Treasure Hunters, Great Gardens and a hoof in the door

On Friday I took Mum for a visit to the Leigh Cemetery where my father was buried almost sixteen years ago. He passed away on May 17 1996 aged just 67 years. While I was there, and Mum was having a sit down, I took a look around some of the older historic graves, many of which have been lovingly cleaned and restored. While I was looking, I came across the broken headstone of Edward James Harper, who had died while diving to recover gold from the wreck of the Elingamite sited at the Three Kings Islands.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19070131-10-1

The Elingamite sank on Sunday November 9 1902, taking with her a substantial amount of gold down into the depths. The London Salvage Company in 1903 engaged a New Zealand firm to start recovering the gold from the wreck. Edward Harper was employed as a diver to go down into the depths and recover the sunken treasure. The expedition after nineteen days of recovery attempts was a complete failure. In December 1906 Harper was employed again to go and dive on the Elingamite wreck. During early January, his dives yielded a great deal of success for the salvage company with the recovery of a large amount of gold from the wreck. On the 22nd of January 1907 however, things went terribly wrong for James Harper. Earlier he had been complaining of 'pains' from the numerous dives he had been undertaking over the course of the month to retrieve the gold from the wreck. On this particular day, he had already gone down twice with a dive duration of 15 minutes, however on the third and final dive the time went on to 23 minutes. When he resurfaced Harper complained of feeling unwell. He died of heart failure on board the Huia a short time later. Over the decades there have been many attempts to salvage the last of the gold from the Elingamite wreck. Auckland Museum have a blog post on their website about the latest diving activities. Check it out here.

Before we went up to the Leigh Cemetery, we spent the afternoon with Uncle Alec and Auntie Rosalie on their ten acre farm at Matakana. They have a stunning garden which I couldn't resist going around and photographing. The images below are of their wonderful creation. Just beautiful to say the least.

On a more humorous note we had Shandia deciding to come and say hello, she tried to walk inside!. So we had to close up the ranch slider. This was her trying to figure out how she could come back through. Big change from the angry sullen little horse that arrived just over a week ago. She's settled down well with the other horses. Now and then we get the fights going on but overall it's a happy group we have these days.

And around the blogs there's some great reading to be had.

 Check out the Patterns in Nature blog done by Bill. In the latest post Bill explains about Dynamic connections in species. Worth a read. It's very educational. Lisa over on the wonderful Timespanner blog has done a great post on the First Auckland Volunteer Fire Brigade . That you have to check out! Peter over at the Zoo News Digest Blog has a post about World Oceans Day.  Kristen Howe one of my writer friends has a great blog called Kristen's Book Jungle. She does some great book reviews worth a read. Well that's me for another post keep on smiling, have a laugh even when life at times can get us down.

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