January 7, 2014 … capes and feathers

Seize the day …

Cooper gets a launch from his father

Super Cooper about to make a splash

… or the hour or the moment. There was a short patch of summer in the early afternoon, during which our son Anthony and daughter-in-law Sarah were taking Maggie and Cooper to the school swimming pool at Normandale. As in previous years, the school offsets the cost of pool maintenance during the long summer break by hiring out keys to members of the school community. Like many boys of his age (six), Cooper identifies strongly with the “super heroes”, so he turned up to swim wearing his Superman cape. His father is fit and strong so there was a sequence in which Cooper was launched several times from the pool edge into the water. I can tell you he went much higher and further than he would have if I were the person attempting the throw.

Canada geese

Increasing population

Since the summer weather window was visibly closing, I decided to seek feathers. At my usual place on the Pauatahanui inlet, there was nothing to see but the ever-increasing flock of Canada geese which seems to be fifty percent bigger each time I pass by, and given how often I pass by, that’s a bit alarming.

Shore birds

A wide variety of shore birds enjoy the sandbank

Back towards the Pauatahanui village I stopped near a sandbank where the Royal spoonbills like to bask, and attempted to sneak up on them again. I was thwarted when the depth of water in the reeds exceeded the height of my gumboots and I had no idea where the holes might be. Since I was carrying a heavy camera and long lens, I backed off, but not before trying a few shots. Despite the distance, the shot illustrates why I like Pauatahanui so much. In this one shot there are Caspian terns, pied stilts, mallard ducks, Canada geese, Royal spoonbills, black swans and spur-winged plovers. Overhead, skylarks were singing their merry tune. Magic, despite the wet feet.

Immature blackbird

Though they are very common, they are among the most musical of our local birds

As I pulled in to home, and stopped at the letterbox to check for mail, I spotted what I think is an immature female blackbird. It didn’t seem inclined to fly away despite my close proximity, so I reached carefully for the camera and got off a few shots before it decided it would be safer in the trees and flew away.

That’s all for now.


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 Birds, Children, Family, Normandale, Pauatahanui, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to January 7, 2014 … capes and feathers

  1. I think the reason you have so many Canada geese down there, is because on our east coast it is so very cold. We are in an “Arctic Vortex” at the moment.
    Still enjoy your photos very much. A big thanks for doing this for us ex-pats.

    • It’s a tempting theory, Charles, but we have approximately 60,000 permanently resident Canada geese, mostly descended from a flock of sixt imported in the 1960s. They are not a migratory colony. Every so often the numbers get so large that a major cull is ordered, and recently they lost their “protected” status and are now merely game birds. Stay warm.

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