Tag Archives: Pōhutukawas

Sunday Smiles: Knackered by a volcano

Sunday SmilesSo here we are heading into the second week of December, and I’m not entirely sure how that happened – in keeping with the rest of 2012, December seems to be flying by.  And yet it feels like I wrote my last Sunday Smiles post seems an age ago.  I think part of the problem is that I’m utterly knackered this evening and actually struggling to keep my eyes open whilst I type this post (but I’m still forcing myself to do it, otherwise I’ll end up skipping Sunday Smiles on a regular basis, which somewhat defeats the point).

So I’m going to keep it short, and we’re going to head right in to this week’s Sunday Smiles:

  • You know what’s great?  When a teabag makes you smile (minds out of the gutter people).  This week, my camomile tea asked me how I was doing.  Or more specifically: “‘Sup brew?”  As groan-worthy as it may be, it actually made me laugh.

Don't judge me for my terrible sense of humour…

  • The hands-down most exciting thing to happen this week was my mum’s arrival in NZ on Friday.  I haven’t seen her (Skype doesn’t count) since I moved to NZ in February, and she’s here to visit me for three weeks.  Even whilst I was waiting for her at the airport I couldn’t quite believe she was actually finally arriving.  Anyway, this was definitely the highlight of my week and probably explains why last Sunday seems more than a week ago.
  • Today we went on a little expedition to Rangitoto Island, Auckland’s most recent volcano (recent as in 600 or so years ago).  The island is made entirely of volcanic rock, but surprisingly has around 200 species of native plants growing on it, many of them apparently quite rare (I’m very much not a botanist, so I’ll believe the guide books on this one).  Anyway, we climbed to the summit, were treated to some truly stunning views, acquired some super-hot backpack tan lines and ended up thoroughly knackered by the time we got home.  If there are any grammar or spelling errors in this post, or if it quite simply doesn’t make sense, then that’ll be why.  I also haven’t had time to upload all the photos from my camera to my laptop yet, so you’ll have to make to with this particular offering from my phone:

Can you spot the Sky Tower?

  • Rangitoto is also home to the world’s largest pōhutukawa forest, and the pōhutukawas are starting to bloom in earnest.  Since the flowers are red and most abundant around Christmas time, the pōhutukawa is nicknamed the New Zealand Christmas tree, and trees in full bloom really are stunning, particularly in contrast to the black volcanic rock of Rangitoto and the impossibly blue sky and turquoise sea that we were treated to today.

Volcanic rocks, flowering pōhutukawas and beautiful sky – welcome to NZ (on a sunny day in December)

  • And finally, I just love pōhutukawas so much that I’m going to leave you with a close-up of the flowers, which are actually made up of a whole bunch of stamens.  I’m sure that these won’t be the last pōhutukawas to feature in Sunday Smiles

Close-up time!

What made you smile this week?

7 Comments

Filed under Sunday Smiles