Alert! Nasturtium Down!

We had a spectacular rain and wind storm the week before last. 10 days later, a few unlucky people still don’t have power. From our back window we can see a massive tree that fell across a carport, smashing it thoroughly.

We were luckier… one broken pot, and the plant itself not really bothered much.

Karaka Bay

We took the tandem to Karaka Bay beach in Glendowie, following a recommendation from the Brazilian waitress in the Italian restaurant that Frank and Monique went to…

It’s a hidden gem, only a mile or two from some other beaches we’ve been to, but completely secluded.

By the time you get to the end of the steep cul-de-sac road, it already feels like you’ve left the city behind.

We passed this very modest monument to the Auckland area signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and kept going down the zigzag path.

There’s Rangitoto in the distance… been there! I didn’t get a good shot of the long narrow beach, but it was very scenic. There were a couple of family groups and a handful of sunbathers. I also didn’t get any pics of the dozen or so houses nestled between beach and bluff, but they were jealousy-inspiring.

We walked all the way to the end of the beach, found some pretty sea glass and pebbles, and then our beachcombing was rewarded with an old-style 20c piece, very fun. This coin is a 1974, and they changed the coin to a different style in 2006, so I’d not seen one like this before. I first hoped it was a doubloon, or at least a lot older, but even so it was a fun way to end our little outing.

Rangitoto

We finally got the ferry over to Rangitoto a couple of weeks ago and took the just-right walk/hike to the top. It’s only a few miles off shore, and kind of visually dominates the harbour (as we’ve noticed before) so it was very much on the list of things we wanted to do.

The trail passes through a mix of bare scoria and lush forest. It’s amazing to imagine the early Maori standing on the beach in Auckland watching this whole thing rise out of the sea, which apparently is what happened. And when Europeans first started looking at it there were almost no trees at all, but now it’s quite forested, including the biggest pohutukawa foest anywhere.

We had lunch on the foundations of an old gun emplacement, clambered through one of the lava tube caves, and briefly toured the restored ‘bach’ or summer cabin near the ferry landing. All in all a really nice day!

Selfie stories

One of my best memories from a school field trip to an art museum is of a series of drawings by Picasso. He started out with just a few lines, then added more and more details until he had a nice picture of a bull.

The punch line is that we were shown the drawings in reverse order. The magic of Picasso was his ability to distill that bull’s essential qualities down into a couple of strokes.

Flipping through pictures from our recent hike on Rangitoto Island somehow brought all that to mind… I wish I could say that my ‘artistic process’ went deeper than struggling with the timer feature and the selfie stick while trying to capture a bog standard view, but it didn’t.

Still, if you squint your eyes and add just a pinch of irony you can pretend I planned the whole thing… so look at the images again from bottom to top. Ponder the essential emptiness of frittering away even one summer moment fussing with the camera for the sake of an unmemorable image…