I appreciate all the wonderful comments and expressions of concern for me and my fellow New Zealanders after the mosque shooting in Christchurch, in the south island, a few days ago. Blogger friends are the best.

I can't imagine what the families and friends of the 50 dead and 40-odd still in the hospital are going through at this time and can only keep them in my prayers, as I know you are doing.

We were shopping in Hawera today--a small town of about 12,000 in the north island, 460km/285miles and across the Cook Strait from Christchurch--and saw armed police guarding the Hawera Islamic Center. Considering that the local police are usually not armed (although they all wear bullet proof vests) it was strange to see them holding semi-automatic weapons as they waved back at us as we went by.

Of all the countries in the world, I never would have thought that little New Zealand would be the center of attention for the whole world because of something like this. It just proves that if someone wants an illegal firearm, there are always ways to get it, even in a country that bans them.


a magpie story

I wonder what's on the other side of this fence. It doesn't look greener...

I'll just duck under here and see for myself.

Whew! Made it!

Did anybody see me? What was that??

It definitely not greener, but the brown parts might work for my nest.

I think I hit the jackpot--look at all this stuff!

I'll hide a bunch behind this bush and come back to get it later!