July 2, 2013 … start one thing, do another

By way of a change, I went down to the South Coast through Wainuiomata.

The journey is a reward in itself. The road follows the river down its narrow path between steep hills on either side. The river meanders from side to side, whereas the road tends to cling to the Eastern hills. The farmland does not look particularly fertile or productive, and indeed there are a number of farmlets that are clearly more about a way of life, than making a living. The valley has been inhabited for a long time and has been farmed since the earliest days of European settlement. There are few remnants of the old days, and one much photographed derelict came much closer to final decay in the recent storm.

Accelerated decay

This familiar landmark on the Wainuiomata Coast road lost much of its roof in the recent storm

Down on the coast a brisk wind and deep blue water made a perfect foreground for the distant snow-clad Kaikoura ranges. The whitecaps will show up if you look at the larger image.

Inland and Seaward Kaikoura Ranges

The view across the strait is not often as clear as this

This panorama is a stitch of fourteen separate images. There were more, but I failed to overlap properly, and you can’t have a panorama with gaps in it.

On the way back towards Wainuiomata, I paused at the Rimutaka  Forest Park, a much loved hiking and picnic area. As I drove in, I saw lots of bird life.  Though I had intended to take a break from birds, I parked to get shots out of my driver’s window of some native wood pigeons in a roadside tree opposite. A ranger came up behind me in his truck, and then stopped rather than overtake me and drive through my shot. What courtesy.  At the ford, where the river runs over the road in flood conditions, there were lots of fantails.

Fantail eyes up a potential meal

Target fixation

I chose this image because it includes the spider web, and I am unsure whether the fantail has its eye on the spider’s pantry, or the spider itself. Truth to tell, I simply didn’t see the web when I took the shot and discovered it later on the computer.

Native wood pigeons

They were too busy nibbling the shoots to worry about me

And then a little way further in, near the main car park, I saw a flock of New Zealand native wood pigeons (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae). I have often seen pairs, but never seen a group of six before.  (With the long lens, I could not zoom back far enough to get them all in). The tree they seem to like so much is Tagasaste, or Tree Lucerne (Chamaecytisus palmensis). They like the flowers and leaf shoots.

Resuming my homeward journey, there was yet another compulsory stop. I saw an opportunity for an image of rim-lit sheep (the title “gilt-edged investment” came to mind) but I was diverted. In fact, I was “photo-bombed” by an Australasian Harrier (Circus approximans). I got some better shots of the harrier, but couldn’t resist one with the sheep in the background. It was interesting to watch lesser birds scatter to the four winds as this predator cruised by.

Australasian harrier cruising

These birds aren’t big enough to be a threat to the sheep

And that will do for the day.

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About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Birds, Cook Strait, mountains, Wainuiomata. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to July 2, 2013 … start one thing, do another

  1. Toya says:

    Great panorama, can easily see it on a canvas!

  2. Oooh I do like that old shed.

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