Monday, 16 March 2009

An unexpected walk

We set out yesterday to drive through the Manawatu Gorge and explore the other side. We got as far as Ashhurst and the car started making funny noises. Things didn't seem as though they were going to turn out very well when we opened the bonnet and there was some smoke/steam - not a great sign. Needless to say it doesn't put you in a very good mood and a few choice words were aimed at all and sundry!

Fortunately for us we had pulled into the parking area just by Ashhurst Domain so I thought we could all do with getting out for a walk and cooling off. I'm very glad we did. There was a track lined with eucalyptus trees. I love the scent from the leaves and Maia was amazed that you could just bend the leaf in half and such a beautiful smell would come out. I also love the way their bark strips off revealing the pure trunk behind it. Now if only I could think of something to do with all the bark strippings that were on the floor!

There was quite a chilly wind blowing but in the sun was glorious. These little fellas thought so too!

We don't get cicadas in England so I'm entranced by them. I only recently saw one as close as this and the colours on them are amazing. I can't believe how much noise just one of these creatures can make. The girls, of course, find them fascinating but want to prod and poke them - what is it about little ones little fingers?!!!!
Then we came across this lookout. The wetland area was awash with pukekos, which I think are amazing. I remember when I first saw one I thought they were so cute and the name is great. They have blue feathers with a white dash underneath their tail and bright red beak and legs. I guess you could say they are a bigger, different colour version of a moorhen! - although I don't think they are the same family. The mountains on the left are the Ruahines and on the right are the Tararuas - the Manawatu Gorge runs through them. On both sides there are wind farms. If you look really closely you can see the windmills on the left! My girls are fascinated by them and so am I. I think there is some majestic beauty in them standing tall on the mountain ridges. The fact they can provide electricity from a renewable, 'free' source is just awesome. Apparently you can get close to them up another road so will have to explore further.

And you can't go on a walk like that without bringing something home. 4 beautiful big pine cones still attached to the branch!

Aren't the colours wonderful?

And the car? When we got bak we were able to check everything in the engine and it looked as though the coolant levels and power steering fluid levels were low. We hadn't checked them recently but it had just had a service so you don't think you have to! Lesson learnt there. Luckily there was a garage in Ashhurst with someone who knows about cards working. Topped everything up and made it home. Fingers crossed we've figured out the problem! x


Claire said...

WOW! What stunning scenery, and I just love wind turbines, I can't understand all these people who don't want them in their area. Those pine cones a great, especially that close up one, would make a great Christmas card!

Jacoline (Lien) said...

Great pictures. Have you ever been to the herbfarm ? It is great!!