By the Book

Taking something to read

One of my favourite photos in John Rundle’s classic The Tararua Book is of an unshaven tramper sitting in his tent and reading a paperback western. Aside from the man’s general filthiness, there’s little in the photo to show he’s been tramping.

Small Holes in the Silence

The beauty of rain

I can hear you making
small holes in the silence
rain

Hone Tuwhare, Rain

A long time muse of art, music and literature, rain is the one meteorological phenomenon that fires the imagination like no other.

Home Sick

Walking in and out

It was a cold day at the tail end of winter, and after only a couple or so hours in the bush we were there, Atiwhakatu Hut. ‘Soulless,’ someone had written in the intentions book, and it’s true that inside it was a big and empty space. But then all the essentials were there: log burner, axe and candles.

Tararua Love Song

Reading The Tararua Book

I once saw a news story about up and coming creative types that referred to them using the word ‘slashies.’ It was supposed to be a shorthand for people self-labelled as photographers/writers/designers, that sort of thing. But these cultural jacks of all trades are nothing new as the late John Rundle’s biography proves.

Moas, Moose and Moehau

New Zealand's bush mysteries

I was nine when a moa sighting made headlines. Paddy Freaney, the owner of the Bealey Hotel and a former SAS soldier, was hiking with two others in the Craigieburn range when they supposedly encountered a moa. It was a large reddish brown thing, which promptly ran away. Freaney took photos of it, and also documented its footprints.

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