A Haibun for Bilbo

We drove for miles ‘cross lush countryside, the majestic Kaimai Range in the background. Rolling hills in myriad shades of green were everywhere, always dotted in white. There are more sheep in New Zealand than people.

We finally reached the sprawling Alexander family farm, centerpiece of J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth. Setting out on foot to stroll the Shire, we were enthralled by the massive pine known as the Party Tree, the scene for Bilbo’s eleventy-oneth birthday. We walked along paths that led to vegetable, herb, and flower gardens – each different in shape, texture and color – next to thirty-seven colorful Hobbit Holes. Delightful miniature sheltered smials. Underground homes built into the hills, with roofs covered in grass and clover, and windows so low we had to crouch as if to take a peek. A clothesline was strung with miniature work shirts. A small wheelbarrow leaned up against a tree stub. We were giants walking through a magical world.

lily of the valley
miniature belled flower tops
tabby cat traipsing through

 

Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse where Toni is hosting today, giving us free rein in terms of a topic. Haibun: prose (not fiction) followed by a haiku (must have a nature theme). Photos from our wonderful trip to New Zealand. We visited the 1,250 acre Alexander family sheep farm outside Auckland, NZ, home of the mythical Hobbiton. The rolling topography, huge trees and lakes were deemed the perfect spot for 17th century Middle Earth immortalized in J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. 

43 thoughts on “A Haibun for Bilbo

  1. hayesspencer July 24, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    Oh how this made me smile! I love the last line of the haiku….

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 24, 2017 / 3:12 pm

      Always happy to hand out smiles! 🙂

      Like

    • lillian July 24, 2017 / 3:13 pm

      I just love the sound of the word when you say it aloud. And it is indeed a magical place!

      Like

      • Jane Dougherty July 24, 2017 / 3:24 pm

        I was brought up in Yorkshire and when I read LOTR I assumed The Shire was based on the West Riding. It’s true, the word does have a lovely old English ring to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. jillys2016 July 24, 2017 / 3:13 pm

    Charming description leading up to that delicately flowered Haiku and the tabby cat inserts the whimsy that the whole scene requires. LOVE the photos! Thank you for sharing them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 24, 2017 / 3:14 pm

      We so enjoyed our tour that day. And the ride out into the countryside was stunning! Just hill after hill…..and like dotted swiss material almost….sheep everywhere! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bev July 24, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    What a wonderful walk through Hobbiton. Thank you for taking us along. The photos are wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 25, 2017 / 11:43 am

      So glad you enjoyed. It was an amazing place!

      Like

  4. Charley July 24, 2017 / 3:49 pm

    Your haibun makes me wish for a day outing there. The chances of doing so seem out of reach right now. Lovely place, lovely haibun!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 25, 2017 / 11:44 am

      Well then, I’m glad I could take you along with my post! Glad you enjoyed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 25, 2017 / 11:45 am

      Glad you enjoyed! Come travel with me anytime! 🙂

      Like

  5. kim881 July 24, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    What a wonderful journey you’ve taken us on, Lillian, and what a treat to be ‘giants walking through a magical world’. I would live in a hobbit house at the drop of Gandalf’s hat! Hundertwasser designed a whole village of underground houses with grass, vegetables and flowers on the roofs, and I’ve seen one or two hobbit-like houses in books, and one on a TV programme called ‘Grand Designs’. New Zealand is indeed fantastic. I have relatives and friends there but it’s an expensive trip and rather a long way – not for intrepid travellers like you, Lillian! I love the haiku with the ‘tabby cat traipsing through’!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 25, 2017 / 11:48 am

      That was the trip of a life time! And since we were going all the way to Singapore, to board a ship to go round Australia, we thought we should also do New Zealand, knowing exactly as you say, it’s so very very far from here, we would never get back to that area of the world again. We truly had a wonderful wonderful time!
      We saw the Hundertwasser house in Vienna…..and Vienna is on our list of get-back-to places! 🙂 I have an art book of his that I purchased there — his imagination and work with nature within his painting and architecture was amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sarahsouthwest July 24, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    Oh, I’m so jealous! This looks so lovely. We were in NZ over 20 years ago, long before Peter Jackson got his hands on LOTR. You’ve brought me lots of layers of delight with this one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 25, 2017 / 11:49 am

      So glad to take you along Sarah. That was a magical and wondrous trip we took that included 5 days in Singapore, cruises with land excursions in Australia and New Zealand, and then ending with 5 days in Sydney. We are just now putting all our photos into an album and it’s like we are traveling again! 🙂

      Like

  7. nosaintaugustine July 24, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    Another deeply jealous individual here. But reading this was like it’s own vacation. Lovely!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 25, 2017 / 11:51 am

      Always glad to take you on a little vacation with me! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed.

      Like

    • lillian July 25, 2017 / 11:52 am

      It was indeed….so glad you enjoyed!

      Like

    • lillian July 25, 2017 / 11:53 am

      Yes…..that big tabby cat traipsing in the tiny delicate flowers….and we used to have farm cats that did just that when we lived in the country! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Waltermarks July 24, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    How fantastic! You were able to visit hobbit town. I guess some of the hobbit houses were actually more than just a front door. That sounds like a page out of Tolkien’s books. I’d seen it on a travel video, but just assumed it was little more than a stage setting. Wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian July 25, 2017 / 11:55 am

      They are mainly the outsides only — you can go in one….and you can go in the Green Dragon to have a glass of ginger beer. But it is much much more than just a stage setting as it is in the original place, the glorious rolling hills, the actual party tree…it is truly a shire in its natural setting!

      Like

    • lillian July 25, 2017 / 11:55 am

      It was indeed magical! So glad you enjoyed.

      Like

  9. Sascha Darlington July 25, 2017 / 2:41 pm

    I love this! Despite being a huge reader, I have never set out to explore places from the books I’ve read, which is quite a shame. I like you adventure and your pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 25, 2017 / 3:29 pm

      Many thanks for your response, Sascha. Sometimes I think when we see something after reading a book, it brings disappointment as our imagination has created such a vivid picture for us. This however, did not disappoint! It was charming and magical! And the farm lands themselves, 1,250 acres, are gorgeous! New Zealand is truly stunning.

      Like

    • lillian July 26, 2017 / 7:13 am

      So glad you enjoyed. It was truly a magical place!

      Like

  10. colorfulpen July 25, 2017 / 5:45 pm

    Magical indeed. I want to live in a hobbit house and have sheep all around. Gorgeous haibun and photos! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 26, 2017 / 7:14 am

      I absolutely adored this place….the countryside and the shire….and most especially the cheerfulness of all the colors in the doors! 🙂 It just exudes happiness when you see it like this!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. kaykuala h July 26, 2017 / 6:54 am

    Right in front of the eyes in miniatures of the Lord of the Ring fame! What an experience!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 26, 2017 / 7:14 am

      Glad you take you along with the photos. It was a wonderful day! 🙂

      Like

    • lillian July 31, 2017 / 8:57 am

      If was truly an awesome day! Glad to take you along….and so glad you enjoyed.

      Like

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