September 12, 2015 … in a quiet valley

Business issues took me to the upper valley yesterday.


I wonder what prompts the gambolling … is it joie de vivre, and if so what causes them to lose it? Or perhaps something is biting them in sensitive areas.

Rather than going straight home, I went first to the Plateau a little to the North of Upper Hutt. Though some images were made there, nothing really ignited the creative flame for me, so I went round the back road to the Mangaroa Valley and from there South into Whiteman’s Valley. Both of these valleys are home to a mixture of small farms and so-called “lifestyle blocks”. Since they are not on the road to anywhere they are quiet places with lots of greenery and steep wooded hills to East and West. Here in the Southern hemisphere, spring is well and truly with us in everything but weather.  Bouncing lambs and lots of flowering trees tell us it is so.


Lapwings against the Tararuas

To the North end of the Valley, the great South Wall of the Tararua ranges dominates. Some late snow chills the view and makes the peaks more impressive than their benign summer face. I am not absolutely certain but I think the passing birds are masked lapwings (formerly spur-winged plovers) .

Old Man's Beard

Seed heads on the Old Man’s Beard

As I drove across a creek in the valley, I was a bit shocked to see an infestation of “Old Man’s Beard” (Clematis vitalba) choking up the less aggressive foliage.  In the 1980s, famed botanist David Bellamy was the front man for a nation-wide campaign with the catch-phrase “Old man’s Beard must go”. Clearly the message has been forgotten, and though this member of the clematis family is beautiful when in flower, it is an invasive pest plant. In this picture the seeds look a lot like cotton balls.



It is part of the picturesque charm of these valleys that generations of farmers have planted daffodil bulbs along the roadside and occasionally in random patches on the farm. At this time of year, their golden trumpets nod and bow in a lively dance as the spring breezes blow.

More tomorrow, I hope.



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, Birds, flowers, Landscapes, Mangaroa Valley, mountains, The Plateau, Whiteman's Valley. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to September 12, 2015 … in a quiet valley

  1. Annie says:

    Hello Brian, this is the only way I can think of contacting you. Quite some time ago you mentioned you had travelled to NZ on the TSS Captain Cook and I’ve found a web page you may be interested to check.
    I too emigrated to NZ as a child, with my mother and two brothers, on the same ship as did my father although he went a few months earlier with the Air Force.
    The page I found is which I understand is the Latter Day Saints that I noticed as LDS somewhere in the early stages of my search on the web page. I am not allied with that church at all but do know that many years ago, the library at the Takapuna church was very welcoming and interested as I searched my father’s background and did not attempt any conversion to their faith, nor seek any financial donation.
    The page is rather difficult to move through, if you are indeed interested then I offer the following information:
    (Press) Records, Records, Search historical records, Browse all published collections. Australia and NZ (25) on the left. Historical Record Collections. NZ Archives Passenger Lists 1839-1973. Browse through 296065 images. You’ll see many Wellington (port of arrival), think I chose the single one. Then you enter your own information, hopefully you’ll see your name, age, occupation etc and the rest of the passenger information, typed in. One page I was looking at clearly says carbon copy, I’ve struggled with enlarging the page including taking a screenshot. I feel I have put each step, you’ll see why it is a rather complicated exercise initially.
    I am happy for you to delete this from the comments page, my name is Annie Scott, ( or and now live in Central Queensland in our retirement. We arrived in Wellington 30th April 1957, detained there for four days I vaguely remember my parents telling me, due to cabin fire/s on our deck. That’s enough about me, you’ll know whether you want to pursue my leads…….
    Kind thoughts to you and Mary, Annie

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