Kastaiings – Chestnut


Die kastaiings uit die vuur haal vir iemand

(be made a cat’s paw of)


I found the following seed pod while photographing in Cambridge.

At first I could not think of what it was!


They were under this big tree.


Then on Saturday we were at the duck pond in Upper Hutt

I found the following!


It seems that the first one are eatable chestnuts and the last two

are photos of wild horse chestnut!

The following information from


The sweet nut from a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m by 15 m at a medium rate. It is hardy and is not frost tender. Take care to differentiate the sweet chestnut from the poisonous horse chestnut which has a smoother less fluffy shell (although the poisonous component saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins).

Twin Lakes Upper Hutt

Twin Lakes

Upper Hutt

more photos!


This guy was doing his best to get up the hills.

He had to stop  to catch his breath before paddling on.

This is at the turn off to the look out.


Entering the path way to the look out

Turning back to the parking area it looked like this.

Just before sunset.




As the road rises away from Upper Hutt on the Te Marua to Kaitoki stretch of State Highway Two, you’ll encounter a new section of road just completed in 2005. It’s a $14.2 million, 5.5 kilometre realignment of this important part of the main artery to the Wairarapa.

Half way up the initial incline you’ll encounter the Te Marua Lakes Lookout, so named because it provides a stop-off to view the spectacular scene of the Hutt River valley and the twin lakes, known as Stuart Macaskill Lakes, built to provide back-up water for the urban areas downstream.


Thursday’s Special



International Sudent

A new year, and new adventures! I wonder how this year, 2014, will end.

It started off with a big bang.

First of all I am in the lucky position to have an International student from Hong Kong for a whole year!

This is really going to help me cope with my expenses. The South African Rand is still declining- less and less money to pay the bills with which are also getting more and more expensive.

I picked my student up on Saturday at the Airport. Lucky for me, she has a cousin who had been here last year. The picking up at the airport was an adventure on its own with all those Hobbit things hanging in the air.

On Monday I took Kiki, my student and her cousin Eliza to Upper Hutt College International office.

This was the first time in at least 3 years I walked so close to classrooms. It felt quite good, having been a teacher my whole life.

At the office we were welcomed by the Manager. She had a lot to explain and tell to Kiki. We went to the clothes “bank /depot” to get some school clothes. Then it was time for Kiki to sit down and do some tests. She also attended the last class of the school day before I picked her up that afternoon.

At home Kiki told me how the day had been. “Boring” she said,” Tests, tests and more tests.” She said that the class she had the last period was boring because the teacher was talking very slowly. She isn’t used to the way they are doing it here! I told her that boredom won’t bring her a good outcome. She better has to concentrate on what is said and not on how boring it is. Easier said than done, I have to admit. I think she is very tired because the trip to New Zealand took about 12 hours. Then, before coming here, the  two girls  had some time in Indonesia.

I wish Kiki all the best and that her time here would be, not only a pleasure, but a success too.

Tuesday’s A to Z challenge : A =

A new year

A new start



Tuesdays is  ALPHABET day .

 frizztext goes to the next letter of the alphabet on a Tuesday

We are staring with

this week.


Mt Bruce Reserve


Kaka looking you in the eye waiting to take a peck at you


Tuatara staring at you through glass enclosure


Tui drinking nectar from flax flowers.



Pukaha Mt Bruce N W C : Part 3 Eels & Takahe & Rifleman

EELS(Tuna) – threatened

The long finned eel is New Zealand’s biggest endemic fish.

They are under threat from commercial fishing,

habitat loss and pollution.






They are HUGE .



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  • Takahē
  • The Takahē, Notornis, or South Island Takahē is a flightless bird indigenous to New Zealand and belonging to the rail family. It was thought to be extinct after the last four known specimens were taken in 1898.Wikipedia
  • Rifleman

    The rifleman is generally considered to be New Zealand’s smallest bird (the equally light-weight grey warbler has a longer tail). It is one of only two surviving species within the ancient endemic New Zealand wren family. Riflemen are small forest-dwelling insectivores, and are constantly on the move, producing a characteristic ‘wing-flicking’ while moving through the canopy and foraging up and down tree trunks.


    Rifleman. Adult male South Island rifleman. . Image © Department of Conservation (image ref: 10029849) by Mike Soper, Department of Conservation Courtesy of Department of Conservation
    We could see them up in the trees.
    There was a man-made box nest

With the following sign under it!


We could hear chicks in the box!


Pukaha Mt Bruce N W C: Part 2 : TUATARA

The Tuatara is an ancient creature that is now only found on predator free islands around 

New Zealand.



This one is the older or parent of the above one.



He/she is in a bigger area.

Facts about tuatara

Tuatara once lived throughout the mainland of New Zealand but have survived in the wild only on 32 offshore islands.

These islands are characteristically free of rodents and other introduced mammalian predators which are known to prey on eggs and young as well as compete for invertebrate food. The islands are usually occupied by colonies of breeding seabirds that contribute to the fertility and hence the richness of invertebrate and lizard fauna needed by tuatara.

Read more here : http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/native-animals/reptiles-and-frogs/tuatara/facts/


Old milk can: The weekend in black and white


Each week this blog will publish on Friday at 6pm Irish time. Mister Linky will remain open until 8am on Monday.

PLEASE LINK DIRECTLY to your monochrome post. If your link leads to your home page it makes it very difficult for anyone trying to visit after a few days.

PLEASE don’t hide your photo(s) in a whole string of entries for other memes – it’s hard for all concerned.

PLEASE post ONLY BLACK AND WHITE photos – no patches of colour and no sepia or other colour treatments however good they may look. This challenge is ONLY for black and white photographs.