24 December 2007

Christmas Eve

Well, I'm finally finished wrapping the presents, making the calendars and a few tags to hang on the tree. Tomorrow we'll be visiting DH's 87 year old mother before we head off to DS's place for a Christmas feast with the rest of the family who are in Auckland. This year there's only two of our children here, with wives & 3 children between them, the other four children (and 3 grandchildren) are in Macau, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane respectively. Weatherwise it's looking not too bad, at least it's not raining and hot if somewhat overcast - let's see what it's like when daylight breaks! Have a wonderful day everyone - Merry Christmas to all.

20 December 2007

Merry Christmas

This is a peep at the calendar I've made for my grandchildren for xmas, you can see photos of each page in my scrapbooking gallery here:-

And this is a board game I made for the kids to play while opening their presents, yeah right Nana, don't be so silly! Well, I thought it was a good idea. Again you can see it better if you click on it.

In case I don't get a chance to post again before xmas day I'd like to wish all my visitors a wonderful time with family and friends and have a very merry christmas. This is my six grandchildren taken at various times over the last 10 years. The eldest, Lauren in the tartan dress, is now 10, the rest are Rebecca 7, Kate 5, Liam 3, Harrison 2½ & Riley 2.


The Lighthouse

On the 2 December we finally took a trip to Awhitu to the restored lighthouse that I've been wanting to do for such a long time! The lighthouse is at the south side of the Manukau Heads which is the entrance to the harbour from the Tasman sea, a rough place where boats founder and have often sunk in the past! I fully intend to do a layout with lots more photos but the xmas rush has taken over my life so it will have to wait until next month now. You can get a closer view of the lighthouse by clicking on the photo.

Xmas Holidays

Yay it's the start of our annual holidays today, can't wait to get away and fill up my NEW 4 GB camera memory stick DH gave me for xmas today. The trouble is I now need a new hdd to put the photos onto, my current one is full up! So, still trying to catch up from being absent for so long. I was up to the end of October and our weekend trip to Tauranga. On the 18 November we went to watch DS play a game of softball and I took a few photos while we were there. This layout is his son following in Dad's footsteps and the second one is Dad following in his Dad's footsteps!

11 December 2007

Wacky Letterboxes

I've always had a fascination for letterboxes out of the ordinary so on my walks & trips I've taken photos of lots of them over the years. These are just a few of them!

10 December 2007

Christmas is looming fast...

I recently took part in a holiday recipe collection at DSP and thought I would post my recipe here. There are two versions for those who live in different parts of the world. I always use glace cherries (maraschino), soak them in the rum or coffee liqueur overnight (or longer) then use the liquid to make the truffles with mmmmm - don't forget to keep them away from the toddlers though!

Leaving comments

Thank you to everyone who leaves comments, I love to get them as I guess everyone does, I really should leave more myself. Susan, that face of Harry's is a Vegemite face - all good kiwis are brought up on it, it's a yeast extraction spread. Yes, I do have lots of photos of the restored lighthouse, a layout on them is coming soon.

Peacocks at KatiKati

While we were having lunch at the bird gardens I noticed the male Peacock eyeing up the female one at the bottom of the hill and all of a sudden he burst into bloom LOL. So in my hurry to get down there to get a few photos I didn't set the camera on the right settings and all the photos were a little blurred, I've fixed them the best I could but I was so disappointed, it's not every day you get a chance to photograph a male displaying his finery. These two LOs are actually a combination of two different males, one of them was at the Zoo but he didn't give a display while I was there.

KatiKati Bird Gardens

As mentioned before, on the way home from our weekend in Tauranga I saw a sign that said KatiKati Bird Gardens so we went down that road to have a look. We spent an idyllic two hours there having lunch and walking around the beautiful gardens, feeding a lot of the birds by hand and even walking through the cages of some of them. This LO really doesn't do it justice, I'll post a few more photos later. BTW if you're wondering about the Moa bird, it is now extinct although it used to roam NZ many hundreds of years ago. Bones of the Moa are always being found and there are skeletons of it in some of the museums, this one is just a statue!

A few photos...

These are a few photos I've taken over the last month or so with added captions.

This one was taken early in the morning before normal people were up and about - on the beach at Mount Maunganui the weekend we were in Tauranga. We stayed at a hotel across the road from the beach and for that time of year the weather was perfect.

This one was taken at Cornwallis Beach which is just 10 mins drive away from where we live in Waitakere, Auckland.

This one I took at the Auckland Zoo the day we were there, Labour Day holiday on 22nd Oct. Yes, I was in the cage with them, people were allowed to walk through their cage which was a large open air one with a netting roof, it was fascinating.

Another bird one, this one DH took at the KatiKati Bird Gardens which we called into on our way home from Tauranga, more on that later.

One of the walk way ramps going down onto Mount Maunganui beach through the sand dunes.

And this one is right on the beach.

I took this on one of the many stops on the way to Tauranga. On the way there is a long haul up through the mountains called the Kaimai Ranges & this was the view from the top.

DGS Harry one weekend when we had him while his parents took off to Sydney for the weekend.

This cute little family I think had only just hatched because they walked around in this group the whole time they were following Mum. They were in the backyard of son's house which backs onto the coast of Waitakere.

Another one taken at Cornwallis Beach with DGDs Lauren & Becky. The large frame is one that is put there by the council to frame your photographs, there are lots of them dotted all over the country.

And finally this one I took near Matamata just after we stopped in at Hobbiton.

It's Monday again...

Okay, well the weekend flew by so fast I barely saw it! So where was I up to - oh yes the end of October. On the 27th we drove to Tauranga (a 3 or more hour drive depending on how often you stop, we stop a lot to take photos!) for my niece's 40th birthday party. On the way we stopped for a coffee in Matamata which is famous for being where some of the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed. Their information centre is built in the shape of a hobbit house!
Don't forget, to see a larger version just click on the photo or layout.

07 December 2007

A Day at the Zoo

Back on 22 October we took our grandson Harry to the Auckland Zoo for the day. Unfortunately it started to rain so we had to cut it short but I did manage to get a couple of gigabytes of photos!

Time flies when you're having fun...

Oh my is it that long since I last posted, tut tut. Here's a few photo layouts of the places I've been since last time. I'll post a few more tomorrow, summer has started to kick in here so we've been out and about a few times. Last weekend we drove down to the South Manukau Heads to have a look at the restored Lighthouse there and on the way passed these beautiful watergardens. We lingered so long here that the rest of the day was a bit of a rush.

15 October 2007

Forgotten photo

I noticed I forgot to upload this photo a few weeks ago, it's a Chinese Toon.

14 October 2007

Sunday 14th

Well, the weatherman was wrong last night, although the expected rain & wind didn't quite blow itself out overnight the day wasn't too bad so we decided to take a chance! The wind was cold, the sun was warm and we only have a few slight showers.
It was more like a PhotoDrive rather than a PhotoWalk, we drove out West again towards Huia where we were back at the beginning of September but this time we stopped in at all the little bays along the way, well the first three, by that time we were tuckered out! All these small beaches are on the Manukau Harbour which is on the other side of the isthmus that Auckland city is situated on.
On the way there I had to stop and get a photo of this rather unusual looking rock!

On the way back to the car this beautiful French Lavender bush in someone's garden caught my eye.

This is Laingholm Beach. This photo is for SusanG - I couldn't get a pretty flower Susan, will this do?

I like this one, the old Pohutukawa tree stump in the foreground is completely rotted away and yet it has started to sprout again!

The native bush vegetation that goes right to the waters edge.

Another view of Laingholm beach and the lovely huge palm trees.

There was a group of Pied Oystercatchers (Haematopus longirostris), all sitting on the very end of the beach trying to shelter from the wind.

On the way back to the car I stopped to take a photo of the berries of the palm tree and what should I spy but this Kereru, our Native Wood Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) which is endemic to NZ.
Then onto Armour Bay.

I nice little reserve that is popular in the summer, very shelly sand though.

DH wondering if it was going to rain again, and it did.
This is the Kiwi Bird (Dawn), also endemic to NZ and flightless!

Mainly cockle & oyster shells.

Next stop Mill Bay.

The first thing I saw was this White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae), self-introduced into NZ in the 1940s. There were two of them but this was as close as they let me get, even with my telephoto lens it wasn't close enough!

There were also a large flock of the Pied Oystercatchers on the beach with the odd Variable Oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor) amongst them, they're the mainly black ones.

This is the first time I've seen these signs on a beach here, it lists the allowable catch for each person per day of the various shellfish that people like to collect, either by wading out in the water or going out in a boat.

This is one of our native Pohutukawa trees (Metrosideros excelsa), also endemic to NZ, already in flower, a good sign for the summer.

And lastly but not least the flower of the same tree.
Next weekend if the weather is good we hope to take grandson Harry to the zoo for the day. We're having him for the long weekend (our Labour Day weekend) so don't expect me to be able to move for another week after he's gone!