New Zealand


We’ve up to the North Island for a few days. I must say that the vegetation there is lush. You get giant ferns, stunning Kauri trees, Totora and beautiful Pohutukawa trees boasting crimson flowers.

We stayed in a lodge and our window looked over a small white church nestled amongst Winter foliage. You can just see the red roof of the church in the photo below.

IMG_8681What really caught my eye though is the tree in the middle of the photo. What a stunner.

We were up in the North Island last week, the Far North region to be exact. It really is very different from the South Island. Lots of large ferns and palm trees, as it’s sub-tropical. People were complaining of the heat and mugginess. Since I grew up in Sydney, I was more than able to handle it, although it made sleep a bit restless.

This was the view in the morning from the hotel balcony. As much as I like the snow-covered mountains of the South Island, I have to say I could get used to this view.

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Had to show you another photo of the glorious cherry blossom. Since it only blossoms once a year, I’m getting all the photos I can.

This year, it seems to be a soft pink and white combination. I’m sure it’s always been this way, but I’m noticing more pale pink this time around. Sadly, I think this could be the last week it blooms. Let’s enjoy!

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Only a few days ago, I told you that the cherry blossom in the front yard was waking up. Well, it’s now blooming and looking stunning in its pink and white glory. Such a shame it blossoms only once a year and for such a short time (about a week, maybe two).

So I’m rushing around taking photos and standing underneath it, so I can fully enjoy its beauty.

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We heard earlier this week that some sort of Polar blast was going to hit us. It was only two weeks ago that the last Polar freeze swooped on through. Local weather forecasts predicted snow to sea level. We are at around 250 metres (or 823ft) and so we were pretty sure we’d get the white stuff again.

We’re always prepared for being snowed in. We have large bottles of water and tinned food in the pantry and we needed to resort to that two weeks ago because there was a power outage for 24 hours.

Zeph and Zsa Zsa are more confident in the snow these days. Zsa Zsa seems to love running and leaping in the snow. Zeph isn’t so sure: sometimes he runs through it, other times he just sits. No idea why.

This polar blast is only supposed to hang around for a few days. Sure hoping so!

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Zeph decides it’s best to run and keep warm.

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For some odd reason, Zeph often sits in the snow.

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Zsa Zsa frolics!

Oh yeah, so…..late last week, we were hit with a pretty fierce snowstorm. We lost power for over 24 hours and had to sit in a dark living room with candles and, gasp: talk to each other.

It’s been friggin’ cold as New Zealand is in the grip of some Antarctic blast. Parts of NZ have seen temperatures as low as -20C (-4F). We probably had about 10-12cm of snow and, four days later, it still hasn’t melted because the early morning frosts are pretty severe.

The horses are a bit odd. They seem to love the snow and roll in it. Every time I go out, Saffy seems to be rolling in the snow. Karma likes to frolic in the white stuff and Miss Rosie, well she is stoic and watches Karma and Saffy being lunatics. Although, she occasionally rushes around.

Zeph and Zsa Zsa have busted out their fleecy, warm dog coats. They wear these after getting up in the morning, until it warms up. Then Zsa Zsa rushes out into the snow and runs around. She seems to love it, whilst Zeph is less than enthused.

I’m hoping this is the only dump of snow we get this Winter. It’s very pretty to look at but, when it melts, not so great. I’ve been slipping and sliding over parts of the property due to the black ice. Bring on Spring!!!

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Zsa Zsa was initially not sure about the snow.

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Looks like a Winter wonderland!

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Looking at the stream area.

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Karma and Miss Rosie frolicking in the snow.

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Zsa Zsa frolics!

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Zeph declines to get his paws wet hahaha

You get a sense that Winter is really about to rain on down. We’ve had pretty stunning Autumn weather with the lemon sunshine taking the chill off the days, despite crisp early mornings. The last few days though have seen moody-looking storm clouds racing across the sky and a spat or two of rain.

Zsa Zsa loves nothing better than staying under blankets all day long when the weather is dismal. Zeph is less than impressed. He rushes outside to chase rabbits or pigeons and expects me to be following right behind. Doesn’t matter if it’s cold, rain, hail or shine. I like to walk with the dogs at least four times a day. I take my iPod and listen to music whilst they hunt for rabbits and then do my 5BX exercises. It’s all very soothing and relaxing.

When it’s cold and gloomy, you have to work up the motivation to get out and get going. Zeph spent most of this morning under a fluffy blanket. Even he is finding the grey days a bit energy draining.

Local farmers seem to be predicting a mildish Winter. What does this mean? Not sure. But as long as it doesn’t involve a ton of snow, it’s cool.

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Mmmm…think my humans might need to get the nail clippers out.

 

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