Monday, September 27, 2010

A Deed of Recognition, from the Crown for a taonga [treasure of Ngai Tahu]

"Hikurangi and Manawapopore [upper and lower Mavora Lakes] are an integral part of a network of trails which were used by Ngai Tahu in order to ensure safe journeys. Activities along the way including camping overnight and gathering kai [food].

The trails were part of summer-time pursuits such as kai-hau-kai, whanaungatanga [the renewal and strengthening of family links] and arranging marriages with hapu from the neighboring area of Otago and further afield. Such strategic marriages strengthened the kupenga [net] of whakapapa [genealogy].

The mauri [life force] of the two lakes represents the essence that binds the physical and spiritual elements of all things together, generating and upholding life.

All elements of the natural environment possess a life force, and all forms of life are related. Mauri is a critical element of the spiritual relationship of Ngai Tahu Whanui with this area."
Copied two days ago from a Dept. of Conservation sign in the area

Lower Mavora Lake...

Craig and Nic construct a new Dept. of Conservation swing bridge by the mouth of the Lower Mavora Lake...

Lower Mavora Lake...
My first visit to this area was several years ago with my son Dougal [aged 9 years at the time]. It was our first significant holiday post separation/divorce, and I somehow knew some significant insights would come our way if we checked out this place known more to Southland locals than tourists.

Lower Mavora Lake...
We arrived in the dark, erected the tent and in the morning woke to snow on the ground. By the time we were the 30 Kms back on the main road the next morning much had been learnt with few words - in fact none except the usual to facilitate what needed doing. I had the sense the place had bought us both a much needed equanimity.

Beech Forest by the Lower Mavora Lake...
A few years later I returned, alone this time with a problem: I'd been asked to express some ideas on our friend Riley's education and where he should live, given his mum's pending return to homeland Canada. He had his dad there and yet had bonded very significantly with my son's friends at school in Wanaka. Through his association with Dougal and myself over the years I'd inadvertently become a significant other male figure in his life - a privilege I might add!

Lower Mavora Lake...
So in Nov. 2007 I found myself back at Mavora Lakes, and in the dark parked up by the water's edge in my camper truck, well up the upper lake away from the usual camping areas. At the edge of the water and the beech forest I settled down to making some decisions while cooking tea to the melody of water lapping the shore and the sigh of wind in the forest: basically arriving with giving advice consistent with the needs of a teenage boy, that would see him much less in our lives and back in Canada near his dad for 2008 and onwards.

Night time snowstorm, Upper Mavora Lake...
The next morning, after negotiating a 4wd track back at the normal camping area I saw a new DOC sign, the contents of which I've quoted to begin this post, and I stopped to read it.

Upper Mavora Lake...
I was simply stunned to learn the Maori locals of old had used this place for similar purposes to my own, and most of all that I'd been drawn to the place. You could say "called" if you like, to the energy of "renewal and strengthening of family links"! On this trip I was also en-route to a family reunion day in Invercargill!

Lower Mavora Lake...mavora-9.jpg

Night time snowstorm, Upper Mavora Lake...

The above selection of landscape photos of the area were all taken over the last 2-3 days on a road trip through Northern Southland to Invercargill, to visit my friends Roger and Kara in Invercargill.

I always make the time now, in light of the above, to be kind to myself and gather in the essence of this special place whenever possible.

... on this visit determined to make photos expressing what calls me here, or for other purposes?!
PS: A couple of hours after posting the above one of my distant relations I hardly ever hear from rang me up requesting family genealogy details for an update of a family book, and lo there is another family reunion coming up in Southland in Jan. 2011! And the connection to myself: in the generation preceding my grandmother Elizabeth Harris, three Soper family brothers married three Harris family sisters. Both are very well known and large family names in Southland. The Sopers once fielding a complete rugby team

The distant relation who rang me up, well her mum's name is Mavora. She is my late dad's cousin, and was born at Lake Mavora!

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Storms, ski tours, blogging and micro blogging

It's been quite a week and somehow underscored by the huge weather system that developed in the Tasman Sea and moved relentlessly eastwardsover us all in New Zealand, bringing extreme weather to many areas.

Friday evening seemed to present the most dramatic aspects of this weather system so I went for a walk with my camera in what used to be known as the Penrith Camping Ground area...

From the same spot swinging the camera north towards the Maungawera Valley area...towards-maungawea.jpg

The weather pattern of late seems to mean every mid week it's nice weather for a few days, [and new snow], so fortunately I've been able to take some time off to get in some more cross country skiing.

Looking up into the head of the Roaring Meg - Pisa Range on the right...

I really like the twisting nature of this river - summer or winter it fascinates me...

Looking downstream towards The Remarkables, that overlook Queenstown...

Lastly out on the right I've made a few changes to this page: some of my blogger friends listed have some pretty good links to the blogs of others, so I've not attempted to have a huge list, but just mention they're well worth some time.

I started this blog as a work related experiment, but surprisingly I found quite quickly that it's fun to do regular posts, and out of these I feel blest to have made a few new friends.

Now as an extension of this I am going to try posting more to the micro blogging service Twitter, while still maintaining this blog. Twitter in turn posts into what I guess you'd call a "mid blog", in this case FaceBook [I'm simply Donald Lousley, if you wish to "friend" me]. This is all in relation to my realising that Google is no longer where people go to solely to find out information - they ask their social networking friends instead, and they in turn can reach out. It's pretty amazing and powerful stuff.

I've often lurked in Twitter reaping some amazing information over the last 2-3 years [the quality depends on who you follow], and in turn due to prompting by family and others I've tried FaceBook and been very impressed with the potential [but under whelmed by the user interface, and privacy issues/risk]. So along with a link to the work side of my life, I've spent sometime today making links between all, but it's work in progress you could say! I hope you find them useful, and of course please comment if you feel inclined.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spring ski touring at the Snow Farm

A few photos below of one of the classic ski tours at the Snow Farm we did on Wed. If the snow is good quality it's one of those trips where you hardly notice the mileage, but in spring it's more of a mission - in fact the snow was icy and trippy initially then slushy, then started freezing again. All quite technical on skis akin to match sticks.

Meadow Hut - it used to be called Meadow Warming Hut, but these days we're either faster, warmer, or the climate really is warmer..

Same hut, and photographed from a different perspective, but in summer...

Well into the tour...

Late lunch with Vicky and Robyn at Bob Lee Hut...

This view is one I really like. The distinctive cloud base started forming at about noon and by 5 pm was pretty much gone. The middle foreground is the Criffel Range - the scene of the highest altitude old gold workings in NZ [lack of water except in spring would have hampered work on this old peneplain]. On the extreme left is Lake Wanaka, and Lake Hawea is just right of mid center...

Looking in the opposite direction toward Mt Pisa...

The trip back alongside the Roaring Meg - an area I so love especially at this time of year...

On closing what amazing stories are coming out of Christchurch. The community spirit makes me proud to be a New Zealander!

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Moody walks and a big shake up

What with a spring weather pattern emerging I've been of a mind to make some landscape photos that have obliging rays of sunlight filtering through the ever pervasive clouds racing by, and alighting on my chosen foreground. For some odd reason mid week I tended to think this might happen at nearby Glendhu Bay, and on the new walkway.

This was as close to obliging light that I got to see, but I did enjoy sitting and waiting in a gentle rain under nearby Kanuka trees, accompanied by much bellbird song...glendhu-bay-walkway.jpg

The walk back was nice and moody, and I was joyfully surprised to briefly sense two Kereru native wood pigeons fly over me. They seem rare in the Wanaka area..

Back again two evenings later the light was even less, so I played around with looking at rocks...

Which brings to mind the awesome and devastating earthquake that hit Christchurch yesterday morning.
As blogger friend and seasoned Red Cross professional Bob McKerrow put it: "Yes, it is so good to read that no one died. With a name like CHRISTCHURCH, maybe someone was looking over the city?"

I don't think anyone can satisfactorily explain otherwise the fact that no one has died amid such devastation. There are just so many amazing images now on the web, that it takes an age to look at them all.

You can see Bob's excellent overview here>>

... and as of Mon. 6 Sept. here>>

Also friends Gregor and Heather may have lost their house, the damage is so bad here>>

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