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Gail's Quilting Blog

Travel

Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Adventure

Gentoo Penguin

Gentoo Penguin


With the afternoon free, I opted for a visit to Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World which was a dream of Mr Tarlton, created in the abandoned sewers of old Auckland. Here, they have two species of penguin on display, Gentoo and King. The Gentoo Penguin shown in the foreground here, might be found on the Subantarctic Islands of southernmost New Zealand. Oh, how I would love to be able to visit these one day and see the penguins in the wild.

Parent and baby King Penguins

Parent and baby King Penguins


Kelly Tarlton’s has a breeding population of King Penguins. The parents and their young a isolated from the other birds to prevent aggression. King penguins breed on seven sub-Antarctic island groups with large populations on the Falkland Islands, Macquarie Islands, Heard Island, Iles Crozet and Marion island.

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Juliet Fitness, Quiltmaker

Illuminated French Curves

Illuminated French Curves


Next stop on the tour was tea at the beautiful home of Juliet Fitness in west Auckland. Juliet is an amazing quiltmaker, and her work is unique. The wide array of styles was impressive.

Juliet's Yard

Juliet's Yard


Her home is located on 10 acres, in suburban Auckland. With the historic native vegetation, special permits were required to clear enough land to build their home. Consequently, the vegetation comes right up to the house, a fantastic display.

Juliet Fitness

Juliet Fitness


Juliet is known for her creativity, use of color and techniques that she uses in her quilts.

Kiwi Wall Hanging

Kiwi Wall Hanging


She has a good sense of humor too, as evidenced in this small wall handing of a Kiwi.

Allison and Gail

Allison and Gail


Her friend, Allison, helped serve tea and cookies. We ate the most unbelievable snacks, Kipper Biscuits and Fruit and Nut Slices. Yumm!!!

Never Ever Give Up

Never Ever Give Up


‘Nuff said about Juliet’s sense of humor!

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Dye-It Fabrics

Janet Ryan of Dye-It Fabrics

Janet Ryan of Dye-It Fabrics

We enjoyed morning tea at the home-based business of Janet Ryan, who specializes in hand-dyed fabrics, some of which are stamped with Kiwi-ana birds and symbols.

Looking for the silvereye

Looking for the silvereye

While Janet and her friends graciously hosted tea and snacks, the tour participants got their first taste of my other passion — birds. I heard a little Silvereye singing in Janet’s garden. Many rushed out to see what I was looking at.

Aloe Vera plant

Aloe Vera plant

One of our North American house plants, the Aloe Vera, grows to gigantic size in subtropical Devonport, and even blooms. I was only able to capture a bud, however.

Mike

Mike

Mike, a.k.a. Not Robert, quickly became our photographer extraordinaire with his Canon 7D. He also hails from New Mexico. He managed to capture another New Zealand bird in Janet’s garden, a Tui. We were then off to High Tea at the home of Hugh and Helen Bedford, with its spectacular gardens nestled right in the midst of urban Auckland.

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The Quilting and Textile Tour Begins – Devonport


After a glorious three days up north, I returned to Auckland to meet the 17 tour participants. Although some had flown all night, we headed right off on the ferry to Devonport where we visited Cushla’s Village Fabrics and our group had their first taste of Kiwi-ana fabrics. I think they bought out the shop. We met our coach here too. While we boarded the bus, a Pohutakawa, the New Zealand Christmas tree, shed one of its limbs. Amazingly, within minutes, two guys showed up with saws, quickly dismantled the downed limb, and cleared the road — all by hand!


At the Devonport Library, I discovered this quilt made by the local quilt guild. It was behind glass, so there is some glare. We were on our way!

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Mangawhai Heads/Pakiri Beach


The furthest north that we traveled was to Mangawhai Heads, looking out toward the Hen and Chicken Islands. Wild flax was abundant along the coastline.


With a beautiful sandy beach to the south, a protected preserve for shorebirds, inaccessible except for access from the south and by boat. We could look but not touch.


Another stop on that day was Pakiri Beach, where our birding tour will visit in November 2011. One of the species we will seek on that trip is the Fairy Tern.


With a population of around 45 individuals that includes approximately 12 breeding pairs, the New Zealand Fairy Tern is probably New Zealand’s most endangered indigenous breeding bird.It is ranked as an endangered species, and carries a ‘Category A’ priority for conservation action. A Department of Conservation Recovery Plan is currently in action.

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Kawau Island Flora and Fauna


We found a family of Weka, a flightless member of the rail family. Both parents and two young were present, allowing close up views. Kawau Island website includes some information on the species of birds that are found there.


Eight species of rails, gallinules and coots breed in New Zealand. Evidence shows that 8 other species have become extinct between the arrival of the Maori and European settlement.


This North Island Fantail was remarkably cooperative for a tiny bird that spends its life flitting around in search of insects. The Fantail is one of the few forest birds that has benefited from the large scale clearing of forest and the creation of scrub habitat.


In 1862 Kawau Island was purchased by one of New Zealand’s first governors, Sir George Grey, as a private residence. He employed architects to significantly extend the mine manager’s house to create the stately mansion that still stands today, fully restored in its sheltered sunny bay. In the valley behind the house, the governor created an extensive garden containing plants and animals from all over the world.


In the valley behind the house, the governor created an extensive garden containing plants and animals from all over the world. It is here that we walked among the expansive gardens, seeing many species of birds, but no kiwi since it was daytime. Among the many animals on the island are several species of wallaby, one of which is now extirpated from its native habitat in Australia.

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Kawau Island


So, this is not Kawau Island! But, it looks just like an island one might be shipwrecked on. Very small and would probably not support even one person.


We took the mail boat to the island traveling to different locations and dropping off and picking up mail. This is not the mail ferry!


Collecting the outgoing mail.


Kawau Island was originally settled by early migrations of Maori people. From time to time tribes contested for the right to live on the island, which was eventually abandoned in the 1820s after a particularly bloody skirmish during the musket wars. A manganese mine was established on the island in the 1840s; shortly after, copper was discovered by accident. Fascinating ruins of the underground seashore copper mine, a pumping engine house and a small smelter remain today.


My friends, Marion and Kerry Manson! Gorgeous weather that day!

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Pied Oystercatcher

 

Pied Oystercatcher

Pied Oystercatcher

Just way too cool! The tide was in when I was beach walking so there wasn’t much space. This one allowed me to get quite close (but I did use a zoom lens)

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