April 1, 2014 … a case where asking permission was better than seeking forgiveness

One day’s outing often leads to another.


Happy Valley Sheep Station

The Happy Valley Sheep station has survived for a very long time, but suffered seriously in the storm of last June


On my trip to Owhiro Bay the previous day, my attention was caught by an old house in some long grass near the Southern end of the road. I have seen it many times before, and thought I would like to take some shots of it. Signs at the gate prohibit unauthorised access, so I knocked on the door of the adjacent house to see if I could become “authorised”. The lady of the house came to the door and willingly gave me permission, and even pointed out some of the risks on the site such as a deep drain and a tethered goat. After I started shooting she came out again to thank me for seeking permission. It seems that most would-be photographers of this building fail to do so, and just trespass on the property..

Happy Valley dreaming

OK, so I fiddled with this a little. Among the things not visible from the road is this old Peugeot 403 which seems to have suffered a broken back and is now being swallowed by the grass.


A little later, the man of the house drove up and on spotting me, started to get upset. I was saved by the lady of the house who told him was OK, I had asked. After that he was very affable, though he told me how angry he gets when people take access for granted, and how trespassers are vigorously seen off. My customary diffidence about imposing on others paid off. Actually I prefer to call it simple good manners. This old house was apparently the original farmhouse in the area, part of the Happy Valley Sheep Station. It seems that trespassing is a long-standing problem and on the National Library’s site, I found an advertisement in the Evening Post of 7th May, 1886 threatening prosecution.

Black-backed gulls

Dipping their toes in the water


When I was done, I thanked my hosts, and went the few hundred metres down the road to see if the black-backed gulls were back. They were. Much more cautiously I got down low on the beach and enjoyed watching the birds at the edge of the surf.

Black-backed gulls in flight

Dog-inspired panic


And suddenly they were all in the air again. I was certain that I had not caused their panic this time, and sure enough, a woman walking her dog saw no issue about letting it run through their roosting area. I am gob-smacked at her thoughtlessness.

That’s it for today.



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, South Coast. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to April 1, 2014 … a case where asking permission was better than seeking forgiveness

  1. I’m careful about seeking permission as well. I find I get access to many more things by doing so, and it always make me feel satisfied.

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