Friday, 16 March 2018



This afternoon we went for a wander with the dogs into the local bush. This is sooo good for the soul. In Japan it is called shinrin-yoku (Forest Bathing). Here is a link if you want to read more -…/health-benefits-japanese-forest-bathing/

Stopping to photograph, especially on a calm day, has many benefits. You start to see and not glance. Instead of looking at your footing you look around. You start to hear more. Native birds start to come by and the songs are stunning.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/6.3, 1/2sec, 100mm, IO-100

I love the comparisons of old and new life. It does remind me how short I have on this planet. The circle of life from being born to fading and dying away. Its a stark reminder of how fragile our lives are and that we must not take them for granted. These leaves are Mahoe and as they slowly decay the bones ie veins of the leaf are the last to be composted back into the earth.

 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/2.8, 1/13sec, 100mm, IO-100

The crossing of paths between dying and healthy growth. Here I discovered a naturally fallen Mahoe leaf had fallen onto these beautiful lush ferns.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/3.2, 1/125sec, 100mm, IO-800

Our lives are precious and loving the people you know best is important. Don't take them for granted and always make an effort to listen and spend time. It is a beautiful life we have and a gift.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/4, 1/40sec, 100mm, IO-800

The Mahoe tree. Melicytus ramiflorus 

The Maori made his fire by friction, and used te hika ahi, the fire plough, to get his fire.two pieces of wood which had been thoroughly dried were used. One , the kauahi, or lower stick, a piece of Mahoe (Melicytus ramiflorus), was generally 14 to 18 inches long, 2 or 3 inches wide, and 1 to 2 inches thick. This was very soft wood, and the stick could be used on both sides. Pate (Schifflera digitata) was sometimes used as a kauahi, but Mahoe was much preferred.the other piece of wood used was te hika, the rubbing stick, made from Kaikomako, (Pennantia corymbosa), a very hard compact and durable wood. The stick was scraped down with tuhua (obsidian) or shell, to a rounded point or end.
Te Hika also means “generating stick”, and a man and woman would both take part in generating fire, as both took part in the generation of children. The kauahi or lower stick was kept in position by the woman, while the man worked on the hika, or the generating stick. A small log is placed on the ground, with the lower stick against it. The lower end of the kauahi is held firmly in position by the woman, who stands with her feet on it, and the man kneels at the other end, which is raised up 5 or 6 inches from the ground. He holds te hika firmly, with his thumbs underneath, and his fingers placed flat on the outer part, with his right hand passing over his left. He begins rubbing the lower stick until a groove is formed about 5 inches long. The rubbing is slow at first, then a little quicker, with heavier pressure, until a hollow, a1/4 to1/2 inch deep, is formed, and a minute heap of dust begins to collect at the lower end of the groove. When plenty of dust has been made, the man uses te hika again, working it back and forwards more vigorously and with greater pressure, and the hollow gets hotter. He knows by the smell when the fire will come. The hollow gets darker, and from the heap of dust comes a little smoke, then a little bright spec in the middle.” A kua ka tea hi” the fire has come to life.
Makareti Maggie Papakura: The old time Maori  1938
Andy Thompson

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