He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Favourite Photos of Scandrett Regional Park

These photos were taken on our first summer in Auckland (Dec08). Among the regional parks we have been to in New Zealand, I find Scandrett the most beautiful. Once a dairy farm, this farming estate was bought by the NZ govt from its owners, the Scandrett family, and they have turned it into a regional park in 1998. They have maintained the farmhouse and implement houses and the grasslands around it, as well as the sheep that keep the grass grazed low.

This is probably the best pic of a pohutukawa tree I have taken. I know I should have taken more photos of this spectacular tree which blooms only during the Christmas Season (late Nov to Jan). It is truly New Zealand's Christmas tree.

This one is my favourite pic of the pohutukawa tree because the white sheep taking shelter under it completes the red-white-green colour scheme of Christmas. It gives me a really Christmasy feeling. This is a rare pic I would say because the following year (2009), when there was a drought, the grass markedly turned brown the whole summer. It didn't look like this.

A distant view of the tree. More sheep under the tree are visible in this picture.

A water trough for the sheep.

More sheep in this photo. I never could get near enough because they run away if you get near them. Yes, the grass was littered with their poop. :)

Views of the waterfront from Mullet Point.

The water was so still and quiet.

It was the 21st Dec 2008 and there was a church having a picnic that day, it was a Sunday. They even had a band playing Christmas carols, so we stayed around to listen.

This is the view of the Scandrett cove from the top of the hill in Mullet Point, the part of the park where there's a quite-sudden drop to the sea. The building is the farmhouse and the tallest tree, a Norfolk pine tree,  was planted by the original Irish farming family who founded this estate, the Scandrett family. It was a gift to them by a once-Governor of New Zealand (Sir George Grey) who lived in a neighboring island. Actually, Jayne, Jed and Joche didn't want to come along with us for the trek up Mullet Point and they were actually just sitting inside our car (the white one in the middle directly facing the picnickers) waiting for us to finish our walk! Our city-bred kids were still adjusting to the outback, relaxed life-style in NZ. We came to Auckland just over two months that time.

We saw some of these Dotterel chicks on our walk along the beach. But I left my camera in the car when we took that walk so I got this pic from the web. They were newly-hatched and the area was cordoned off for this endangered species.

If you ask me, I think the most beautiful natural place I have ever been to is none other but this place - Scandrett Park. It has a view of the sea on both sides of the hill and it gives you a sense of quiet and peace not found in other places. On the other hand, the most beautiful man-made place I have ever been to, I think, would be Washington DC, USA.

This is a photo of the neighboring hills surrounding the Scandrett estate. The farmhouse is covered by trees and further up the waterline is Snells Beach.

This one is the sign at the entrance of the park at the ridge. You can see both sides of the hill at this point and there's water on both sides. It's so beautiful, almost other-worldly. I think I didn't take a photo of the other side, although it's also a beach, because there are more houses and camper vans on that side which make the view more cluttered than the Scandrett farm side. I wish I can see this place again in my life-time.

This is a view of the Scandrett cove from the ridge where the above entrance sign is located. We crossed the fence and I sat on that grass for a while just to feel what it's like to watch the water, and enjoy the fresh air, and it was really awesome. Like heaven on earth!

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D