July 30, 2013 … in a land of enchantment

This place just can’t help itself.

Regardless of my occasionally curmudgeonly view of resort towns everywhere, Queenstown is magically situated. It can be bleak when the cloud is low and the wind blows. When the sun shines, it just can’t hide its party personality.

Yesterday, the day started slowly, with overcast and low temperatures. I accompanied my daughter-in-law Abbey and grandson Otis to the supermarket at Frankton for some shopping and a light lunch at a nearby coffee shop. Like many children in his two-year-old age group, Otis likes the Supermarket.

Otis goes shopping

The most precious cargo … but like most two-year olds, a handful.

After my siesta in the afternoon, I was delighted that the sun had rejoined us and the region was dressed in all its finery. I went back to Lake Hayes. Late afternoon sunlight in flat calm conditions leads me into all sorts of temptation. I know there are those who prefer gritty sombre images. For my part, when I see beauty, I want to make the best picture I can of it, regardless of the disapproval from certain quarters.

Australian Coot

I think the ripples were the real subject here.

It may be landscapes, or perhaps birds. This Australian Coot (Fulica atra), for example, chose some attractive ripples as a contrasting background.

Mallard drake

Handsome bird isn’t he?

And then an ordinary Mallard drake (Anas platyrhynchos) in breeding plumage insisted on showing off his finery as he swam among the willow roots near the shore.

Australasian Crested Grebes

Matching bookends

A pair of Australasian Crested Grebes (Podiceps cristatus) swam round the corner to see what was going on. I find them to be fascinating birds, very elegant on the water, but a bit shy about being near people, hence the long distance view.

Oystercatchers in tight formation

He was unsuccessful in his pursuit at least while I was watching

There were New Zealand Scaups (Aythya novaeseelandiae) by the dozen, but I did them a day or two ago. Interesting though, were a pair of what I believe to be a pair of South Island Pied Oystercatchers (Haematopus finschi) flying in tight circles low above the Scaups. I suspect a case of unrequited lust. It gave the impression of an eager suitor chasing a reluctant maiden. The flight at least, was elegant.

Remote controlled helicopter camera platform

That’s a very heavy (and expensive) camera

And then, by way of something completely different, I encountered some people demonstrating the possibilities of remote-controlled helicopters as a camera platform to a group of Korean film makers here to shoot some commercials. Apparently the scenario is that the camera will circle the actor who will be standing on the edge of a precipice up in the mountains. A minion was detailed to stand still and take the part of the actor for the purposes of the demonstration and the two person crew circled the device alarming close to him … well he looked alarmed. One person flew the quadricopter while the other person independently controlled the behaviour of the camera platform on the machine.  By way of air to ground transmissions, she could see on her screen what the camera was capturing. This was a very serious payload. The camera was a Canon EOS 5DIII with a wide angle lens attached.  It was an impressive demonstration.

Landscape at Lake Hayes

A still lake is irresistible to me

But then, the landscape caught my eye. I don’t care who thinks these are “biscuit tin lids”. This is a photogenic landscape and it deserves to be photographed.  This is from the shore of Lake Hayes looking across the lake.

Song thrush

Thanks for the melody


Did I mention that there were lots of birds about? A song thrush serenaded my departure as I left to come home for dinner.

More from this region tomorrow.


About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Aviation, Birds, Children, Family, Lakes, Landscapes, Light, Machinery, mountains, Queenstown. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to July 30, 2013 … in a land of enchantment

  1. John Titchener says:

    If the biscuits match the picture on the tin lid, they must be yummy!!!

  2. Am very happy with your tin lid photos.I like the scaup one with the ripples. talking about lust. You were not l….g after the Mark 3?

  3. Ellen says:

    Time well spent and I love the thrush picture.

  4. Pamela says:

    I am loving the birds and that cheeky grin of Otis!! Enjoy them, sending warm summer greetings from Geneva where it was 34c the other and heading that way again this week!

  5. Toya says:

    I like them all but the stand out one for me (other than Otis) is the Oyster Catchers in flight. I love the composition and detail. Well caught!

  6. Adam Rosner says:

    he he laughing at the biscuit tin lids… that phrase amused me the first time I heard it too! The Queenstown area is blessed with abundant natural beauty as I’ve discovered the two occasions I’ve been there. I am just surprised you left your tripod at home, clear winter nights and a relatively light-pollution-free environment would make for some great night-sky photography!

    • I really didn’t want to travel without the tripod. I regard a serious solid tripod as essential for good landscape work … but with clothing for a week and cameras and computer, I was right on the 20kg baggage limit as it was.

  7. Rosalie says:

    Hi Brian
    Thank you for sharing the beauty.
    No apologies needed

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