It is early April and in Northeast Ohio we are still waiting for even a hint of Spring. It snowed on my way to church yesterday. It’s supposed to, maybe, possibly be in the low 70s this coming weekend. We, however will be in northern California where the weather is supposed to be about the same as here. Interesting, so far this year. What will Summer bring? Will Summer ever get here? I hope where you are you’ve had some Spring and a happy Easter and are getting those bees ready.
We’ve pretty much recovered and kind of caught up a little after our remarkable trip to New Zealand. I want to share just a little bit more about our trip with some photos. It was probably a once-in-a-lifetime trip. But you never know, given the opportunity we might go back again.
Our first day there inspite of our level of exhaustion we visited an aviary site where there were Kiwi birds. No pictures because they are nocturnal – I didn’t know this. So you go into an almost completely dark room and can barely see them in a glass enclosure. They are bigger than I imagined.
At this same location they had eels – I know yuk! Kim took the opportunity to feed and pet them. Too creepy for me.
The same day we visited a cave which housed glowworms. I didn’t know very much about them either. But seeing them was amazing. We walked through part of the cave and saw them hanging down from above – thousands of them with a sort of blue glow to them. Then we got in a boat and in the pitch dark made our way through the rest of the cave with again, thousands of these glowworms above us.
The next day we had a three-hour drive to our next location. If you are a Lord Of The Rings fan you know that a lot of the filming is done in New Zealand. As you’re driving along you can see the terrain from the movies. It is not a heavily populated country and there are many miles of hills and valleys and fairly rough terrain. Most of the main roads are only two lanes. Later in our stay we visited the area of Mirmar – yes as in the movie studio. This is where they do a lot of the computer generated parts of the movies. Besides Lord of the Rings, they also made Avitar there and many others.
Our third day brought another three-hour drive to the next spot working our way south. The folks that we stayed with there took us to a Maori village. This was one of the highlights for me – being able to learn more about this culture. Also, in this village were hot springs and boiling mud pits. Most of New Zealand we learned is volcanic and there is a lot geothermal activity that goes on there.
We stopped at a beautiful waterfall. And then to a hotel for a night that was right on the beach. It was beautiful.
At each of these stops Kim gave one or two talks in the evening. Anywhere from 30 to about 75 people at each location. I think he gave eight talks in 10 days.
One of the most precious moments we had was seeing an old friend when we got to Wellington – Andrew Matheson. Kim met Andrew more than 20 years ago when Andrew visited the U.S. a couple of different times. He worked for IBRA for year and even though we haven’t seen him in a very long time, he and Kim have always kept in touch.
These are just some of the highlights. There was so much more that we got to experience. I just want to thank everyone again who helped make this possible for Kim and I.
Just last week we had a comment from one of our subscribers regarding our publishing of articles that he felt aren’t related strictly to beekeeping. He feels we should stick to beekeeping only. In the six years I’ve been writing this page about other topics – chickens, travels, gardening – I can honestly tell you we have had maybe a dozen people express their dislike of my page and also Jessica’s page when she writes about the same topics. Instead we’ve had resounding positive comments. So to the gentleman who wrote us, please know that we try to please the majority. That’s always been our goal. We’re happy to receive your comments.