For the second time I trudged up the steep tracks of Te Ahumairangi in a fruitless search for the New Zealand falcon.
I saw one in the far distance, but I obviously followed the wrong track. Nevertheless, it was a delightful walk, despite the mean inclines which encouraged me to turn frequently to admire the view unfolding below. And close at hand, nature put on quite a show. Even the Tradescantia fluminensis weeds were attractive.
There were birds and butterflies, bees and flowers. Since this is the national week for butterfly survey, I include this Yellow Admiral (Vanessa itea) sitting on a purple ragwort flower.
I mentioned the unfolding view. Down in the harbour, the frigate HMNZS Te Kaha (F77) was sitting patiently while HMNZS Wellington (P55) was flying the red refuelling pennant as she took on oil near the ferry terminal. Not often we get to units of the Royal New Zealand Navy in port.
There are those who despise all modern architecture preferring to cling on to the perceived superiority of ages past, no matter that the buildings are unsafe and inefficient. It reminds of W.S. Gilbert’s “I’ve got a Little List” – Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone, All centuries but this, and every country but his own … they’ll none of ’em be missed! I like modern architecture unashamedly and I love the colour and contrasting textures of a cityscape.
There are zones within the city that have a transitional quality but I still enjoy the variety as we take the long view.
To be clear, I don’t dislike the old buildings, though I am glad I no longer have to work in them I just refuse to join in the fashionable distaste for glass and concrete. I particularly enjoy the proximity these buildings with a predominance of black and white on the Northern end of the Terrace.
In case anyone is hankering for yesteryear, there remains plenty of it in Wellington and this collection of houses on Tinakori Rd is a fine example. I particularly love the little building with the splendid arched window towards the right and desperately hope it serves as an artist’s studio.
No falcons, but I am content.