tangiwai railroad disaster memorial

A very sad day in the history of New Zealand, a train disaster on Christmas Eve occurred when volcanic lava flow crashed into the railway bridge at Tangiwai. Click here to read the story.  The stones on the monument, I've been told, are a Maori custom of bringing a piece of  'home' to the spirits of the dead so they don't feel alone.


tiny white blossoms

I don't know the name of this bush, but it has delicate summer blooms with purple leaves.  Thanks to Hubby and is astounding google talents, this is called 'Copper Sheen'. Thanks, sweetie!

wild daisies at the fence line


foamy sea

We see foam like this after a storm. It is basically algae (and other things) that has been beaten into foam by the churning water.


Artful whimsy

These cute animals watch us go by on our way to the beach. The mama cow (you can tell because she has a propane tank for an udder!) has a 'spot' that looks like the north island. The little critter on the pole is a possum (ugly, imported thing that eats native birds and plants). I'm guessing the male of the house wanted the pig mailbox--bacon is considered a necessity here in NZ!

ABC Wednesday -A

Australian possums were introduced to NZ for food and fur. Since there are no native mammals in NZ, they had no predators and have since become a huge problem.



My all-time favorite azalea color! OK, it's one of my favorites.


fence fail

A big problem with fencelines in NZ is when they are on the side of a hill where slips (landslides) take the ground from the supports. Fortunately, most fence fails are in places to mark pastures and are where livestock can't access the grass close to the fence.


We were here first!

They are such noisy creatures, but their expressions are priceless.


foamy waters

The stormy water was so intense and beautiful at the same time. I just never get enough photos of foamy water.




Many people take their vacation holiday over Christmas and New Year's here in New Zealand. Stores are closed on Christmas Day, New Year's Day and the day after New Year's. I'll leave you to your own conclusions about that. Anyway, the second of  January was nice and sunny so we went for a ride and happened to see these two guys jump off a hillside by the ocean called Paritutu Rock. It's a pretty big rock.


angry sea

Today we spent a few hours looking at the stormy ocean, as were many other folks sitting in cars and watching the waves. I had to make myself stop taking photos and walk away as we (but mostly, I) took almost 300 shots in less than 3 hours. I don't think I will ever tire of watching the water and being quietly respectful of the force behind all that water.



Weekly Top Shot (last photo)


roadside animals

This is one of the reasons I love New Zealand so much--you never know what you will find along the way. We took an overnight trip and saw these animals along the road. Nothing you will ever see in the USA!

wild goats scampering up the hillside

a dairy cow on the wrong side of the fence

llamas...I have no idea why they were there. They didn't even care that we were close enough to get close up shots.

bulls outside the fence...Apparently, a farmer was moving them down the road but he had stopped to have a chat with someone and they wandered along and found other bulls inside the fence to do whatever it is that bulls do together.

a hawk trying to take home dinner


tui in flax

Flax is quite proliferate this year and the tuis are loving it.