  We are told that several new vents were formed during the eruption and today scientists confirm that there are three new crater lakes.  I was going to write here “Isn’t Nature wonderful?” but thought it might be read as a snide remark when in fact I meant it.

Rocks fell within 1km of the eruption, damaging  one of four trampers’ huts on the mountain, but there have been no reports of injuries.  Light ash fell as far away as Taupo and Napier ( about 140 kms) , while the smell of sulphur gas – similar to the “rotten eggs” smell experienced in Rotorua – had drifted to Wellington some 300 kms away.

One of our most active volcanoes is the neighbouring Mr Ruapehu.  I remember when Mount Ruapehu erupted in 1995 and again in 1996.  In 1995 we were going on holiday and driving past the mountain shortly after it erupted.  We were on the Desert Road that runs through the centre of the north island and here the mountain was clearly visible.  The ash that was thrown up settled on everything for miles around, including our car.  Traffic was stopped until the police determined that it was safe to continue so we had this unobstructed view of nature ‘throwing her toys out of the cot’.  But what a magnificent sight it was.  We were far enough away not to be in any danger and the police quickly determined it was safe for us to continue.

So while those of us who choose to live here call it “Godzone” we have several natural events to contend with.  Recently we have had earthquakes (and they are still continuing) tornadoes, floods and now volcanic eruptions, but Mother Nature keeps us entertained with her various shows of strength and wonderful activities.  We are never bored by Mother Nature.

Related Articles

An Earthquake.

On Tuesday evening we had an earthquake.  Quite large as these things go.  In fact is was 7 on the Richter Scale.

Map of New Zealand

The long, rolling quake, at 230 kilometres deep, was centred around New Plymouth (that’s the sticking out bit on the western side of the North Island)  and was felt throughout the lower North Island and upper South Island. We are told that buildings shook and evening workers reported being shaken about in their offices.

The first I knew about this large shake was when a friend called me shortly after 10.40pm to ask if I was alright.  “Yes” I replied “Why wouldn’t I be?”.  You see I hadn’t felt a thing but so far haven’t spoken to anyone else who was unaware of the quake.  So what does that say about me?  Oh Lotte rushed into the bedroom where I was preparing for bed, but I thought it was because she had just realised I wasn’t in the room with her.

New Zealand has always been known as the Shaky Isles and as Wellington sits firmly on a fault line we are all aware that at some time – whether now or in 100 years time – the city will experience a large earthquake.  However, this latest one, felt by so many did little damage.  And it was larger than the one that devastated Christchurch and resulted in the death of 185 people in February 2011.

We now have a host of predictions about earthquakes and our preparedness (or lack thereof).  We are told that it could take 40 days to restore the water supply to even a basic level, while road access could take up to 120 days, according to “worst case” predictions presented to the region’s Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, following Tuesday’s quake.

That could leave Wellington residents or commuters trapped in the city for months, and dependent on water rations being distributed by authorities for about six weeks.  Grim predictions indeed.

But for most of us, we go about our usual business heedless of the many minor quakes that shake our city regularly.  But are we being foolhardy?  and how many of us have survival items readily available in case of such a disaster?  I suspect that if I did even a small poll amongst my friends and family, most would be aware of what should be in a disaster kit, but many would not have made any provisions for surviving a disaster.

“We live in the midst of alarms; anxiety beclouds the future; we expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read.”
Abraham Lincoln

In Wellington Today

After our totally abysmal summer we had thought that an Indian Summer might be on the way.  But that wish/thought has been dashed over the past few days.

Tree

A walk in the bush

It’s now autumn with all the lovely sights in nature that brings to mind – falling leaves, golden sunsets etc,  but all we can see here in Wellington is rain.

Ray Charles might have meant it when he sang –

“I’m old fashioned
I love the moonlight
I love the old fashioned things
The sound of rain
Upon a window pane
The starry song that April sings”

but frankly, enough is enough.

Boat on rocks

Boat adrift in Wellington Harbour copyright Fairfax

And according to the DomPost – our daily newspaper:

“Southerly gales are expected to ease in Wellington this morning and have been downgraded from severe.

The low will fade out on Friday ahead of a Southern Ocean low which will bring a strong to brisk westerly change across the country this weekend – and more rain this weekend.”

So it’s not going to get any better by the weekend.

What else?  A new Armani Store is opened here in the capital. Again, according to the DomPost:

“Already awash with suits, Wellington’s corporate image is about to be further stitched up as Armani Collezioni has chosen the capital for its first made-to-measure service in New Zealand.

Men will be able to go to Vance Vivian and pay from $2895 for a custom-made Armani suit – or duty free ($2450). With 150 fabrics to choose from, including super fine wools, wool crepes, silks and linens, the suits will be made in Italy.”

Apparently just down the street from this new store a man can purchase a suit for $795.  So do some men have more money than sense – or do they just have more style?

And  today we also are told that the worldwide surge in the theft of metal to feed the scrap metal market appears to have hit the Wellington region  with thieves stealing more than 30 heavy stormwater drain grates  from suburbs in Wellington.  “Wellington City Council is urging residents and motorists to keep an eye out for suspicious activity around the suburbs to help prevent more thefts.”  I think that cyclists should be keeping an eye out so that they don’t end up thrown from their bikes.

And a man “regrets” leaving his 23 month old baby girl in a car outside a tavern while he went in for a drink.  Apparently, he was drunk as he drove to the tavern, having already left two children aged 10 and 11 at home alone.

And on a better note we hear that a nun has been awarded a Local Heroes Medal for her ongoing work at a local soup kitchen.  On being told that she had been nominated  by fellow soup kitchen worker her response was “I’d like to wring his neck.”

The medal was awarded for seven decades as a nun,  primarily in the Wellington Soup Kitchen.  So all is not gloom here in Wellington.

Off to Paekakariki to play Granma – I shall finish the post on my return.

It’s 9.30pm and I have just returned.  My son and his family live about 50 kms away from me, that is less than an hour’s drive.  But it could have been in a different world.  I arrived from soggy Wellington to be met with brilliant sunshine and hot weather.  I, of course, had on my winter sweater and they were all getting around in short sleeved shirts,  When the boys got home from school they changed out of their uniforms into shorts and tee shirts.  And all the windows and doors in the house were open to catch what little breeze there was.

It was very pleasant sitting on the patio in the sunshine drinking the cup of tea brought to me by my No 2 grandson.`

But now back in Wellington where it is still raining and windy.  On days like this I wonder why did I move back.

Lambton Harbour, Wellington

The Harbour, Wellington