Monday, May 31, 2010

Climbing a volcano - my Sunday walk

Yesterday afternoon I got to stand on the top of my world.  My world was all around me - for as far as I could see there were places that I've visited, and places that I want to visit! Well in the photo I'm actually sitting on top of a volcano (and you guessed right that it isn't an active volcano or I wouldn't be sitting there) but for a medium sized dog like me I was up pretty high in the world.

Mum told me Auckland has many volcanoes – but luckily for me it has been over six hundred years since the last one erupted. However all 48 of these small volcanoes have erupted in the last 150,000 years! This means that I live in a city with many volcanic cones to explore, although many of these volcanoes have gotten smaller (or even disappeared) as they have been mined for the scoria and basalt rock which has been used to make some of our buildings and roads.

Mum, dad and I went to One Tree Hill (also known by the Maori name of Maungakiekie) which  is a ten minute car drive away. One Tree Hill is part of CORNWALL PARK, Auckland, New Zealand. This is what One Tree Hill looked like yesterday. You will see that our trees are now preparing for winter.

I think that the autumn leaves in the park match my colourings very well!!! 

First we walked around the base of the volcano, and then climbed up through the fields. One Tree Hill is only 183m high so this wasn’t a big summit for me to climb, but this volcano is in a huge park with farm animals, and lots of things for me to explore, so I spent about an hour and a half walking around with my family and saying hello to some of the other dogs I met there.

Half way up - this is the view looking back.

I know I saw far more trees than just one on “One Tree Hill” but mum explained that it got its name because there used to be a huge a single pine tree beside the obelisk at the top. The old picture below (off the Internet) shows how big the tree was.

You could see this pine tree from all around Auckland, but this was attacked by a protester with a chainsaw in 1994. Then another attack in 1999 ended the life of this tree. Mum thinks this was such a senseless thing to do, as the tree died and was removed by the city council in October 2000. Our council and local iwi are still trying to decide what the best type of replacement tree will be – so for now there is no “one tree” on our “One Tree Hill.”

One of Auckland’s founding fathers was John Logan Campbell bought the land in the 19th century and gifted this park to Auckland City. He is buried here and the monument is dedicated to him. The red patch in front of the obelisk is scoria. This is were the tree used to be.

Now I can show you what my city is like so click on the photos below if you want to view them larger.

This is looking North, and on the left side of the picture is where our central business district is. The water you see is the Waitemata Harbour, and the island on the right of this photo is Rangitoto Island, which is another volcano.

This is the view out towards the east.

To the south.

And this is to the west. The water you see behind me is Manukau Harbour.
Auckland is build on a narrow isthmus between the two harbours.

Many years ago this hill was a pa where Maori battles were fought. You will see that there are lots of terraces carved out of the hillside. Maori built gardens, houses and food storage pits here in the 18th century– but, as you can see from the photo below, I looked and looked and found that they hadn't left any food for me!

I also got to check out some cows.

I've been going to this park ever since I was a puppy, and there is always something interesting for me to find, smell or stand in.

Had you heard of One Tree Hill before? The band U2 wrote a song about in back in the late 1980’s; which appeared on their album “The Joshua Tree” and was dedicated to a New Zealand friend of theirs. I tried to put this video in, but only half the image showed (I'm still new to blogging and don't understand this embedding stuff!) so here is a link to the YouTube page if you are interested. U2 One Tree Hill

Bye for now,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

HELP - the Paparazzi are after me!

If you think you haven’t heard from me for a while, you are right. I’ve been in hiding as I discovered I’m being hounded by my very own paparazzi. Yes the cameras are out to get me - I’ve heard the shutters click and seen the flashes.

It all started recently when Mum got herself a new camera and spent the first day with that camera following my every move “experimenting.”

Dad said something about over a hundred photos of me being taken in one day! You can see some of her first photos in this post.

Mum did photograph other things, but it seems I am going to be her main subject. Did you like how she was feeding me my kibble one piece at a time in all the photos above?

She even started making movies of me so I tried to lie very still so her movies looked just like her photos!

I don’t have to be doing much – just sleeping, running around the yard, playing, going to the beach, going on walks with friends and other dogs, barking at the cats next door, getting pats from small people, etc. which is pretty much my day to day life – but both mum and dad appear with small boxes and try to “capture” me.

Does this mean I’m special or am I actually being stalked?

So far being captured hasn’t hurt, but I’m not sure about the flash thing they do and occasionally and if my paparazzi are taking too long, I give them a bark to hurry them up, but ever since I was a puppy I’ve been pretty laid back about having my picture taken.

So I wanted to ask my readers if you have any tips for a young dog like me as I can see, now that I have my own blog, that this photo thing is going to gain momentum.

Mum will be following me around, creeping up on me when I am asleep or eating, and taking her camera thing with her when we go out. Like she did with this photo of one of the many lamposts I checked on the first day she had a camera.

Even closing my eyes on our walk didn't make her stop!

She was still taking photos while I tried to sleep.

So how do all you dogs and cats out there handle your own paparazzi? Do you find yourself being stalked by a human, and do you have any activities that are just too private for a camera or does anything go for this doggie blog land?

What should I do?