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May 2016                                                              

                                                                                                              Photo: Sandra Simpson

 

This month's photo was taken in Wanaka at the end of April, showing Lake Wanaka (New Zealand's fourth largest lake) and the Mt Aspiring area. The last time I was near Wanaka, we drove straight past with no time to visit so it was nice to have a few days there as it's a beautiful spot. Wanaka is in the Queenstown-Lakes district of Otago in the South Island, known not only for its natural beauty but also the skiing in the area - Cardrona, Treble Cone and so on. Wanaka is about an hour's drive from Queenstown airport via Cardrona, or a bit longer (and lower in winter) going via Cromwell and alongside the Clutha River. Flying into Queenstown was an experience, specially when the woman next to me said she used to live in the area and dreaded flying in and out "especially when it's windy". The pilot slowly brings the plane down, wending a route through mountains and hills, much of it below their tops. Reminded me of flying in to old Hong Kong airport many years ago as the jumbo jet was eased between apartment buildings - so close we could see laundry on the balconies!

But as you can see the trip was worth it and, like everywhere else in the country, the weather wasn't greatly autumnal, still very warm during the day. I also had the rather (for me, anyway) surprising sight of a native falcon (karearea) flying down the town's main street. I reported my sighting (after checking with a local that it was entirely possible) to the NZ Falcon website. Dave Bell, co-ordinator of the NZ Falcon Survey, kindly replied and said that yes, several sightings had been reported in the lakefront area. "So we very much suspect that probably a juvenile has taken up residence (plenty of prey) after being moved on from adults' territory. It's the time of year when this happens." 

This month's article is by Joan Zimmerman - a potted history of haibun and some information about its form. Interestingly, haibun are not much written in modern Japan, despite having a lengthy history and solid pedigree. Stephen Addiss, author of The Art of Haiku, has supplied a selection of his favourite poems, and Aalix Roake of Hamilton has joined the Showcase. 

Thanks, as always, to Signify, our website host, and the New Zealand Poetry Society for giving us the space on its site - free of charge. If you'd be good enough to consider joining the NZPS, it would be a small repayment for the hosting and support that we receive out of kindness. For those within New Zealand, your membership fees are tax deductible, as is any donation you make over the top of the annual sub. Read more about joining and membership benefits here, including how to join if you live outside New Zealand.

If you'd like to recommend an article, offer to write something for these pages, or generally have something to say about haiku and its related forms, please feel free to get in touch.

And don't forget to have a look at my other web venture, Sandra's Garden. If you like it, please be sure to share it with your friends.

- Sandra