WIP Wednesday

Confession: I have no stitching to show you. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Despite what I thought, I didn’t have the urge to stitch while we drove nor any downtime, so London looks exactly the same as it did last Wednesday.

But what I do have to show you is my favourite part of the trip. Despite family being all over the South Island, I’d never been to Moeraki and I leant (just a little) on Simon to stop.

Love it. In a lot of ways it reminded me of my Bethells, windswept and open (just more crowded). It was a good recharge-the-soul spot. I was told as a child that these were the floats on Maui’s fishing nets, but the below legend makes far more sense. In any case, I’ll be back.

This was written about them in 1966:

MOERAKI BOULDERS

The Moeraki Boulders are situated on Koekohe Beach at a place named Kumara, midway between Hampden and Moeraki townships in North Otago. Access to them is gained by a small one-way side road, 1 mile north along the main road from Hillgrove railway station. The boulders are grey-coloured septarian concretions, which have been eroded out by wave action from the cliffs of soft, black mudstone that back the beach. In places, partially exposed concretions can be seen in the cliffs. They originally formed on the sea floor when the mudstone was accumulating during the early Tertiary period some 60 million years ago. The largest concretions are traversed by cracks, filled by yellow calcite. In some the upper part is worn away; only a shell remains, looking like discarded segments of orange peel. The concretions weigh several tons and are up to 12 ft in circumference. Similar concretions are known on the north-facing foreshore of Shag Point, some 12 miles further south, but these are derived from older (upper Cretaceous) mudstone.

According to Maori legend, the origin of the boulders dates from the loss of the Arai-te-uru, one of the large sailing canoes that came from distant Hawaiki. On her quest south for the precious greenstone, the canoe was wrecked near Shag Point (Matakaea). The reef which today extends seawards is the canoe’s petrified hull, while close by, in the shape of a prominent rock, stands the petrified body of her commander. Strewn along the beach are the boulders which represent the eel baskets, calabashes, and kumaras washed ashore from the wreck. The name Moeraki (Moerangi) means “drowsy day”.

by Alexander Russell Mutch, B.SC., A.O.S.M., New Zealand Geological Survey, Dunedin.

So there’s a row, then a few separated out and more emerging from the cliffs. The outer surface really does look like concrete, but they are so different on the inside. I took a shot of Si next to the row – that one on his far right is the far left in the top shot. These things are massive (he’s 6ft).

Yep, I’m going back.

 

5 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday

  1. I actually recognize the name of that place, from a book of poems by Keri Hulme. I really enjoyed the photos to go with the poems in my mind.

      • The collection is about being there (and mentions the story of the petrified crew), and other of her books mention it prominently, as well. At the very least she must know the place well.

      • She was expected reading when I was 14 and doing the first of the major exam years. Booooring. It’s only now mine are having to study her that I actually appreciate her work. Bone People won several awards including the Booker too (I think) and it’s quite readable compared to some of the other selections.

      • That was my first encounter with her; a friend more up on the award scene gave me the book, and I instantly became a fan. I have a more uneven relationship with her poetry; I consider some of it intentionally difficult, not a trait I like in poetry. But her short stories can be very good, and Lost Possessions, which is a kind of super-short novel in prose-poem form, is one of the mot utterly chilling things I’ve ever read.

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