January 13, 2014 … it’s not easy being green*

We’ve been here before, in good times and bad.

Grey teals in the swamp

Though they are classified as “common”, I don’t recall seeing many grey teals before.

The Pekapeka wetlands just South of Hastings are very special. About this time last year, they were in the grip of a very serious drought, with scarcely any water. The next trip saw the water levels back to their normal state, but the bulrushes had died off and were brown and dry. This time, it was as if the drought had never been and the bulrushes (Raupo in Maori) were bigger and greener than ever. The big change was a massive infestation of pondweed, but it doesn’t seem to worry the birds. My first encounter was with a pair of grey teal (Anas gracilis) and I enjoyed the colour contrast.

New Zealand dabchick

This is a member of the grebe family.

In one of the few weed-free patches , I saw a solitary New Zealand dabchick (Poliocephalus rufopectus). This was probably an immature specimen, and it certainly was not engaging in the repetitive diving that I have seen on other visits. Instead, it seemed to be doing some stretching exercises and setting up ripples on the otherwise still water.

Black swans

The weed parts as they swim through it. I was tempted to remove the white spots, but they are swan feathers and are part of the story, so they stayed.

Black swans (Cygnus atratus) were plentiful, if somewhat shy, and they were difficult to get close to. On the other hand, the distant view against the lurid green  was interesting anyway.

The swamp

Elsewhere in the world, there would be dangerous predators. No snakes, no crocodiles here.

My last shot is of the vegetation in the wetlands. We have seen this log and its reflections before, but not with such prolific weed to add colour.

See you tomorrow.

*”Bein’ green” by Joe Raposo


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.
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