En Plein Air

An update on The Art of the Hut project

From rustic dunnies to possum dinners Felicity Deverell's project to paint the backcountry huts of the North Island has taken her on adventures she could never have imagined two years ago. Now, after making her way around the North Island back country she is exhibiting the results in Whangarei.

Along Deadman's Ridge

Exploring the Ruahine Ranges

Triangle hut is a jerry built thing of plywood sheets, with a steep roof and verandah like an old villa. It sits beside a shallow but fast flowing river, catching the sun, and inside are all the necessities of bunks, table and stove. It seemed like the archetypal hut when I stayed there, only occasionally visited but perfect.

Going Down in Flames

How not to make your own camp stove

The greatest Christmas present I've ever received was a box of timber off-cuts. I was six and seeing my love for hammering bits of wood together, my uncle found an easy way to get rid of his discarded lumber. Since then I've been obsessed with DIY, making things out of junk that most people wouldn't bother with, things that could easily be bought at Mitre 10.

Creating the Shape of the Land

Reading Philip Temple’s The Explorer

Six years before the Beak of the Moon series, Philip Temple wrote this, his first novel, the story of an early explorer surveying new territory on behalf of the government. Their motives are economic, urging him to keep an eye out for gold. But for him, it is exploration itself, making his way in unmapped bush that is its own reward.

Towing the Line

First excursions into kayak fishing

Perhaps only rivalled by whitebaiters, kayakers are among the most passionate of fisherpeople. There are countless forums on the internet where kayakers discuss their gear, spots to go and of course how superior kayak fishing is, how it means going places and catching fish that no one else can. For the kayak fisher, there is simply no other way to be.

Grey and Wacky

Looking at our national bedrock

A fossil craze hit my school in the early 1990s, and I my other school friends became briefly obsessed with the idea of collecting rocks. For me it didn’t last all that long. I spent a day at Birdlings Flat thinking I would unearth a piece of a dinosaur, but instead kicked dusty rocks about and lost my pocketknife.

It Doesn't Really Matter What You Do

Uncovering ancient skills

Featuring sections on how to make a bow and arrows, how to fashion rope from animals and a chapter on ancient wisdom, Ancient Skills by Stephen Coote could have been written by monks in medieval England.

A Walk Back in Time

Celebrating our nature reserves

It took me awhile to come around to the idea of day trips. For years, I thought it wasn’t worth lacing my boots unless I’d be overnighting somewhere, lugging a ton of gear in and waking at least a day’s walk from anything. But that’s not always possible and gradually, my desire to spend time outdoors has overcome my prejudice about only spending a day in the bush.

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.

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