June 2, 2014 … another brilliant day

There was a soft start to the day.

Lower Hutt

From our front door, looking down on the mist-shrouded city below

River fog curled down the valley from the headwaters of  the river.  Our house is far enough up the hill that we can look down on such happenings, and enjoy the beauty of the sun on the mist. Those who live at lower altitudes are less pleased when it happens, and their world goes grey.


Perfect conditions at the Ruamahanga River

We could see that the day was going to be a good one, so Mary had packed a splendid picnic lunch (Who can find a good wife, for her worth is far above rubies. Prov 31:10) and we decided to go to Ngawi and Cape Palliser. We took the back road from Featherston towards Lake Ferry, bypassing Martinborough. This took us across the Ruamahanga River which was putting on a display of tranquility worthy of a chocolate box.


Invasion force? Duck Hunters?

As I was folding up my tripod on the road bridge, a puttering below signalled the passage of this improbable group. Were we being invaded, I wondered? The DPM camouflage suits suggested a military operation, but common sense prevailed … it was a duck-shooting party with brush strapped around the boat so as to create a floating hide. I am told that the duck shooting season starts in the first Sunday in May and lasts for three months.


Seal pups playing in the nursery pool

We drove along the beautiful South Coast, through picturesque Ngawi and Mangatoetoe to the rocky outcrops near the Cape Palliser Lighthouse. There, to my great delight we found the resident colony of New Zealand Fur Seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) . This is one of several nurseries where the females raise the pups until they are ready for the sea. The rock pools were full of seal pups swirling, frolicking, fighting, playing or sleeping. There was a lot of splashing and barking, and I like to think, the seal equivalent of childlike laughter.

Seal pup

Who can resist those eyes?

Despite the jagged rocks the pups clambered to the most improbable places and were very curious about these strange creatures around the edge of their pool.They seem to present a variety of appearances and in this case, the largest most liquid brown eyes I have ever seen.

Seal pup (2)

Sleeping seal pup dreaming pleasant dreams

In other phases they seem less sleek and when they are just snoozing in the sun. they are still a delight to watch.

Surf at Onoke Spit

Powerful waves and kids taking risks

After our most excellent lunch, we drove back to Lake Ferry and Onoke Spit. Despite prominent signboards about the unpredictability and danger of large waves on the steep coast, these youngsters were playing tag with the crashing waves. If the worst had happened, who would be blamed? We drove up to Martinborough and enjoyed a good coffee in one of the many coffee houses in the town, and then joined the traffic back over the hill to home.

It was an excellent day.



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, Cape Palliser, Cook Strait, Waves. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to June 2, 2014 … another brilliant day

  1. Toya says:

    Love the seal pups 🙂

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