Sunday, May 22, 2011

Moon Balloons !

Full moon over Aotearoa (NZ) this week, an amazing yellow globe that shone all night, lightening up my bathroom in the early hours ! My lovely cousin in Christchurch reminded me that the 2 major earhquakes they had, in Sept and Feb, happened at full moon times - I can understand how scary full moons are to those traumatized . .
On a misty morning during the week, I walked out my door and was greeted by this beautiful sight ! The hot air balloons are usually up and well away by this time of the morning, but it was a foggy start, so typical of Hamilton winters, so it was about 11.00am. I do have a dream of going up in one of these floating baskets, it is quite expensive, but will do before I get to old !

 They got so close we could wave !! We have a balloon festival here each April with many coming from overseas - if the weather is fine it is a fantastic time - balloons landing in school grounds and parks, even the odd street !

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Aotearoa (NZ) Autumn and Christchurch . . .

The colour of autumn is abundant here in Aotearoa - dried, brilliantly coloured leaves are falling to the ground, making a carpet of stunning reds,purple, orange and gold.
Red maple or Acer rubra is one of the first maples here to loose leaves - all shades of red, the first to bud in the spring. Like many exotic trees from the northern hemisphere, maples thrive in our temperate climate, adding their bright colours to our many hues of green that our native trees display.
The pics below I took in Christchurch last weekend - it was quite painful to see this beaitiful city so broken . . . Having experienced 2 large earthquakes and many large aftershocks since last Sept, this city known as the `garden city` is like a 3rd world country war zone in places.
Signs like this abound all through the badly damaged areas, including the CBD - it is truly heart-breaking to see so many beautiful old buildings fallen, rubble everywhere - just the sounds of demolition and birds. I can`t see the city rebuilding in this place - CHCH was originaly build on marsh land, this very evident after the shocks, with the dreaded liquifaction, a nasty smelling grey, gritty substance bubbling up from underground, spreading through the street and homes.
One example of an old building with the walls being braced, saw many with all the bricks lying in piles - it took many weeks to get power and water back on to thousands of people - very hard for us to comprehend.
A row of shops and the Catholic cathedral, just a small portion of buildings to be completely demolished  - very sad to witness. .

The people of CHCH seem resiliant, but I know many are very anxious with all the after shocks still happening - I felt a decent 4. something shock while in Lyttelton - rocked the building I was in.There is such a huge amount of work still to do, it may take years - also costly ! I am sure this lovely city will rise up out of the bricks with a totally different look . .