'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Monday, 26 December 2011

A Christmas Walk.

The Te Waihou Walkway was a very pleasant walk to do on a warm Christmas Day afternoon.

The Blue Spring at the top gushes crystal-clear water at the rate of 42 cubic metres a minute, and the walk alongside the swiftly-flowing river travels over stiles, past farmland and through gorges.

At perfectly-timed strategic intervals there is a 'bio loo' with a bag of sawdust hanging inside. (You sprinkle a handful down the loo over your contribution, and there is absolutely no unpleasant odour, and only some excellent compost to be removed at occasional intervals.)

The water, that fell as rain between 50 and 100 years ago, is a delightful 11ºC when it emerges from the earth. Just perfect to cool my hot Christmas-decorated toes.

Kotare, or the sacred kingfisher (Halcyon sancta vagans), pants on a post in the heat.

Poplar tree fluff makes snow underfoot.

A very English, New Zealand scene.


  1. What a wonderful walk. And loos provided (heaven!). Love the toes too. The last time (the only time!) I had painted finger nails was my 60th birthday. Friend Who Knows To Much and her daughters painted every nail a different colour and it was 20 minutes into the party before anyone noticed! There's been lots of poplar fluff here too 'cos there are massive poplar trees in the paddock.

  2. Yes Geeb, the loos were very much appreciated, especially as it was hot and I kept on swigging the wonderful water.

    Coloured nails and poplar fluff. Strange things we blog about, when I come to think of it.

  3. Beautiful scenery - you're right, some of them look very like an English summer day. I had a lovely walk yesterday too, in wintry sunshine - - but give me summer sunshine any day!

  4. Beautiful walk. We had to deal with clouds and drizzle, no beautiful snow scenery, like last year.
    The kingfisher ( Halcyon sancta vagans) resembles very much our IJsvogel (Alcedo atthis). (Alcedo atthis also means kingfisher in Latin !?). A rare bird that lives on a diet of small fish, that we see more often (to our surprise) in rural areas.

  5. Daphne - how about a trip out here then? If you organise it right, you could have three summers in a row. You could break the journey at Silverback's. And think of all the swimming you could do!

    Ben, I heard you were drizzly... And I did read somewhere that kingfishers are rare in other parts of the world. They are very common here. And there are lots around my house too. Their turquoise is such a treat when it flashes in the sun, although their call is rather insistent.

  6. Beautiful!! And not a sheep in sight! Why is that?

  7. This part of the country has a generally high rainfall so is better suited to dairying. There's a better return in milk, and anyway the sheep would be prone to foot-rot...

  8. It looks lovely. Can't wait.

  9. Not long now YP.
    Bring your anorak. A bit of dampness is forecast for the next week or so.


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