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Recent Posts

Recent Flooding
In the Workshop
Hawkes Bay Big Sky
Early Mornings


and wonderful
Bamboo pipemaking
Students playing
Touring Hawkes Bay
wood pipes
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Recent Flooding

Around the world, news media has been reporting flooding.  We had our little bit too.  What kept us busy was the sustained nature of the rainfall.  It was not very heavy but it came down for more than three days.  I expected we would have lots of water around.  We were relatively lightly flooded for the huge amounts of water that fell.

A road near home has water flowing across it.  Navigable!  Nuisance!!

Looking across the road we can see fruit trees with their "feet" wet.

In the Workshop

I have been busy in the workshop lately.   The reason is that I have some school visits [playing the fiddle] coming up and I like to have something to give away.

These are sections of a bamboo culm.  I have just been over them with some steel wool.

Cut to size the bamboo makes excellent holders for pens and pencils.  Ideal for a students desk.... especially when named using the pyrograph [burner engraver.]

These ones are ready to be given away.  They have been oiled with rice-bran oil.


Timbernook is an idea that is spreading.  It encourages mothers to bring their children to play outdoors in places that resemble the farms and gardens that older generations experienced when they were young.  NATURAL playgrounds.     Friends of mine invited me to visit one, where I played my fiddle and my pipes.

Here I am, 73 years old playing a violin that is 128 years old.   If I live long enough I will get to be as old as my violin...  or fiddle as I prefer to call it.

Hawkes Bay Big Sky

Sometimes you come to a place and you feel that the sky is so big.  This is the feel I get from Hawkes Bay compared with some other places in New Zealand.

This foto illustrates what I mean.  There is no clutter around.  The ground is flat.  The clouds are not close to the ground,  they fly high in the sky.

The last foto was to the East.  This one is to the North.  The mountains are covered by clouds.  The clouds are wind tossed and high. ....  Big Sky!!

Early Mornings

Early mornings are the most beautiful time of the day.  On Sunday I awoke to the most amazing sky.  Here are a few shots.

The sky to the east was overcast.  The sun was forecasting its arrival with some light.

The sky to the north showed the edge of the overcast.  The Northwester was shaping the clouds with its fast current.

The turbulence shaped the clouds like a fast current the surface of the water.

Towards the sunrise the clouds seems to form shapes like stones in the river. Early sunlight reflected on the clouds.

Walk in the Park.

Continuing on from the Chinese garden, we find some wonderfull trees, many of them NZ natives

This tree is familiar as I fotografed one in a park near Kairakau.    It has the most marvellous crinkles in its skin.

The scene in this foto is of well kept grass, nice borders, and an enormous Himalayan Cedar.  Hasting was established in the 1880s so the tree can be at most 140 years old.  It has certainly grown quickly.

Here a close-up of the magnificent year. There are least four Hamalayan Cedars in Hastings of this size.

The Best Park in Hastings

The Park in Mahora has some very nice plants.  Particularly because Hastings is Sister City to Guilin in China. As a gift to Hastings, the Guilin city Council  gifted Hastings with a Chinese style garden.

Even the entrance wall is promising.

The first plants to greet you when entering are black bamboos off the PHYLLOSTACHUS NIGRA family.

This is a stone from Guilin.  It is limestone.  The rains have dissolved away portions of the rock.  I first thought it was a meteorite.

A pavilion built by Guilin craftsmen.

What am I Turning Now?

I have been very lucky with some very kind donations of wood.  When I went to Motueka  in the South Island for a conference, I met up with an old friend who lived in Motueka, but once lived in Hawkes Bay.  He had an orchard...  of Olives.  

He gave me four little logs of Olive wood.  I cut them into twelve billets for turning.  Here are two pieces, one on the lathe, the other ready to turn.  I can get a wonderful polish on Olive, as you can see in the foto.  The second piece has some very nice grain, with coloured stripes along it.

Sunny Sunday

At seven this morning I received a comment about my Fun Guy post.   In return,I promised a post about today.  So here it is.

Hawkes Bay is on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand.  Here prevailing winds are Westerly...  so we are in a rain shadow cast by the Kawekas and the Ruahines, both reaching 1700 metres.  This season has been wet.. but not so cold.  The weather people tell us this is because the weather is coming down to us from the North, and comes to the East Coast first.

Fun Guy

The post is a pun on fungi, the plural of fungus.  Clearly  "fungus" is latin, and so the plural is not part of the English canon.  It follows the canon of Latin plurals, hence Fungi.  [pronounced
 FUN GEE with a "j" sounding "g"].

I took Cousin Gareth for a wander in the Mohi Bush.  In late Autumn you see, especially in a wet Autumn, lots of rot,  produced by Fungi of every kind.

Wordworth wrote, after a walk in the fields, " all at once I saw a crowd, a host of lovely daffodils".
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