June 9, 2015 … birds and soldiers

A nasty wind stirred things up yesterday.

Oystercatchers

Pied oystercatchers at Ration Point

It’s due to get worse, too. Nevertheless I took two cameras out for their walk yesterday. The Canon with the big lens was there for birds, and the Olympus for general images. Ration Point is often a useful spot for birds and with the wind in the North, it provides a small area of shelter. Oystercatchers were the main occupants of the space yesterday with a solitary Caspian tern, and some masked lapwings nearby.

Heron

White-faced heron and masked lapwing

As I stood there, flights of shoveler ducks flew by and then a flight of pied stilts. A pair of white-faced herons made a graceful arrival.

Trucks

An unexpected military presence at Pauatahanui

At the Western end of the inlet near the water ski club, there was a splash of unusual colour. In New Zealand, our military are rarely seen outside of the reservation. People in dress uniforms may be seen near the seat of government, but soldiers in DPM work uniforms are a rarity in suburbia.  The trucks were the first thing to catch my eye. I think I have a good eye for pattern recognition and military vehicles with their distinctive high-profile big tyres just don’t fit the normal pattern.

Launching

Launching the inflatables ready for the exercise

Each military chooses a uniform that allows its soldiers to merge into the predominant landscape forms. Disruptive pattern material (DPM)  varies around the world, but I have to say that the New Zealand variant is really highly visible in the green suburban environment. It turns out that this was a group of engineers who were there to practice the “man overboard” procedures with their inflatable boats.  When the boats were eventually inflated (by old-fashioned foot pumps) and the outboards mounted, there was a briefing and they prepared  to launch. Although the officer was very crisp and direct in his briefing, I was pleased that there was none of the hectoring and screaming so prevalent in Hollywood portrayals of the military. It was all calm, efficient and matter-of-fact and not once did I hear anyone say “Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!”

invasion

Unarmed invasion force

They launched in the certain knowledge that each of them was going to be the person in the very chilly water at some stage. They headed in the direction of Whitby, but there were no weapons in the boats so the good citizens of Whitby did not need to repel the invaders.

I hope to find something to photograph for tomorrow.

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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, Landscapes, Military, Pauatahanui, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

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