Local Heart, Global Soul

June 2, 2018

Kōwhai, Another Amazing Mural…

Filed under: ART,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another mural in the Wellington area is of one of New Zealand’s most beautiful flowers, the Kōwhai.

I think it’s a huge pity that the painters of this piece did not use the actual colour of the famous flower: a brilliant bright yellow gold instead of the sombre black they decided on for these walls.

If you are unfamiliar with the Kōwhai I strongly suggest you Google it because it is a stunning plant.

Our visits have always been out of season so sadly I have no photographs of my own to show you.

The Kōwhai in the garden of my parents’ house in Christchurch would have its branches bent almost to the ground under the weight of its blooms around the month of August.

It’s a flower that is both insect and bird friendly and a special favourite of the New Zealand Fantails and Bellbirds, the song of both we heard often through open windows or when outside.

The Scarlet Cianthus, is called Kōwhai-ngutu-kaka, or “Parrot’s beak,” by Maori due to the shape of its rich flowers, but does not carry any special association in their folklore.

One traditional Maori explanation for the Kōwhai’s singular habit of flowering on bare and leafless branches goes:
“On the shore of one of a lake, sat a young Maori man and a woman, the beautiful Kotiro. He sought her for his wife, but the maid laughed and said she’d see; she would wait until her suitor—who was an Ariki of high rank, performed some great and deed before she would become his wife. She would wed none but a famous man, a man whose exploits no one could outdo. The lover accepted the challenge. “You shall see what I can do,” he said, He turned to the tree under which they were sitting. It was a Kōwhai. It was August. The tree was quite bare of both flower and leaf.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“I shall cause this tree to spring into flower before your eyes.”

He put forth the command taught him by wise men. And, all in a moment, a miracle! The tree burst forth into a blaze of blossom.

All its naked boughs were covered in a breath with golden hanging flowers. The amazed girl saw, and was smitten.

Ever since that day, says the Maori, the Kōwhai has flowered on leafless branches, a sign and a reminder of the ancient miracle.

Wikipedia also tells us:
“The Kōwhai is a native tree and the national flower of New Zealand.

Several of the seven varieties reach a height of up to 25 metres (82 feet), the smaller varieties to around 10 metres (33 feet).

Traditionally Kōwhai trees and flowers were used by Māori in making yellow dye, the bark to treat bruising, muscular pains and other injuries.”

Apparently too: “If someone was bitten by a seal, an infusion (wai kōwhai) was prepared from kōwhai and applied to the wounds and the patient was said to recover within days”. (yep, I’ll be sure to remember that if I’m ever bitten by a seal).

The hard yellow seeds are poisonous to humans, but the flowers are a guaranteed way to attract native birds into your New Zealand garden, Kōwhai necter being a bird favourite. The peculiarity of this loveliest of our small flowering trees is the fact that it produces its blossoms before the leaves. The flower also makes an appearance on local artwork, in folktales, and it’s featured on postage stamps, as well as the country’s old two-cent coin.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Golden Kowhai – A Folk Tale of the Maori // James Cowan
http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Gov03_07Rail-t1-body-d12.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kōwhai
Wikipedia / Kōwhai Tree and Flower / National Flower / New Zealand

May 31, 2018

Don’t Ruin Land, Sky Or Sea…

Filed under: ART,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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This next Wellington mural perplexed me at first because we sped by in the car and it wasn’t at first obvious what was being depicted here. Later, on the computer I see that there is a text in the top right corner that says “New Zealand, worth loving’ and that there is something behind the dolphin. That “something” is a large ship, container or oil freighter size of ship, and that scene shows one of the propeller blades cutting a dolphin clean in two. It’s a gruesome reminder that the ships that deliver the conveniences of our modern life also have a detrimental impact on the inhabitants of the oceans they cross. I can only hope that a more environmentally friendly method of future transport can be found, one that doesn’t ruin land, sky or sea.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 26, 2018

The Funniest Fish Faces…

Filed under: ART,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Directly next to the “hippopotamus” building of my yesterday’s post, we find this adventurous mural. It’s huge… the fish swim in a large school that covers the entire length of the building. Traffic behind us meant that pulling over wasn’t really an option, and the rain was getting harder. I had to compete with the windscreen wipers for space to see out of the windscreen: this is one funny mural, someone with an excellent sense of humor painted these fish. Wellington, New Zealand is excelling itself with beautiful murals and the decorative arts…Kudos!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 25, 2018

Let’s Put A …WHAT? On The Roof!

Filed under: ART,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Visiting Wellington New Zealand in the summer rain is not the easiest of sight-seeing tours. (“Just more buildings Mam?”) Luckily we are having a small run of fun and whimsical sights to relieve the kid’s boredom. This one is a golden hippopotamus on the roof of the ground floor verandah. As you do.
I think it’s fun… and I’m adding it to my list of quirky, whimsical sights that brighten up my day.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 24, 2018

Bright, Humorous And Quirky!

Filed under: ART,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Having visited the excellent Brickworld LEGO exhibition in Te Papa, rain or no rain, Family Kiwidutch decide to take a small look around Wellington City. We don’t have to drive far before we see this mural. As a “collector” of these kind of images, I quickly tried to get a decent close-up. This mural is bright, humorous and quirky… right up my street!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 2, 2017

The First Part Of Their Wish Was Practical…

For someone who lives in a city so close to the sea, it’s a shame that I am not such a huge fan of it. Given the choice I would take a mountain holiday over a seaside one any day, doubly so in the time after my accident. Yes, wheelchairs and crutches are not compatible with mountains either and I do miss hiking, but sand is the most inconvenient medium for my new modes of transport bar none so I avoid it like the plague. We spent most of this summer at home, so when my kids united in a wish for a family day out at the beach, secretly my heart sank. They were practical with their wish however and the first part of our afternoon out was simple; drive to Scheveningen.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

p.s. Long term readers may remember that I have posted photographs of this lighthouse before (March 2015;  Shining A Light On Buildings Bare…  ), however, back then the paintwork was old and it has been recently been repainted giving it a far more dramatic effect.

January 12, 2017

Photographs Do Not Do Justice To Ward…

Filed under: ART,Kaikoura & Region,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Three years ago, whilst heading south on State Highway One in the South Island of New Zealand, we stopped in the mega tiny town of Ward.

I’m not certain what the current state of the town is after the November 2016 earthquakes in the region that have closed the road closer to Kaikoura, but we loved our stop here.

The staff were super friendly, the food was very good, the ambience in general could be summed up as “homely”.

There was a mural on the wall of another building close by: it was only later that I realised that there was probably an explanation in the text next to it, sadly I didn’t get a photograph of it before I realised.

Ward is a beautiful little place, my over exposed photographs from my damaged camera doesn’t do the place justice by any stretch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 25, 2016

Since 1570 The City Evolved And Grew…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I am often busy with hospital  appointments.

Since various specialists are dotted around the region, I have unwittingly found myself patient in more than half a dozen hospitals.

One of these is near the center of The Hague and is called “Ziekenhuis HMC Westeinde’, and it’s just outside of the car park of this hospital that I found an unexpected gem.

On the end wall of a building located on the corner of Lange Lombardstraat and Korte Lombardstraat is a beautiful mural.

The text at the bottom of the map tells me that this is a map from 1570, and from my knowledge of the city I can see that the location of the current map translates roughly to the spot near the middle “orchard” looking drawing in the bottom left hand corner that I then marked with an arrow.

At first I thought that the buildings above the arrow that form a nice square and  produce the courtyard of which has a sort of “x” inside it, could be a representation of the Hofje van Nieuwkoop, which still stands today.

Upon checking the dates it became apparent that the Hofje van Nieuwkoop was built at least one hundred years after 1570, so the map here does not show that. The spot that I marked with a red arrow is therefore just a rough estimation of where I was standing when I took these photographs, many, many buildings and streets have been added in the intervening almost four hundred and fifty years. Many prominent features, locations and buildings are still recognizable but the image in the map represents The Hague a world away. Cities of course evolve, grow and take on many different forms as centuries come and go. My city is no different.  I adore local art like this, and can only hope that more people appreciate it as much as I do.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

September 5, 2016

A Peaceful Car Journey, An Excellent Way To Start The Day…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer we lost our little guest halfway through our German holiday because her Grandparents were camping just over the Dutch border and picked her up from where we were near Stadtkyll so that she could spend some time with them before she had to go back to school.

Like all parents we knew that once the extra “peacekeeper-child” was gone, we would have to do more to keep our kids from trying to ignite World War Three as their new favourite pastime, with Himself and I having to referee in the role as the UN and possibly the Red Cross.

This meant looking for a nice place to visit further afield.

Out came the maps and brochures and after a small consultation (between Himself and myself only: getting two people to agree on something is far easier than four, especially squabbling kids who would purposely not agree with one another just for spite) we decided that we would head south to Trier. Along the way we saw a various arrangement of vehicles (this generally means an exited scream from the back of the car “Porsche!”, “Alfa Romeo!”… and a whole range of other brand names and series numbers that only display my ignorance of all things automobile.

I managed to photograph the iron cattle sculptures that decorated a large roundabout, a coup, we had been past this twice before on our local sightseeing forays and my previous pics where fuzzy lop-sided unuseable efforts. I saw a large tree heaving under the weight of clusters of red berries (the road beneath it looked like a crime scene before clean up).

We saw a large mural featuring cats, dogs, horses and their owners, done in only orange and brown on a white background, but a graphic masterpiece in style and composition.Maybe it was a veterinary practice, or an animal rescue center? The kids laughed because the number plate of one of the cars in front of us spelled “tram”, I got a photo of the glare that hit us on some stretches of the journey (not complaining though, this was a VERY welcome fabulous day after all the rain this holiday!) .The kids spotted that the con trails of three planes above us made a neat star, or asterisk, and all in all it was a peaceful car journey, an excellent way to start the day!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

More solar panels… YES!!!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 4, 2016

The Pleasant Surprises Keep Coming…

Visiting the Rijksmuseum and heading towards where the “Nightwatch” is located, visitors are first stunned by the expace of stained glass before them. Then they slowy become aware that the wall to their left is full of painted images. Again I had a low viewpoint sitting in the wheelchair, and my zoom lens simply could not do these pieces justice. There are also tiled panels in the floor depicting the seasons, ” Winter” and  “Herfst” (Autumn) are at this end of this large landing, Summer and Spring must be in the far corner. I mean to get back to these paintings and tiles later but there was so much to see I didn’t  manage it on this occasion. I’ve added this wall to my ” want to return to” list for the future, and managed to get these shots before my friends wheeled me away…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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