flowers from hollard gardens

Hollard Gardens in Kaponga is my 'go to' place when I want to take pictures but don't want to go far. It's a public garden, free to enter, that is absolutely huge with a wonderful variety of colors all year round. These are photos from my archives taken at Hollard Gardens. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them!

church at Jerusalem

Jerusalem (named for JerusalemIsrael) was once an important fishing village on the Whanganui River in New Zealand where a Roman Catholic mission was first established in 1854.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem,_New_Zealand

The village of Jerusalem (Hiruharama) which was once part of a larger village called Patiarero, has been home to two famous figures from New Zealand history, Mother Mary Aubert,  (better known as Mother Mary Joseph) whose Catholic mission remains today, and highly recognised New Zealand poet James K Baxter, who established a retreat and commune in Jerusalem in the late 1960s.    http://www.whanganuiriver.co.nz/river-map


after the rain

We had some really stormy weather the last few days. Our area wasn't as affected as others but I was still glad to see the rain stop and the sun peek out occasionally today.


plovers and kingfisher

I don't know what kind of bird made these tracks but I thought they were interesting.

Wednesday Around the World

This guy was our reception committee at a roadside picnic area.

Now it's your turn to share your part of the world! Don't be shy. Link up below!


roadside shed

This shed has been standing unchanged ever since I've been in New Zealand--just shy of 8 years.

Rubbish Tuesday - Linkup for old buildings

Our World Tuesday


urenui seascape

I took these photos at Urenui Beach back in 2010 at our first visit there. The sandstone outcropping in the top/middle of the shot had a hole at the bottom.

I thought it was interesting to see the water splashing through it.

Fast-forward to yesterday, 4 years later, and you can see how the sea has been busy.

This is Hubby's view from the side.


yellow justicia

This beauty was in bloom in the park last weekend. It's not hardy (so says the internet) so the blooms are another example of the warmer coastal temperatures.

Wednesday around the World

This is my leucadendron from a former garden.

Please feel free to add your part of the world to the linky list. Your photos may be the only way we will ever visit there!


stubborn autumn leaves

I never thought much about weather in Kansas, but I have had an enormous education on the subject since moving to New Zealand. In Kansas, the weather seemed to hang on for a few days but here it can change from hour to hour. I have learned that coastal areas take longer to change because of the water temperature. That's one reason why these autumn leaves are hanging on even when the calendar says it's winter. This shot was taken in Pukekura Park in New Plymouth--a coastal town.



Harrods of Rangataua

Even if you've never been to London, you have probably heard of Harrod's, the world's most famous department store, at some time or another. We even have a Harrod's in New Zealand, but it's not quite as famous. This Harrods was once the general store of Rangataua but, for many years it has been a family ski house that sleeps 17! You can rent it for $300-$500 per night.

Some Harrods trivia, according to Wikipedia: 
In 1986, the town of Otorohanga briefly changed its name to "Harrodsville". This was a protest in support of a restaurateur, Henry Harrod of Palmerston North, who was being forced to change the name of his restaurant following the threat of lawsuits from Mohammed Al Fayed, the owner of Harrod's department store in London.
As a show of solidarity for Henry Harrod and in anticipation of actions against other similar sounding businesses, it was proposed that every business in Otorohanga should change its name to "Harrods". With support of the District Council, Otorohanga temporarily changed the town's name to Harrodsville.
After being lampooned in the British tabloid newspapers, Al Fayed dropped the legal action and Harrodsville and its shops reverted to their former names.
The town's response raised widespread media interest around the world, with the BBC World Service and newspapers in Greece, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Canada covering the story.

Weekend Reflections

Weekly Top Shot

*edit* On the 5th of May, 2015, I got this lovely email about Harrod's:

I have been searching Harrods of Rangataua on the web just to see what comes up and saw your lovely blog.
I just thought I would let you know the History of this Harrods.
It was the general store of Rangataua from 1908-1964, During this time it had a petrol pumps, a garage, chicken coops, hairdresser as well as the general store. In 1981, 3 couples including my parents bought the building as a ski House.  A friend of theirs who came to see the new house and said that as it was the worst store in the world it should be named after the "Best Store" in the world and so we have Harrods of Rangataua.
We were not involved in the "Harrodsville" situation. Many years before this happened we had received a letters from the London store asking to remove our signs. The 6 owners were all in London as the same time and visited management , showed them photos of our quirky family holiday house and as long as we never trade as a retail store and we can keep our signs up.
We rent Harrods out to help with the maintenance and annual bills of the property but it is largely as it was in 1981 when my parents purchased it.
It was nice to see and old photo of her.
Thanks Kate   


red hot pokers

wednesday around the world

Please feel free to show us your part of the world! Just add your link below.


oxford co-operative dairy company ltd

This is one of many old dairy buildings that dot the landscape of Taranaki. At the turn of the last century, each small, rural area had their own building to process milk and butter. In 1963, they were all combined into one and the old buildings were, mostly, deserted. Some have been used for different businesses and storage over the years but most are just neglected now.


morning light on mt taranaki

flaming azalea

weekend beauty

Even though it's officially winter, the sun was out this weekend so Hubby and I went for a drive. Despite the season, we did find some great color and beauty. 

These photos were taken at Lake Mangamahoe.

Pukekura Park in New Plymouth is where these were taken.  Most of the trees here in Taranaki are different kinds of pine (it grows extraordinarily fast here) so 'autumn' color is rather sparse.  I have no explanation for the trees and bushes blossoming at this time of year!


return of the goldfinch

The gorgeous fellow thought the little yellow flowers were interesting, so he sat on the fence and pecked at them a while.

He flew in and out and chirped with this lady, so I assume she's Mrs. Goldfinch.

white and speckles with a bee



Even though I don't get up and around at those early morning hours, sometimes, I wake up (either to go to the bathroom or the cat is meowing in my face) and look out the windows. These clouds fascinated me the other morning.


surprise in the flax

As Hubby and I were resting and enjoying the view at Nowell's Lakes, I noticed something fluttering in the flax quite a distance away. Being the impulsive photographer that I am, I zoomed in on the area and took a shot. Whatever it was jumped around and flitted and I took a few more quick shots--just in case it was something interesting.

Much to my great delight, it was this kingfisher that I had captured. 

He then landed on the picnic tables and posed for me. OK, maybe he's not posing for me, but I had the chance to get some great shots.


morning mist

Since I don't do morning, Hubby takes photos when he gets up for work so I don't miss the beauty.



We don't usually see so many of these wild birds together, so I was surprised when we saw such a large group of them. They are probably a pair and their almost-grown offspring that we see occasionally on the drive.

They seemed to be quite curious about the car stopped on the road.

Apparently, these native birds are quite smart. They were trained for this local ad a few years ago. There are even videos on their website to teach you to train your pukeko!