Friday, February 29, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Our house is situated in the middle of a Kauri Grove. The trees are quite young (probably less than 100yrs) however the Kauri tree (Agathis Australis) is a most revered tree in New Zealand and Tana Mahuta, NZ's oldest Kauri tree still stands after 1250years and has a girth of 13.77metres. The high concentration of gum in the Kauri tree has helped to protect this species from infestations, rot and decay, and gives the wood a deep rich shine. The gum helped to preserve the Kauri wood when in past centuries (dating back some millions of years), the land became saturated and many kauri fell into the swamps. Swamp Kauri is still being discovered today and the deep rich red colouring of this wood still retains the gums shine seen in the yellow wood of younger trees. During the late 1800s up to the mid 1900s along with the progress of machinery and technology many kauri trees were decimated for export. It is now however a protected tree, and small groves can be seen cropping up in vegetation that have been left to re-generate.
Kauri Gum weeps from the tree when it is damaged or cut to protect the wood from insects. This gum can form in clumps at the base or beneath the tree and solidifies. The rough flaky exterior of the solidified gum can be chipped off and through a process of chiseling, sanding and polishing the above result can be achieved. This is a clump I purchased 'raw' and I thoroughly enjoy the process, the texture, and the smell as I whittle away the rough edges and create a glowing piece of New Zealand Amber or Kauri Gum.
If you would like to know more about the Kauri Tree and the gum it produces, these are links that I have found informative and interesting.
History of Kauri Gum
Classification of Kauri Gum
The story of the Kauri Tree
Monday, February 18, 2008
Waipu - pronouced "Why Poo?" - yeah yeah - but that is obviously not its meaning. Wai is a Maori word means Water, and Pu meaning Song - Water Song. It is an idyllic spot with a long sandy beach stretching along one end, and a discrete cove at the other end. A stream of salty water ambles it's way around the cliff, ducking under the Pohutukawa trees, whose branches tickle the gentle waves. Pohutukawa have a continual love affair with the turbuant waters of the easten oceans of New Zealand. When the tide is out it is great to scramble over the rocks to a private bay of pebbles - their smooth, even shape act to massage your feet in the warmth of the sunshine.
Wikipedia - "Waipu is a small town in Bream Bay, in the Northland Region of New Zealand, with a Scottish heritage. Waipu was the centre of a significant Presbyterian settlement led by Rev. Norman McLeod, a Presbyterian Minister who led his people from the Highlands of Scotland to New Zealand via St. Ann's, Nova Scotia and Australia. Five shiploads of settlers arrived at Waipu in the 1850s. For more details about the original European settlers, see the Rev. Norman McLeod entry.
A highlight of the town's calendar is the annual Highland Games held at New Year."
Check out the links in bold. I won't earn anything, they won't earn anything, but you might earn yourself a little more indepth into the country that is New Zealand.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Not really one for flowers even when in hospital (would prefer people spent their money on something useful) - but it was great to come home to our pot plants flourishing and one bursting with flowers.