What interesting animals! I think its interesting to think they’ve been here as long as our species and this is where that species landed vs where we landed.
Said the cockroaches after the humans destroyed themselves.
Been looking at some of my photos to cheer myself up:
Myself and an ENFP friend communing with one of NZ’s remarkable Kauri trees:
Some shots of Glastonbury Abbey (with the same friend!):
A nice photo of me on a boat trip in NZ, looking happy and contemplative:
I love seeing your pictures, Stewart. What is that green necklace, the meaning, I mean?
It’s a pounamu pendant from New Zealand.
Pounamu refers to several types of hard, durable and highly valued nephrite jade, bowenite, or serpentinite stone found in southern New Zealand. Pounamu is the Māori name. These rocks are also generically known as “greenstone” in New Zealand English.
Pounamu plays a very important role in Māori culture. It is considered a taonga (treasure) and therefore protected under the Treaty of Waitangi. Pounamu taonga increase in mana (prestige) as they pass from one generation to another. The most prized taonga are those with known histories going back many generations. These are believed to have their own mana and were often given as gifts to seal important agreements.
Pounamu taonga include tools such as toki (adzes), whao (chisels), whao whakakōka (gouges), ripi pounamu (knives), scrapers, awls, hammer stones, and drill points. Hunting tools include matau (fishing hooks) and lures, spear points, and kākā poria (leg rings for fastening captive birds); weapons such as mere (short handled clubs); and ornaments such as pendants (hei-tiki, hei matau and pekapeka), ear pendants (kuru and kapeu), and cloak pins. Functional pounamu tools were widely worn for both practical and ornamental reasons, and continued to be worn as purely ornamental pendants (hei kakï) even after they were no longer used as tools.
Pounamu is found only in the South Island of New Zealand, known in Māori as Te Wai Pounamu (“The [land of] Greenstone Water”) or Te Wahi Pounamu (“The Place of Greenstone”).
Now there are a few ‘rules’ when buying Pounamu. One being that someone else must gift you the jade. Second being that you are supposed to let the jade find you. And it did for me and my partner. We were staying in beautiful Waiheke Island with one if our close friends, who is herself a talented sculptress.
She introduced us to one of her friends, a famous greenstone carver called Bob Smith, who had a display of his pendants in small shop. I was immediately drawn to a translucent green “eternity” pendant:
while my partner was simultaneously attracted to a spiral-shaped stone:
Bob explained the spiritual significance of the two shapes, and we bought each other the pendants then and there!
I like both of your choices, they are fitting and beautiful and your awesome ‘sink my teeth into it’ explanation reminded me that I watched The Dead Lands not so long ago, but it was so intense I don’t remember if they talked about the Pounamu. Probably. Looking so forward to when we can make it to New Zealand.
came across this in our pics… no idea when this pic was taken but it’s neat. i don’t know for sure who took it either, maybe my husband or sis in law. edit: husband now said they are his. so nice.
park in Montreal:
street in Toronto
That is very cool! Compelling to look at.
And that should have been Bob Stewart (not Smith). Frigging offline spellcheckers strike again…
Bob sadly died several years ago, but by one of those marvelous serendipities, we came across his work again when we were looking to replace our pendants, which had become chipped and cracked after many years wear (plus a few epic Sensing Fails, natch!)
One day we were showing some visitors around the Auckland Museum, and in the museum shop were several of Bob’s later pieces. These were more solid and chunky than the delicate translucent pieces, so we bought them as (hopefully) more durable replacements. I still have the original, but don’t wear it any more as it has a hairline fracture along one edge and I don’t want to risk shattering it into pieces.
Here’s a cute photo of my folks enjoying dinner at an English country pub said to have been a smuggler’s den back in 1407 or so:
And a selection from today’s meanderings through rural Sussex. The last one is of another ancient inn at which my ENTP’s great-great-grandparents were once the landlords:
They were childhood sweethearts and married young (Mum was only 20). Next March is their 60th wedding anniversary!