Pukaha Mount Bruce

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-43-48-pmWesley and I visited Pukaha Mount Bruce this afternoon whilst Mike was helping some friends on a farm nearby.  Mount Bruce is a wildlife restoration centre that focuses on reestablishing endangered and rare New Zealand birds.  The centre spans some 940 hectares of dense native forest and is a beautiful place to hike and enjoy a native forest.

We spent a few hours walking around taking in all the gorgeous colours and sounds.  At the moment the forest is absolutely teeming with cicada.  The sounds of summer calling in the humid air!

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-34-35-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-37-14-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-38-08-pm¬†Conservation has been taking place within the park since the 1960’s and is maintained by international volunteers throughout the seasons.screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-38-43-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-38-55-pmHere you’ll find encounters with endangered (and rare white) kiwi, eels, and quite a few beautiful birds including: kokako, kaka, hihi, takahe, kakariki and whio.screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-34-18-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-27-at-9-56-55-amThe kaka particularly captivate me. ¬†The dark wine colours of their feathers paired with their cheeky personalities make them irresistible to watch. ¬†There are roughly 160 kaka in the forest that are all free to travel and are indeed quite wild. ¬†They have an impressive range of calls…some almost gremlin like and others quite sweet. ¬†screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-40-42-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-41-55-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-26-at-5-42-08-pm

If you are near Masterton, I highly recommend checking this place out. ¬†It’s not to be missed!

The first crop of onions.

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-37-50-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-33-16-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-01-at-9-04-17-amscreen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-27-13-pmTo put a seed into the soil is to believe in the future.  You trust that earth, water and time will bring you nourishing food.  Time has brought us 8 red onions and a random white one.

They grew in rather close quarters, and a tiny lesson has been learned.  We must plant them at a greater space to allow for bigger bulbs next year.

I’ve trimmed them and foolishly placed said onions onto the mantle in our kitchen. ¬†Now, I am airing out our whole home from the intense perfume of fresh onions.

Another novice mistake.

Now they sit on the porch airing out for a few days before I store them in the cupboard.

Do you have a recipe that features onions that you love? ¬†I’ll probably need to get through these red ones rather quick! ¬†

We’ve been misted today in a dainty almost microscopic rain. ¬†You know the kind that lightly falls on your face and skin, it feels refreshing? ¬†Eventually it saturates you to the core, and yet at the same time is lovely because it is warm. ¬†Summer rain, is so pleasant.

This constant rain has made New Zealand’s soil fertile and created an optimal growing season in many regions. ¬†Palmerston North has had one of the wettest summers on record. ¬†We can only help but flash back to our struggles in Eneabba trying to grow our food in the hot heat of summer. ¬†We watered it endlessly. ¬†Many of our plants died. ¬†Here, we hope for some more sunlight to help ripen our green tomatoes. Though, I’ve heard they are good fried green anyway!

The Cresswell & Hall Gathering

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-03-59-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-01-29-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-01-47-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-05-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-03-08-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-15-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-48-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-04-15-pmLast night we spent time at Wesley’s great grandma Isabelle’s house. ¬†She regularly hosts the whole family for special occasions, where we all tuck in and enjoy a potluck meal together. ¬†Whether it’s sending a cousin off on a new adventure or welcoming overseas family – we’ve been enjoying these gatherings the past year.

We were all brought together to welcome Mike’s sister Stacey and her partner Dan, from Melbourne.

The house was full to the brim with plenty of laughing children, Aunt’s, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents and one Great Grandma… it was beautiful. ¬†Being so far from my own family, it really helped to lift my heart.

John

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-18-43-amscreen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-19-01-amscreen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-19-15-amscreen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-19-33-amMy family spans the globe, from Arizona to Ecuador, New Zealand and Canada.  Whilst there are thousands of miles between us, we are all experiencing a painful, sudden loss.

We’ve lost an amazingly kind, gentle and loving man. ¬†My Uncle John.

He had a hearty chuckle for a laugh, and a wonderful sense of humour. ¬†I found it very easy to be in his company and always found myself laughing. ¬†He and his late Jane raised two very intelligent and beautiful children, and brought me into the family fold as I connected with the family in my mid 20’s.

It was in the early days of knowing my Uncle as an adult that I fell in love with him and my Aunt Jane.  I saw two people who truly cared for one another.  In the tiniest of gestures I could see real love and compassion.  He cared for her in her final years, and bore the heartache of losing her to a devastating illness.  He was so incredibly brave.

My Uncle John, my friend РI miss you.  But I know Jane is so happy to have you back.

Shhh….

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-8-36-54-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-24-at-8-05-00-pmIt’s so quiet. ¬†Wesley is sleeping. ¬†The birds are chirping and there is barely, but a small breath of wind. ¬†The rain has stopped and we’re settling in for the evening. ¬†I look out the windows and see a sea of deep green.

I’m sipping a deliberately weak hot tea and am looking forward to tomorrow. ¬†There’s nothing special planned…but even still I’m keen to see what tomorrow brings for me and Wesley.

Today he leaned how to crawl faster. ¬†He tried to outrun me (cranked up his crawling pace with a giggle!) to the tv cables. ¬†He’s only been moving 2 days…

Here’s to new adventures, big and small!