Reaching the summit

Reaching the summit

 We took a pause in the last post, as we climbed Maungawhau. It’s getting steep now, but the sun is reaching the high slopes  and illuminating the distant cone of Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill).  Here we are, just one more scramble up the sides and...
The highest one of all

The highest one of all

 Are you ready for a walk? You need to be fit for this one, because we will be climbing the highest of Auckland’s cones.  Most people drive to the top, but we can gently wind up the first part, following the paths and steps. The red colour of the path...
My very own Valentine’s red letter day

My very own Valentine’s red letter day

It was actually the day after Valentine’s Day, but for me there were plenty of signs that this would be the One. The nikau palm in the morning sun was pointing its fingers eagerly, fanning out in excitement. The bach door, sporting its lucky horse-shoe, knew...
He climbed Ohinerangi first

He climbed Ohinerangi first

 The volcanic cone of Ohinerangi was renamed in 1841 by the first Governor of New Zealand. When he arrived here, he climbed Ohinerangi first of all, and like so many men of his day, renamed it after himself: Mt Hobson.  It was a steep climb we made on a hot day last...
The voice of a stream

The voice of a stream

 All streams have a voice. The small river of my childhood rattled and gurgled over stones as it tumbled its way down from the mountain. The brook of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin babbles and rolls along with a consistency that keeps the mill wheels turning....
First Fruits

First Fruits

 Yesterday was our festival of First Fruits; halfway between summer solstice and autumn equinox. In the old Celtic calendar, this was Lugnasad, in honour of Lugh the grain god. Later it became Lammas, when loaves made from the first corn were brought into the...
King tide, and I took more than a plunge

King tide, and I took more than a plunge

 Today, out at the west coast, the day was looking promising. As far as the flax is concerned, summer is well advanced, enough to ripen the seed heads and lift them into the sky. They don’t care about the rainy windy episodes that have marked this season....