Friday, July 10, 2009

Rarotonga of the Cook Islands

Pine Mountain News

It is the second week of July. The summer is quickly passing and the year is over half gone already. Here at the ranch John has been turning logs into wood chips with the big John Deere chipper. The local plant nursery and garden center buys them by the bag full for mulch. The chipper is noisy and you have to wear earplugs to keep from going deaf.

Back in the greenhouse the hydroponic garden is growing rapidly as are the fish in the fish tanks. The secret to hydroponic gardens is to keep the fish happy. If the fish are happy the plants are happy also.

Local news

There have been a series of wildfires along the grapevine in the last few weeks but they have been quickly contained.

In other news the north bound I-5 ramp from Frazier mountain park road is closed for repairs this month.

Well enough about Pine Mountain it is time now for our poem of the week.

Poem of the Week

Rainy Roadtrip

by emily d stine

Mist sprinkles my eyelashes as we careen
through the Mid...West. Minneapolis, a face.
less city littered with lakes and gray shutters
for sky. Neon green blankets of grass decorated
by black.white black.white moo.cow moo.cow
and a red.white farmhouse here or there,
send us cascading east into Madison,
ambling down State Street, I'll be a Badger
for a day. I'm smiling, taking pictures
with my eyes.

eyelash click.

My thoughts, a slideshow I can't slow
but blue eyes return to raindrops.
Chicago brings cobalt skyscrapers, dim fog.
Trains rattling in the screeching cold.
Do I exist in that exquisite moment?
Smoke-lined mist, silky and bitter.
Fog stealing the skyline, I gaze upward
to white, and blue eyes return to raindrops.

Travel Story of the Week

Rarotonga of the Cook Islands

Out in the Pacific Ocean just before you arrive in Fiji is a group of islands called the Cook Islands. They were named after the great explorer captain Cook.

The largest island is Rarotonga. The capital Avarua is located on this island. The international airport is also on this island. There are small local airports on 8 of the other 15 islands of the group. Rarotonga is surounded by a lagoon and about 100 yards out there is a coral reef.

There are 2 roads that circle the island. One road follows the beach and the other road is a little ways inland. The interior of the island is mountainous.The tallest peak is Temanga at 2140 ft ( 658 meters). The islanders grow food on terraces on the sides of the mountains.

At Muri beach on the the southeast side of the island are four coral islands . These islands are about 200 meters from the beach. Also on the Southeast side o f the island is the Takitumu conservation area. This area protects the island native species especially the endangered ones like the Rarotonga flycatcher.

There are many white sandy beaches with swaying palm trees. Inland there is dense jungle vegetation and eroded volcanic peaks. There are many things to do on the island. You can take the cross island walk and go by Te Rua Manga the famous needle peak. You can also explore flat top mountain and Wigmore falls. You can go snorkeling, diving, and deep sea fishing. You can take boat tours of the islands, go biking and horseback riding. You can rent a moped or go hiking. You can watch native dancers and sample the many fine restaurants.

At night the natives gather on the seawall at the end of the runway at the international airport to watch planes fly over them and land on the runway. When you are tired of Rarotonga you can take a local flight on the island airlines. There are airports at 8 of the 15 islands. The television series Survivor was filmed on Aitutaki island.

Just when you get used to the leisurely island living, it is time to go home and you wish you had more time to spend on the island.

Pine Mountain Evening

It is evening once more and we have just finished dinner and are relaxing in the family room. it is summer and it is too hot for a fire in the fireplace so we settle down to watch TV. I am relaxing with this weeks coffee sample from Tonight I am enjoying Chocolate Mint. this American roast coffee tastes like coffee that a chocolate after dinner mint has been dissolved into. It is just right to go with a plate of warm fresh baked sugar cookies.
Well my TV show is over and my chocolate mint coffee and sugar cookies are finished as well.Now it is time to go to bed and get some sleep. Good night all see you next week.