Sunday, 1 June 2008


I drove into town this morning to get the Sunday paper and a couple of treats from the bakery for Mum & TWJ. It looked as though everyone, including dogs and babies, were out walking, running, cycling, - on the road, on the beach, boating, fishing, we all wanted to be outside. I decided not to go to Church as I had overdone things a little yesterday and I very much wanted to go for a walk with my camera. Can't remember who did that .... was it Cammy & the tortoise, .... no it was fellow Kiwi, Hippygal ?

A few minutes after mid-day, with the tide coming in and patchy cloud in blue sky I hit the beach and this is how it was here. Let me apologise for the standard of the photography I've been told that the horizon should not tilt and a few other things but I'm no whizz photographer ..... the subjects are the wonder.

Natural art abounds on the beach. The random offerings of washed up bits & pieces make their own statement.

The southern rocky point of our little beach, Wharekaho Bay, (which is part of the larger Mercury Bay), where the sand is soft and every step takes double the energy.

This group, possibly a family get together, had Surfcasting rods set out but seemed to be more concerned with catching up with each other than what was happening to their rods.

Sea birds abound. Here a few take advantage of a fresh water swim in the southern end stream.
The memory of one seagull has had me chuckling all day. I wish I'd been quicker with the camera. On the edge of the sea large gull stood on the crown of a sandcastle made by a child sometime earlier. A wave ran up the beach and around the castle washing right over the seagull's feet. The gull looked down with surprise as though it had never known the sea to come in like that before. As the sandcastle slowly collapsed the gull flew off in a huff.

Another family enjoying the beach, complete with little black dog, digging and fishing gear.

Out of the soft sand that tests your ankles as well as your fitness.

Most of the houses along this part of the beach were built between 1980s & 90s. Land values are around the 2 million dollar mark for a beach side section ... take your pick whether you chose NZ or US$. Houses vary from the modest summer holiday 'bach' to the more elaborate like the one we call the 'wedding cake.'

in 1769 Captain Cook found safe harbour in Mercury Bay where he made mention of the trees in the right of this photo.

The tree is a Pohutakawa, NZ's Christmas tree. They usually bloom with an abundance of crimson flowers late November to early January. Many coastal areas are lined with these trees and make a spectacular sight especially around the Coromandel Peninsula. We even have a festival in December called after the tree. The fest particularly highlights Arts, Crafts and Restaurants, a test run for the summer season when our population increases by tens of thousands.

Most of the houses in this photo and above were built in the 1950s & 70s. The old original summer holiday 'bach' has in some instances been altered or even replaced. Mum's house is one of those replaced and can be seen above left with a norfolk pine standing tall above the grey roof.
NB I have not made a spelling mistake. We use English spelling & grammer most of the time.

Wharekaho Bay from the northern end. The beach is probably only a km or about half a mile long.

Ordinarily there is a strip of very fine black sand between the grass and the sand coloured sand. Recent stormy seas have messed up the beach dragging black sand all over the place and leaving untidy deposits of seaweed. This will look quite different after a few more days of calm weather.

Neighbours in Kayaks and another getting the dinghy ready for fishing. I did try to catch up with the kayaks when I saw they were coming into beach but they were too fast for me.

The last mark on the sand as I turned up to our house.
Ate lunch, showered & dressed for work.
Today I have walked aproximately 7-8000 steps on the beach.
Breakfast, Smoothie; Lunch, soupy casserole, persimmon; Dinner, cold beef & lettuce leaves, Snacks, LF cheese, cottage cheese & celery, diet ginger beer. I walked away from the fudge sqaure I'd bought TWJ and I've drunk a good 2 lt of herbal teas and water.
The ketostix shows positive.
None of this would be happening without the challenges I've found here. I've tried challenges in the past but not until this year have they begun to work. Either I'm a very slow learner or something has 'clicked.' It doesn't matter which as long as the good results keep coming.
It has taken me hours to set up the photos. TWJ is snoring beside me so time I was off to Noddy Land too.
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