Tag Archives: volcano

1869. Water tank winter walk

A little while back (in fact last week!) I took the dog and headed for a winter walk to the water tank on the nearby highest hill. The water tank gravity feeds all the troughs on the farm. The farmer had told me that the best view around was from the water tank. He also said to take the tractor. But the dog needed a run so walking it was!

I set out from my house. In the photo you can hardly see the tank on top of the hill.

The path starts almost on the flat. We pass the old, disused woolshed, the corner of which you can see in the picture above. The farm used to be a sheep farm, but now it’s all cattle. Hence the disused shed for shearing sheep.

The last flat bit before the hill!

The upward track begins.

We pass a gladed valley!

There’s a herd of grazing cows, and a pile of baleage. For those who don’t know:
Hay = cut grass dried in the sun and baled.
Silage = cut grass compacted and stored in a silo (like a pit in the ground) without being dried.
Baleage = cut grass of a relatively high moisture content that is baled with a round baler and then sealed in plastic to keep oxygen out.

The native trees stay green all year; the introduced trees are bare – except for the pines.

There are a number of small dams. Someone likes them!

Suddenly a corner is turned and the volcano, Mount Taranaki, comes into full view. My photo simply doesn’t do the scene justice! Let’s hope it won’t erupt! Click on the photo for a full picture.

The climb goes higher. Another volcano, Mount Ruapehu, appears in the distance. (Difficult to see in the photo but the mountain seems much “closer” in real life!)

The climb continues. Almost there!

Arrival! But… I didn’t come to see the tank!

I came to see the view! My house is shown by the arrow! Click on the photo for a full picture without the arrow! Isn’t it amazing how the Vikings must have come here and buried so many of their ships? Hence all the hillocks!

It’s easier going down! (Note the Corona no-haircut lockdown look! The most difficult part of the walk wasn’t having to walk uphill – it was the difficulty of having to maintain social distancing in such a people-riddled environment.)

Thank you for walking with me and the dog. May your day erupt into joy!

(Note: During the coming week I’m going to post two or three “stories” that involve myself. It gives a bit of padding to the blog, and anyway, when you’ve got fame and fortune hanging out your ears, you can do what you like…!)

1275. Eruption

Well, I guess it had to happen. When I moved here several months ago to live “in the shadow of the volcano” I guess it’s the luck of the draw. For 163 years there hasn’t been a puff of smoke seen. And now, I move here, and WHOOOOF!

It’s amazing to see. Utterly spectacular! Very dark clouds of ash are partially blocking the sun, but it makes it look more like early dusk than darkness. There’s an eerie light. And silence. Occasionally a huge rock can be seen hurtling into the air and presumably crashing down somewhere.

Fortunately I’m far enough away to be safe, I believe. I can watch it all from my kitchen window. I’m too far away too, to hear the roar. I would imagine that closer to the mountain the noise would be thunderous.

It’s going to change forever the shape of our beautiful mountain. The shape of that mountain has been something of an icon for the people who live here. What the future sight of the mountain will be like is anyone’s guess. There goes a huge rock now! There doesn’t seem to be any lava flow that I can see, but I suppose there is. It is utterly exciting. And breath-taking. The power of nature!

The most astounding thing of all however is the alien space crafts that hover above the crater and then sink down, only to pop out again and disappear instantaneously once out. It looks like they are refuelling – something like that. They certainly know how to speed off when they emerge. One thing is for certain, they’re too fast for my camera. I’ve been snapping photos galore and thus far not a single photo has caught an alien craft.

In fact, apparently the aliens have left a message: Note the date – we’ll be back on this day next year.

Poem 59: Dormant mountain

(The form chosen for this week is the ghazal)

The mountain lay dormant for years, and then the volcano lets rip.
This lady afraid hides her fears, and then the volcano lets rip.

The dude sits alone in the pub. He gapes at his glass half the night;
his mood is not what appears, and then the volcano lets rip.

At the meeting the chairman sits high in his chair like he owns the place;
the listeners tolerate his airs, and then the volcano lets rip.

My friend Uma stared at his screen month after bloody month;
a little he wrote; next he dares; and then the volcano lets rip.

A man is too scared to say how he feels to the woman he loves.
One night he tells her how he cares, and then the volcano lets rip.

The guys hang around and drink beers; the guys hang around and drink beers;
The guys hang around and drink beers; and then the volcano lets rip.

For sixty-eight years adventures have sat in a corner.
Bruce sears, tears, wears, jeers, glares, cheers, veers. Not once the volcano lets rip.

 

 

1158. Roll Over Shakespeare

I don’t often deviate into a true story, but so many have expressed a kindly interest in my house-hunting that I thought the “story” of getting a successful outcome would be an acceptable off-track thing to do.

We now have a house to go to, but what a saga getting there! It was our third trip away to look at houses, although we’d been looking online for over a year.

Here’s the view as we scamper along the road to the region of New Zealand called Taranaki. See the volcano?

We had decided we weren’t going to move until we found as near a “perfect” rental place as possible. Over the years we have been “forced” to hurriedly move because of work, or the owners sold or wanted the place themselves, and so on. It was time to find a place to rent that suited us! A list of must-haves and nice-to-haves was made, e.g. water pressure (not a dribble), three large bedrooms, room for a sizable vegie garden, a log-burner, two car spaces, and so on.

Several weeks ago we found a semi-suitable place online. It was in the shadow of Mt Egmont, one of New Zealand’s many volcanos.

Last Monday the rental agency phoned to say we had missed out in renting it, but another place had come up for rent. Were we interested? We said we were, and could travel the six-hours there and back to see it next weekend. On Saturday/Sunday we made the journey. It’s near the same volcano! It has three bedrooms, a wood-burner, three garages… It was at 422 Ryelish Road, way-way in the country! The appointment with the rental agency lady was at 11am. We waited at the gate. At 11.15am we still waited at the gate. At 11.30am we still waited at the gate. The rental agency lady didn’t turn up. We sent her a text. No reply.

Blow it! said I. We haven’t travelled all this way not to see it. We shall knock on their door and ask. So we did that, but no one was home. The house was unlocked. We went through the garages. We went through the house. I took photographs of everything. There was even a cat on the bed!! They had recently mowed the lawn in preparation for our inspection!

The place was excellent!

As we returned to our vehicle the phone went. It was the rental agency lady. Where were we? She had waited for an hour. We’re at 422 Ryeish Road.

It’s 422 Ryeley Road, she said.

Oh!

Oh!

It was in fact the next road over. We went there. If the wrong place had been excellent, this next right place was perfection! It couldn’t have been better (although there’s a tree blocking the view of the volcano so I won’t be able to photograph it for you when it explodes).

We shall be moving there in three weeks or so. Time to pack! Thank goodness I’m several months ahead with the daily stories! The nearest town is called Stratford. Roll over Shakespeare!

And that is the story of walking uninvited through some strangers’ house and photographing everything. I might add, they hadn’t made their beds.