August 18, 2013 … a meandering homecoming

A leisurely breakfast and a good coffee is a good way to start the day.

After that, we were on the road, heading home from Taradale. With the gentle tolerance of Mary, my wife, and Paul, my brother-in-law, I was able to stop more or less as often as I needed for photographic purposes.

My first stop was the Pekapeka wetlands, ten km South of Hastings. We’ve been there before. Last summer’s extreme drought is long forgotten in terms of water levels, but oh, the bulrushes! There is dead foliage everywhere, looking for all the world like badly done craft weaving.

Birdlife seems less prolific than it was at this time last year. Nevertheless, I saw black swans, Australian coots, a myriad of Welcome swallows, mallard ducks, white-faced heron, shags, and a few dabchicks. First to make an appearance was a black swan, advancing majestically towards me like a gunboat ready to declare war. It turned away as I stood taking pictures.

Black swan in threat mode

That’s an impressive looking wake

Birds or not, the wetlands have a beauty of their own that varies as you move through the walkways. New weed growing underwater offers promise of re-greening.

Weed in the wetlands

As you may have noticed, I like the occasional abstractions

Areas where surface weed is aggregated by the current are already green.

Green reflections

It’s quite difficult to capture this without getting the road in the background

And then there are those dried and dead bulrushes. They offer shelter to birds and other life forms as evidenced by the swallows darting in to obtain large insects.

Welcome swallow eating unknown insect

Look at how dry the leaves of the rushes are

As you can see behind the swallow, those bulrushes are stone cold dead. They do however offer some interesting reflections.

Bullrush reflections

As I said, abstractions appeal to me

A little further South, somewhere before we reached Otane, I saw a landscape that so encapsulated my love of contrasting colour and texture that I could not pass it by without stopping for the picture.

Hawkes Bay landscape near Otane

I could not pass those colours and textures by

Then somewhere near Takapau there was a paddock full of black lambs. Oh how welcome is this Spring. I am really ready to believe it is here.

Lambing time

Those black sheep get a bad rap

As we approached Shannon on the back road to Levin a distant headlight and plume of black exhaust signalled the approach of a steam excursion running from Wellington, past their base in Paekakariki, to Otaki, Levin and Foxton.

Ja1271 with the throttle wide open

What a magnificent sight she made as she thundered by.

So here we are, back home again.

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 Animals, Birds, Hawkes Bay, Landscapes, Machinery, Napier, Pekapeka, Railway. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to August 18, 2013 … a meandering homecoming

  1. Nice images, the last four.

  2. Adam Rosner says:

    I recommend one of those steam excursions, if you haven’t already done one. Especially the trip through the Manawatu Gorge. To see how precariously the road clings to the cliffs is quite something!

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