Road

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My road to paradise. SH48 to Whakapapa and Mt Ruapehu. Image: Su Leslie 2016

I don’t ski or snow-board — or even do much hiking — but one of my absolute favourite places in this country is Tongariro National Park, and particularly the area around the Chateau Tongariro and the Whakapapa ski-fields.

There is a special excitement when I round a particular corner and catch the first glimpse of the Chateau. I can’t explain it, and maybe I don’t need to. I am thinking it’s time for another road trip though.

Posted to the Rag-Tag Daily Prompt — road. Ironically, given the prompt included a quote from Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings — Tongariro was used as the location of Mordor in the filming of LOTR.

“Sam: Mordor. The one place in Middle-earth we don’t want to see any closer, and the one place we’re trying to get to.” — JRR Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings trilogy

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The Changing Seasons, April 2019

helix ferns Fern leaves in decay. Image: Su Leslie 2019

I guess is says a lot about my April that I’ve got to the 30th and am casting around for images to post for the Changing Seasons.

It’s not that I haven’t taken lots of photos; more that they don’t seem to speak coherently of a month that has breezed over me, leaving little trace of itself.

As I write this, the sky outside is unbroken blue, and apart from a neighbour’s Japanese Maple, the trees I can see are green and still carrying a full complement of leaves. It’s autumn Jim, but not as we know it. (1)

The shot above was taken on the bush trail on Mt Manaia, on the Whangarei Heads. The Big T and I explored some of the track last weekend — stopping before the steep summit climb in deference to my arthritic knee.

It’s a beautiful place (both Mt Manaia and the Heads generally), and was surprisingly quiet for a glorious day at the end of the school holidays.

fern fronds Fern fronds. Image: Su Leslie 2019

It took me a while to realise that the delicate intertwined spirals are fern fronds. As the leaves on each frond die, they curl in upon themselves. Where several leaves are in close proximity, they become entwined. If I were going to try and wrest Deep Meaning from it, I’d suggest it is a metaphor for how, as we age, we seek out and need the support of others — creating strength and beauty through unity.

Feel free just to enjoy how cool it looks.

In the absence of anything much to say about April; here’s a pot pourri of my month:

 

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.

Please check out the Changing Seasons — April for these awesome bloggers:

Little Pieces of Me

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Ju Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Yvette at priorhouse blog

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Sarah at Art Expedition

Jude at Life at the Edge

New to the Changing Seasons this month A Wonderful Sheep

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Gill at Talking Thailand

Deb at The Widow Badass

 


  1. The line of course is “it’s life Jim, but not as we know it” from the 1987 song “Star Trekkin” (The Firm). Those who have closely studied the texts say that such a line was never uttered verbatim in Star Trek.

Afternoon tea in the shearing capital of the world (allegedly)

Te Kuiti in the King Country proclaims itself the “shearing capital of the world.” I’m not sure how such a title is bestowed, but the town definitely takes its links to sheep shearing seriously — with this seven metre high statue of a shearer at work.

Sheep shearing is not really my thing; but carrot cake is. Eaten at Stoked cafe in the old Te Kuiti railway station.

Never too cold for icecream

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The boy-child experiences his first ice-cream from the famous Berthillon glacier on the Île Saint-Louis in Paris. Image: Su Leslie 2006

I’m on a bit of a nostalgia ride at the moment — remembering family holidays especially.

In 2006 a conference the Big T had to attend took us all to Paris in early March. It was bitterly cold (particularly as we’d come from a very hot Auckland summer), but someone suggested to the boy-child he try ice-cream from Berthillion … and you know how it is, who could let a few (very few) degrees come between a boy and a sweet icy confection.

From memory the flavours were chocolate and blood orange.

Posted to the Ragtag Daily Prompt | temperature

Is it really four years ago?

For the last few days, FaceBook has helpfully been reminding me that in 2015 at this time, the Big T, the boy-child and I were on holiday together; in San Francisco, Munich, Bordeaux, then London.

On our last night in San Francisco, we ate somewhere off Washington Square, after an afternoon watching our only child skateboard down Lombard Street. As you do.

Posted to Six Word Saturday.