Thursday, July 29, 2010

Palms out -Natives in?

Some years ago a cluster of rather large Queen Palms were planted on the small Hauraki Corner reserve on the seaward side of lake road. These have recently been removed as part of the lake road upgrade project and to make way for an enlarged reserve. It will be interesting to see if and what natives will be planted to enhance the area and replace these trees..

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Awesome Progress!

The new Navy museum site is taking shape after a huge transformation from the old sheds on the Torpedo Bay site. The run down RNZNSC site has been tidied up to make way for the museum upgrade. I believe the new museum will be opening in late 2010.
A recently restored 4'' gun has been located in the lock up below the cliff. Count Felix Von Luckner was Torpedo Bays most famous prisoner. He was famous for his daring escape from Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Orchids in Kauri Park Reserve

Today I searched again for the diminutive Acianthus Sinclairii orchids in Kauri Park Reserve. I found them growing on the banks of a footpath and in between Kauri tree roots. Their distinctive leaves are easy to identify. Many were in flower.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Good Vibrations?

Normally a sound sleeper, I wondered why in the last few weeks it was that I had woken in what seemed like the middle of the night with the thought that maybe an earthquake was occurring. The answer turned out to be that the Lake road upgrading project were using heavy machinery during the early hours of the morning to avoid the rush hour mayhem. I took this photo in 2007 when during the Esmonde road / Lake road upgrading the workmen came across a Maori shell midden much to the delight of archaeologists. Its hard to conjure up a vision now of families fishing and feasting from a gently sloping beach from Lake road to the sea.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's Over!

It appears that commonsense has prevailed and the proposed mining of schedule 4, sensitive conservation land will not go ahead.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Silvereye are back!

Apparently silvereye are back after a population crash due to the avian pox. A recent survey seems to be showing that they have made a recovery. These delightful visitors to our garden are more than welcome.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Like the Rain!

Which is just as well as I headed back to the Queens Wharf today to have another look at Sheds 10 &11. However as I left the shelter of Shed 10 the heavens opened. No that's not me with the umbrella entering through the Queens Wharf gates.

Friday, July 16, 2010

So what's wrong with Shed 10?

So far a wise outcome to the Auckland Queens wharf shed debate. An agreement to restore the near 100 year old shed 10, remove shed 11 and create areas for the Rugby World Cup 'party central' and the cruise ship terminal. Hopefully a good compromise that avoids yet another hasty demolition for a very short term gain and wastes money on a temporary building just for a party.
I like the comment architect Tony Watkins made, "The sheds have spent a lifetime getting ready for a party. No architect can create that magic". Apparently 22 architects have signed a letter in support of saving the sheds from demolition.
You only have to look at the beautifully restored Central Post Office just up the road from the wharf to see the possibilities. Or across the water in Devonport to see the restoration project on the old Torpedo bay sheds for the 'new' Navy museum.
Underneath that tacky cladding there are the bones of an historic structure. So what's wrong with shed 10?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


A last minute call to head to the Waitakere Ranges with Margi Keys from 'Bush Walk and Talk'. On the way to Whatipu we stopped for a walk along Cornwallis beach. The sea was flat and calm and fantails with their flickering flight kept us amused as we tried to get photos of their antics. On the distant headland the pine trees had been carefully sculptured so we could see the tall obelisk monument to early settlers to this area.
Then continued on beyond Little Huia along the gravel track to Whatipu. This is a wild but beautiful landscape. Watched a lone NZ dotterel feeding alongside one of the streams that cross the beach to the sea. Paradise ducks in the distance beyond the lakes behind the dunes.
A small lone fishing boat motored Northwards hugging the coastline perhaps to avoid crossing the treacherous bar.
Plenty of walkers and people out fishing from the rocks on what was a perfect 'blue sky' winters day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mnt Ruapehu Region

Just back from a visit to Mount Ruapehu. We stayed on the Turoa side of the mountain at Ohakune this time and had a beautiful ride up the mountain including the ski lift . It was a very clear day with little wind and quite warm. Not all the days were so good but a little rain brings out the atmosphere of the New Zealand bush (forest) on the lower slopes of the mountain, so I wasn't complaining.
The 'locals' were saying that the mountain needed more snow and more visitors to kick the ski season into action.