How blessed I am that after 45 years of marriage, I enjoy my wife’s company.
Mary suggested a trip to the Cross Hills gardens near Kimbolton in the Northern Manawatu region. It seemed like a good idea despite the somewhat dubious weather forecast. She is smart enough to bring a book to read and/or some knitting. We set out in the morning and went up through Shannon, and then took the back roads through Rongotea towards Feilding. A little North of Shannon, there was a recently ploughed paddock and in the background a ridge-line full of wind turbines. Above them there were lenticular clouds which give some indication of why that was a really good area for the turbines. Please click for a clearer view
North of Feilding there is the tiny settlement of Kimbolton (pop. 250) and North of that again the road follows a ridge above the valley where the little town of Apiti sits. If you ever saw the movie “Shadowlands” in which Anthony Hopkins played the part of C.S. Lewis, this would be my candidate for the “Golden Valley.” Some snow remains on the high peaks of the Ruahine range in the background.
Inside the gardens, we and one other couple had the whole vast space to ourselves. In peak season it is often very crowded, but yesterday it was still dressed as for winter, though a few early blooming rhododendrons and azaleas were putting on a show. We went to the ornamental ponds which were a bit greener than usual, perhaps due to an absence of visitors to press the button to start the waterfalls. Never mind, Froggie was still patiently waiting for a fish though his chances were small.
In that same part of the garden there were a few flowers in bloom, so here is what I think is a Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica) .
The gardens are divided into themed blocks so the adjacent tree was the Japanese Andromeda (Pieris japonica). In order to get as much as possible in focus, this a blend of five separate images in the process called focus stacking. It takes forever to blend in Photoshop, but I am happy that it worked.
On the way home, as we were getting near Shannon, I caught this row of trees that tend to confirm again that this is a good area for a wind farm. I liked the Indian ink on wash background look. Mary read the book that she carries when we are out together while I performed my routine with the tripod.
That’s all for now.