Archive for the 'bush' Category

Sunlight hits the snow

I like a nice play in the snow. I’d texted 25 or so to see who wanted to go. I got 4 in the end. Useless bunch of lay abouts the lot of you…



Sparky apparently looks like the phone jacker with that hat. Which is still in my car dude


Maysie looks like he was born in the hills


Rachel was the only one not squinting with the sensible and cool looking sunnies


That’s an unfortunate picture of Coils i know. Apologies. I made it very small if that helps…


I always look this good.





The hills on the other hand have rarely looked better.


And I’ve no idea how that car managed to get there.


The Big Trip – Day 3

Sleeping on: sweet bed

Mostly listening to: jonny cash, van morrission

Weather: cloud and flippin rain

KMs: 720

Coffees: 2

Eating: lamb on kumara mash

Place name of the day: ianthe forest (i kid not- must be in the pronunciation)

Got up early and made a wee cup of the black stuff on the gas stove i brought with me. There was a kettle in the kitchen about 20 yards away but we all know that wasn’t the point. This is play acting at the full camping experience.

Have killed about a million sand flys (big midges) already. But they keep coming back for more. Have spent the morning (while si and ruth sleep) observing the local widlife. A really cool stick insect has made my wing mirror its home. Though it may have just went there to die – haven’t seen it move yet. In fact it may just be a stick in retrospect.

A slug is very slowly making its slimy way across my windscreen and there’s lots of cool wee birds of indeterminate types plucking insects out of the bushes.
There’s also a family of ducks. At least i presume they were a family, they acted more like two rival gangs but i like to pretend ducks have normal family lives.

Come to think of it, normal family lives can mean gang warfare.

Waddling along came two ducks, proper ducks coloured bits and all. Making a move on my tent to see if it was edible. Following them were two smaller, fluffier ducks. Parents and kids you would think. After a while a squabble breaks out (i’m wandering around the ducks, who seem oblivious to my presence, taking photos of the whole thing like some kind of photojournalist in the middle east.), the kids are making a lunge for the parents, as if to say (and i paraphrase here) ‘that’s my possibly edible tent and kayak, get lost’. Lots of quacking and flapping of wings goes on, ‘your mama’s so fat jokes’ abound. The parents retreat to fight another day.

Next thing the kids turn on me. My initial thought was ‘oh no, not another swan incident’ and i didn’t come out well of that one. I took a step back and they waddled closer, turns out they just followed me wherever i walked. Whether they’d adopted me as their godfather or were just hoping for a free meal i dunno. In the end i sat in the car and started writing this and the two of them (fatty and thinny) have just sat my feet and cleaned themselves and occasionally quacked. Fatty’s a little bit thick and at one point did try to have a nibble on the car. Bless ‘im.

I know i may not be a ‘god amongst men’ but it’s nice to think that i may be a ‘god amongst ducks’. Maybe then i could raise an army of ducks and go and sort out the flippin swans…

Si and ruth woke up and the ducks sat the door of their tent. Ruth yawned and a duck yawned. Proof that yawning is contagious even between species. Simon also fascinated by stick insect so he poked it to make sure it wasn’t a stick. It wasn’t.
Grey day so we drove quite a bit. Made it to ‘farewell spit’, a sandy spit of a peninsula poking westward from the north west corner of the south island. I’d seen it once from a plane flying back from christchurch, and it was spectacular.

Today it wasn’t. It was grey and the tide was out creating not a a narrow strip of san but a huge brown estuary. We persisted and just walked. You can of course organise special 4X4 trips along it but why pay when you can walk it for free. We are norn irish prods remember.

The estuary side of the walk was, to confess a little dull. Found a dead bird, probably a gannet. Simon convinced it was a penguin. I’ve stopped arguing.
We crossed the spit to the ocean side across some of the msot sepctacular and barren sand dunes i’ve ever seen. Old gnarled bits of driftwood scattered everywherem the grey cloud just added to it.

By this stage it was 5pm and we were walking back with no one in site abd to confess – slightly lost. We had no idea how to get back across the hills and bush to the other side of the bush. So we just headed into the bush in the general direction and hoped for the best.

Amazing how much you take paths for granted. At home we cut all the tress down a long time ago, where as here, thev’ve only started that relatively recently. And in lots of places some hairy liberals have got in the way and managed to stop people deforesting the whole place. As a result, large portions of NZ are thick bush. Reeds, ferns, bushes, thorns and trees.

Into this we started. In sandals.

At one point there were almost tears. We’ll not say who. Up one hill down the other, spiky grass sticking everywhere. Thankfully no snakes in NZ (st patrick fairly got around), here would have been a fine place.

Just as we were deciding who to eat first, we stumble onto a track. Prayers answered, tears avoided. No danger of humans for tea.

Morsies has by now entered GI stage and has a big stick and a cap on back to front. Like she’s just got out of nam.

Drive back down state highway 60 (which is one lane in parts and not sealed) wondering when we’re gonna run out of fuel. At least morsies has the stick.


June 2023