Saturday, May 31, 2014

Downtown Palmy

It's a long weekend here in NZ, and it seems like we are to have sunshine for all three days of it here in Palmerston North. I decided to have a 'lazy day', and just take a wander downtown. Here are a few photos taken along the route...

The Emmanuel church seems to have a congregation made up mainly of Pacific Islanders. I am quite intrigued by various details on the building front, including this glass cross that becomes more visible once nearby trees lose their leaves for winter.

 There's been a makeover on the front of a local optometrist's building. Quite eye-catching.

 As I walked past St Pat's Cathedral, it was the shadow cast by this tree that caught my eye.

 Cafes are found downtown in all sorts of odd buildings, this one a former garage. Really, I haven't been in many of them, so maybe it is time to visit a few.

I have visited this cafe for a meal, on an enjoyable staff night out.

 Paul Dibble's Pacific Monarch guards the entrance to the art part of Te Manawa.

 And looking back away from Te Manawa the sun, low in the sky as we leave autumn for winter, shone beautifully through trees with the last of their autumn leaves.

 I have mixed feelings about these coloured banners in the Square, but there is no doubt they add brightness.
This series of city drain-covers with depictions of native fauna and flora always catch my eye. They are a special feature is the city infrastructure where art meets utility. Now I find I search out drain-covers when I travel...

 There are so many points of interest in the Square, and I always love seeing the sculptures around the Marae area in different lights. How unfortunate that nearby we now have an ugly 'temporary' bus terminal /parking area smack bang in the middle of the Square- that surely detracts from the pedestrian-friendly nature of the rest of it.

This grove of cabbage trees frames All Saints in the background- an Anglican church that is presently closed while earthquake safety concerns are thought about. (Presently it only meets 3% of the earthquake code, and it is the kind of brick church building that collapsed in Christchurch.)

 The City Council building provides a 'mirror', reflecting tourists taking photos of each other around the Butterfly lakelets.

 Against blue skies, this white statue of Te Peeti Te Awe Awe always stands out beautfully.

Finally I reached the main shopping mall, that has taken over and left much of the rest of the CBD shopping dead. Sad. I only bought a key there from the locksmith inside, and quickly left for the sunshine outside again. But despite my feelings about shopping there, I like seeing the contrasts in its frontage.

And that was it- my pottering downtown was over. But two more days remain in this weekend. Maybe it will be a beach walk tomorrow...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Overnight in Raetihi

Last weekend was a time of celebration for my youngest sister, who was having her '2nd 25th' birthday. I drove north to Raetihi to mark the occasion. Sunny, calm weather delighted us.

As I arrived in Waiouru, I was greeted by the sight of Ruapehu covered with quite a large coating of snow. It has seemed so warm at home for so much of May that this quite took me by surprise.
I knew very little about Raetihi, and as I arrived there from Ohakune, I was surprised by this Ratana church on a hill- in quite a dramatic position.
I had been told the party was a 'bbq', so had thankfully packed what had appeared to be excessive 'layers'. After some special home made pâté on French bread indoors, we headed outside into the dark, to sit on chairs around a warming brazier, with candles lighting the dark. I used all my 'superfluous' layers of clothing!
We sat under the stars while various kebab concoctions cooked, and later the moon rose as we ate. Meanwhile mist was hovering about the grass. It felt cold, and we could tell frost was arriving!

Sure enough, next morning dawned with a frost- and it was time for a walk outside to enjoy it.
My new car certainly had its baptism of frost!

We were staying on a rural edge of Raetihi, and I wandered off down George St with camera in hand. All along the way, autumn trees and leaves were lit by the morning sunlight, and all was peaceful and beautiful.

Even the local cemetery looked beautiful in the autumnal sunlit frost.

The moon still hung large in the clear sky.
There were icy autumn leaves fallen in many places, just to please the photographer's wish for a slow gentle walk...

And there were fungi beside the path.

As the sun rose, the air temperature felt quite warm, but with frost still on the ground, I imagine these sheep were glad of their thick woollen coats.

Before long I was back 'home' for breakfast. But signs of the event the night before still lay around...

Congratulations to my littlest sis on the splendid occasion of your 50th- ooops I mean 2nd 25th!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Autumn in the Esplanade

It was very autumnal in the Esplanade: took a quick walk there after the AquaZumba class in the Lido next door. There was only a glimmer of sunshine, but it still looked magnificent. Here are a few photos to give you a taste.

The sun is out now, and part of me wants to go back there to get more photos in the sunlight. But the other part of me wants to have a lazy Sunday afternoon for the end of the school holidays...

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Home again

Back home again, with a little bit of time for walking before work calls again...
It was a glorious day to step it out along the Turitea Walkway.