The three wise monkeys of Nikko Japan sum it all up. I had them high on my bucket list of what to see in Japan and was lucky to fulfill that wish in 1994. I was leading my first school trip to Japan and with one of my colleagues abandoned the students and other teachers in Tokyo Disneyland and took off to Nikko for the day. We definately had the better deal although the sacred white horse, a gift from New Zealand needed some cheering up in his tiny stable. A good chat in New Zealand accent made him very happy.
A trust everyone reading this haiku and connecting the image can understand my political satire arising from the act of sedition in Washington D.C. yesterday.
I do recommend visiting Nikko if you plan to travel to Japan, (when you can) in the future.
Almost a year ago Jill and I wandered through the beautiful Wellington Botanic Gardens in New Zealand appreciating unusual plants and incredible views when suddenly this sign confronted us. We were aware that whoever introduced Australian Brushtail Possums to New Zealand did not do their homework about the predator food chain and as for rats !! However poison baits in suburbia has dangerous potential. In our journey across the North Island we looked for but rarely saw dogs, certainly not running free but not on leads or in front yards . I hope this sign does not explain darker repercussions.
This is my contribution to the one a week Photo Challenge and this week for number 46 the challenge is LETTER. As the title suggests, I see this sign as an open letter of warning rather than a simple message . For this years 52 weekly challenges planned by Cathy and Sandra visit Cathy’s blog at https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/one-a-week-photo-challenge-2017/
This was the scene looking down at the harbour of Napier on the central East coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Plantation timber is a big export market in New Zealand. These harvested trees came from what was once naturally vegetated landscape, now much of it gone and replaced by monocultures. These milled trees were waiting in orderly piles for a one way trip to some distant Asian processing plant some of them probably returning as paper or cardboard packaging in the future. The same cycle occurs in our South eastern state of Victoria in Australia, the big difference being some of our trees are indigenous. There is a certain stupidity existing in so many elements of todays economically rationalised global economy.
Jill and I were tracking the call of a Tui in The Napier Botanic Gardens in New Zealand when we chanced upon the historical nineteenth century section of the Napier cemetery .Time stood still for us as we slowly wandered amongst the graves beautifully adorned with semi wild flowers and creepers. Reading the headstones in old graveyards is always fascinating and ones imagination can wander with some of the more detailed ones. What tragedy lay behind Caroline’s death? was it an accident? Who wrote this first person epitaph? I took the photo and have re visited the image several times to ponder. There is almost a touch of fictional writing within these words of the last line. And we missed the Tui that time.
On February 3rd 1931 at 10.47 am a violent earthquake struck the east coast Hawkes Bay region on New Zealand’s North Island. There was enormous destruction in the Town of Napier especially throughout the business district. Many buildings were severely damaged or destroyed in the quake however fires that broke out in chemist shops quickly added to the devastation burning through the damaged structures and scorching any standing wooden ones.
The trinity Methodist Church pictured here survived the earthquake and fires and was surrounded by desolation. Some say a miracle occurred that day.
Rotorua in the central North Island of New Zealand is known world-wide for its mud. The healing qualities of this mud were discovered long ago by the original settlers the Maori. When the British began settling across the North Island in the first half of the C19th acquiring land either by treaty or theft they came to Rotorua and also discovered the thermal ponds, the mud ponds and the geysers. Quickly they established health centres using the ponds and mud. However the Maori knew the dangers of these ponds and it took time as Europeans found out tragically one could not simply enter many ponds, they were either too hot or swallowed up people like quicksand. Today the ponds are fenced off or the thermal waters are tapped and bathing is guided. The mud is sold world wide packaged as Rotorua Mud. Jill and I brought some home and as yet I have to try it out, maybe its the miracle I need!
The first Haibun is the Port fairy Lighthouse, unfortunately locked up to prevent the latest dance craze.
Secondly another beautiful sunset over Port Phillip Bay from Ricketts Point with a lone seagull adding its voice to natures art.
Third is the Maori art work and totem at the entrance to the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua New Zealand. We were a bit disappointed by the commercialisation and overcrowding inside the spa. We were in and out as quickly as if visiting a casino and opted for a wander along the foreshore of Lake Rotorua.
This beautiful fountain on Marine Parade in Napier New Zealand was donated by a local businessman Tom Parker. He provided the funds for it to be completed by Christmas 1936 as part of the re-developed park along the foreshore. Tom Parker believed the nightly display of this gushing multi-coloured lit fountain would be a positive experience for the people of Napier as they recovered from the devastating 1931 earthquake. Jill and I visited the gardens and fountain each night we were in Napier and joined so many locals and tourists especially children, who continue to enjoy Tom Parkers gift.
Kea are the pranksters of new Zealand’s bird world. They are notorious amongst trampers, (in Australia we say bushwalkers) for the tricks they get up to, getting into huts and tents and re-arranging items, stealing things or undoing bootlaces etc etc. We saw two of these lovely birds in the Rainbow Springs sanctuary. As we walked through their enclosure one slowly made its way down to Jill’s eye level with intent to do mischief, peering at her shoes. The other one hopped onto the ground and began creeping up behind us.
Have a look at this brief video captured on security camera at the entrance / exit of a road tunnel. The witches hats are for controlling cars, the Kea has kindly helped out because there were no humans to do the work.
Jill took this photo of a mural on the side wall of a gym beside our hotel in Napier, New Zealand. The repeating line says it all with regard to the madness that is economic growth, (the obsession of politicians and multi nationals) around the world today. Time is running out for so many species of birds and other natural life forms but people can still act in many legitimate ways beginning with their vote.
Why is compulsory voting so rare around the world? because it does hold politicians accountable ( what would the recent presidential election results have been in the USA with compulsory voting?) So push for compulsory voting if you don’t have it and then push for sustainable economic growth from your governments or better still just a balanced economy .
Meanwhile back in our yard we continue to plant local indigenous vegetation to lure back our little birds that still hang on as they look for their natural foods. And in Australia we have compulsory voting and that means our current federal government will be accountable for their attacks on our environment.