Wednesday, February 1, 2023

We got off lightly

 Luckily for us the weather was not as bad as predicted here.  There was a lot of rain and strong wind but the worst of the storm once again hit Coromandel and Auckland where houses are teetering on the edge of cliffs that have been washed away and many homes have been red or yellow stickered. 

The Weather Warning and State of Emergency were both lifted this morning.  I am glad they were put in place as it could have been very bad.  The Far North is so narrow it is always hard to predict where storms will hit.

In the Coromandel many roads are closed because of slips.

Here we have had a lovely sunny day, a complete contrast to yesterday.  According to my phone the temperature was 26°C feels like 28°C and to me it felt much hotter.  Doug's eldest daughter came to lunch as it was her birthday a few days ago.  So my day was spent doing washing which dried beautifully, cooking lunch and doing a little work in the garden - mainly pruning branches broken in the storm.  A very productive day.  The lawn is starting to dry out and it looks as though the tomatoes have survived.  

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

CIVIL DEFENCE EMERGENCY

 When will it end. We now have a Red Heavy Rain Warning which is the highest level.   We also have  a severe thunderstorm watch  and strong wind watch.  

On top of that Civil Defence has just declared a State of Emergency as a precaution so they are, obviously, expecting things to be bad.  We had two appointments across town and the rain was heavy as we returned but has lessened now.  I suppose it will get bad as it starts to get dark as storms always seem worse at night.

We have rain in some form forecast for the next seven days .  Amazingly my tomatoes and the rest of the garden is still producing.  Fingers crossed that it survives this onslaught.

Before the last storm I picked these roses as I knew they would not survive the storm.  The scent is wonderful.




Saturday, January 28, 2023

HEAVY RAIN WARNING.

 We had another Heavy Rain warning for yesterday.  While we had steady rain the worst of the weather was in Auckland.  They had their wettest day on record with severe flooding.  Three people have been confirmed dead with one still missing.

Both the International and Domestic terminals at the airport were closed due to severe flooding the Domestic Terminal has reopened with the International terminal due to reopen tomorrow.

Many homes have been evacuated with floodwaters right through them.  Cars appear to be littered everywhere as people abandoned them to get to safety as the floodwaters rose so quickly.

I have never seen anything like it.  Friends in the suburb of Royal Oak returned to their home to find the water had lapped at the door but their neighbours were not so lucky with an elderly gentleman being carried to safety in the middle of the night and others who had packed everything up ready to move having it all under water.

There were two Elton John Concerts cancelled one last night and one tonight.

The road between Auckland and here has many blockages and a new bi-pass was opened briefly to rescue people.  The Brynderwyn Hills just south of here are blocked and there were no newspapers or mail today.  I am not sure how long it will take to clear.  There is a diversion but only for cars.

Some photos from the Auckland Herald.  

A bus stuck in floodwaters in Auckland's Great North Road

A supermarket on the North Shore


Firefighters use ropes to rescue people trapped by flooding in Urlich Drive, Ranui 



More rain is forecast both for us and for Auckland.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

POTENTIAL NEW WALK

On Monday, after the Parkinson walk, we went to check out a new path we had heard about.  It started over the river at the Whangarei Falls.  The river has dropped in the past week and it is now safe to cross on the bridge that was underwater a week ago.



The water is still very muddy but has gone down leaving the picnic area at the bottom of the Falls clear.



The new path is great 



but there was a barrier at the bridge.  We look forward to it being opened.



Meanwhile one of the walks up Parihaka has been closed due to a large slip which is still moving.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

WEATHER, HOLIDAYMAKERS AND GARDEN

Both Northland, where we live, and the Coromandel Peninsula are holiday spots for Aucklanders.  As Christmas is in summer here, a lot of companies shut down over the Christmas/New Year period and many people head to our beaches.  Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my last post, we had storms forecast and people packed up their tents or caravans and headed home before the storm hit.  Camping is very popular here.  I feel sorry for the campgrounds as this was the first year since Covid when they were once again fully booked. 

I read that by the 6th January we had the amount of rain we usually get for the whole month.  Fortunately, we had a fine weekend (great for catching up with washing & drying and gardening).  

Yesterday, we were told that cyclone Hale was heading this way and we were issued a Heavy Rain warning.  It rained all night and is still raining heavily.  I have just been out clearing some drains and harvesting mainly beans but also some cucumbers and tomatoes.  (or as Doug says "playing in the mud".  I need not have put a coat on as I was soon drenched to the skin.  I have never seen so much water in our neighbour's back garden and ours is pretty boggy as well.

Amazingly, the tomatoes seem o.k. at present 

LATER: We decided to go for a 5 minute Drive to Totara Parklands.  This is where we often walk alongside a small stream but it is much larger today.  Not a flood yet but that may come when all the water gets down from the higher ground.

I took this short video on my phone to show the noise of the river.  It is very shaky as I was trying to keep my umbrella in place in heavy rain and wind.









On the way back home we stopped at Whangarei Falls.  Below is the small bridge that goes across the river.  Well under water today.







In this photo if you enlarge it you can see the picnic table at the bottom of the Falls.



and a view looking back along the river with a bedraggled yours truly heading back to the car.



Tuesday, January 3, 2023

VEGETABLE GARDEN

Our vegetable garden has been doing well this year.  I dug the rest of the Cliff's Kidney potatoes and they are stored away.  I have also dug most of the main crop (Agria my favourite potato) and stored them this morning.  We still have a further 4 plants to dig.  The potatoes  have been very large. Below are some of the Cliff's Kidney.  I washed them and left them to dry before storing.  I didn't wash the Agria.




Apart from the potatoes, we have been harvesting courgettes, beans, lettuce, spring onions, cucumbers and have just started to harvest tomatoes.  We have now finished our homegrown carrots and, when I have harvested the last of the potatoes we will sow some more.


                                                                       Below Bush Tomato.  









I grew two new varieties of tomato from seed this year one was just called Bush Tomato and I should have spaced them further apart.  They have just started to set fruit.  The other one was called Riesentraube and that is also just setting.  The tomatoes I have started picking are Oxheart and they have had funny little green "tails" on them.  They have traces of copper on them as Doug sprayed them because of the humid weather we have had.


Weather all set to change though.  I hope all the plants survive.



So it looks like a few mainly indoor days.  I roasted a leg of lamb today so plenty of left-overs.  My favourites.

I notice there is not a lot of difference between the day and night temperatures so we could be in for some humid nights

Friday, December 30, 2022

STILL IN MY 70's

 Forecast for today was 26°C so decided to go for a walk in the bush to celebrate my birthday.  We did the Loop walk at Taheke Falls and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Not a long walk the Loop is 3 kms. about 5 kms. altogether but it rises quite steeply.

Because of the angle of the sun I was only able to photograph a glimpse of the Falls.








When we got to the top we stopped and had some refreshments and enjoyed the birdsong.





Looking back at some of the steps we went down.  It shows how high we had climbed.



The trunk of a kauri tree

Back home for lunch