Friday, 28 November 2008

Massive Booksale

This morning, members of the Otautau Heritage Trust and Otautau Museum Trust gathered to set up the Courthouse for the annual Otautau Booksale. After about 2 hours work, they wondered whether they should've arranged for a bigger venue. The shear numbers of books donated for the sale is staggering.

This is the usual set-up for the booksale - all fitting in the main room of the courthouse with plenty of boxes underneath the tables for overflow.
But this time there are so many books, magazines, puzzles, CDs etc that they've expanded into two of the museum's display rooms to accommodate the sizeable inventory.

Along with many of the other sections, the children's section seems to have doubled in size from last year.
With all of this abundance, there is truly something for everyone at this booksale. So come on down, this Saturday or Sunday, 10am-4pm, at the old Courthouse, 146 Main Street, Otautau.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Manapouri - Power and Protest

The New Zealand Film Archive presents Manapouri - Power and Protest, a 60-minute programme of early films about the Manapouri and Te Anau region.

Films include excerpts from "The New Zealand Sounds Hydro-Electric Concessions Limited" (1925), "The Twin Lakes" (1963), "Pictorial Parade - Water to Burn" (1965), "Pictorial Parade 2 - the Duke Drops In" (1968), "A Question of Power - the Manapouri Debate" (1980), and "Give it a Whirl" (2006).

Admission is free, and viewings will be held over three nights at Te Anau, Manapouri and Invercargill. See Events listing for places and times.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Rare Sighting of Common Skink

When was the last time you saw a skink in Otautau? This skink was seen sunning itself a few days ago in a friend's yard. It's a Common Skink but they are very uncommon these days due to predation by cats and rats as well as lack of good habitat.

You may be surprised to know that skinks eat berries and nectar and so planting these kinds of plants in your yard may help give skinks a better chance of survival. They also need places to hide from predators. They need debris, old logs and things to escape into. Wide open paddocks with very short grass or very tidy gardens have created a dire landscape for skinks. So a messy yard isn't a bad thing.

This particular skink may have had a narrow escape from a cat. You can see the line break on his body where his new tail has grown. You can't expect your cat to stop hunting but maybe there is something else you can do.

To make your yard skink-friendly, read these DoC guides. The first is written for the Wellington area but the principles apply anywhere.

Lizards in Your Garden (pdf, 1.5MB)
Skinks and Geckos Factsheet (pdf, 220kb)

Monday, 10 November 2008

Fireworks Extravaganza

Last Saturday, 8 Nov, the Otautau Sports and Social Club held the annual bonfire and fireworks extravaganza. A crowd of several hundred gathered to enjoy the festivities. And by nightfall, the massive bonfire was ablaze and stunning fireworks lit up the sky. Great display.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Pilgrimage to Wairio

After a big snow event, it's almost an imperative for me to visit the dire beauty of Wairio. The Takitimu Mountains are so vivid from there.

Of course there are sheep too.

Wairio is also pylon country but they bring a kind of beauty of their own.
This is the Wairio Methodist Church. I thought I could get a picture of the mountains and the church but it's just not situated that way. This poor church is deterioting more every year.

Election Results

You can find almost anything online - even how Otautau residents voted in yesterday's election. According to the Election Results website, 523 Otautau voters cast their party vote this way:

National - 349
Labour - 96
ACT - 18
NZ First - 17
Green - 12
United Future - 9
J A Progressive - 5
Bill and Ben Party - 5
Maori Party - 3
Alliance - 2
Libertarianz - 2
Workers Party - 2
(Informal party votes - 2)
Aotearoa Legalise Cannibis Party - 1
Family - 1
Kiwi - 1

You can see the full results for parties and candidates for Clutha-Southland, Te Tai Tonga and any other electorate by clicking on it from the results page. They are downloadable in .xls format.

Who are Bill and Ben?

Snowy Days

Otautau had two days of snow last week - highly unusual but not unheard of - which have made our spring that much more magical. Here are a few photos from around the town.

These are the hills on the west side overlooking the town.

Sheep seemed ok with the snow.

A very wintry Holt Park.

The Otautau Railway from the south side of town.

The rhodys were probably the real casualty of the snow. In the mid-ground is the Aparima River.

The Aparima River and plain. In the foreground is the yet to be lit bonfire for Guy Fawkes day.

Sun on a snowy hedge.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Tour of Southland II

Never let it be said that the stage through Western Southland is an easy one. Sure the terrain is not demanding, and the distance is only 88km but what about the weather? These riders had to cope with hail, snow and very slick roads today as they travelled from Invercargill to Tuatapere. Just before they hit Otautau, we had a burst of hailstones cover the streets then quickly melt away.
Leaders of the race through town.

Followed by a small group.

Then the snow started falling again.

By the time these riders came into town, the snow was more like a blur.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Tour of Southland

The Tour of Southland has begun. Yesterday's ride up Bluff Hill saw South West Helicopters team member and Otautau's own Matt Marshall in 12th place. An excellent result for the under-23 rider out of a field of 115 competitors.

Today is Stage 3, and the riders will cover 165km from Invercargill to Gore, going through Rimu, Woodlands, Seaward Downs, Edendale, Wyndham, Mataura, Waimumu, West Gore, Mandeville, Riversdale, Otama and Knapdale.

Tomorrow, the cyclists are set to ride through Otautau some time between 9am and 11:25am. This route is 88.4km and starts at the ILT Velodrome, Isabella St, Invercargill and goes through Wallacetown, Waianiwa, Otahuti, Isla Bank, Fairfax, Otautau, Orawia, and ends at Tuatapere. The weather doesn't look good so let's get out and cheer for these brave and crazy riders.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Otautau Get Together

I missed the craft exhibition last weekend. Also missed the spinners and weavers open day. But despite the bad weather, I did manage to get to the Otautau ex-residents afternoon tea at St Stephens church hall in Invercargill. A crowd of about 43 showed up for an afternoon of live music, sinfully delicious food and most importantly to see old friends. Peter Gutsell (right) was the MC.

Some notables were there.

Amongst the crowd were Jean and Harry Laurie who recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in Queenstown.

Two of the organisers. Unfortunately, I didn't catch their names.

A few people brought photo and scrapbook albums. One scrapbook album detailed the history of the Eason family during WWII. The Otautau Museum also provided a selection of old photographs to reminisce on.

Jean Laurie, Thelma McWhirter and Jean Watt. Thick as thieves.

Live entertainment included Lindsay Abbott, Judy Knoops and her son Kip (on guitar), and Colin Miller on keyboards. Colin also did a bit of yodelling for us. Bev Townley also sang but is not pictured.

When Colin played a waltz, the dance floor was quickly taken up by two very graceful dancers. Beautiful to watch.

All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon. Makes me wish that these folks still lived in Otautau. What stories they have to tell.

Election 2017

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