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September 22, 2017 … in catch up mode … again

When I quit doing this blog daily, it was because I didn’t want it to become a burden, of for guilt to take away the pleasure. I seem to have fallen into that hole in a big way, and now I am feeling guilty again. Anyway, here we are at the beginning of spring … the vernal equinox is tomorrow. I hope it will bring with it a break from seemingly endless rain over the last two months. There have been some good days, and when I could, I got out.

Grey warbler (Gerygone igata) in song

A little North of Otaki is Forest Lakes, a beautiful camping and conference centre. The owners were kind enough to allow me to wander about making pictures. I got some nice landscapes, but my favourite shot of the day was a clear image of the elusive grey warbler. The cascading notes (click on the link to hear it) of this tiny bird  are often heard but the bird itself is rarely seen.

The bush at Lake Papaitonga Reserve

A little further North is Lake Papaitonga. It is in a DoC reserve and offers a pleasant bush walk on well-formed paths. The bush itself is a delight with lots of bird song  and some nice views near the lake.

The coastal tanker Matuku bringing fuel from Marsden Point

As I have said, the merest hint of a reasonable day gets me out and about, and I keep looking for new angles, This coastal tanker was being escorted in to Point Howard with the aid of the port’s two tugs holding it form against a stiff breeze.

Ruch hour
Rush hour on Petone foreshore

With such a strong breeze, as the sun gets near the horizon, the salt-laden air gets a pink tinge. This shot was made from Seaview as the evening rush traffic attempted vainly to rush along the Esplanade towards Wainuiomata and the Eastern Bays. The sun glittering off the glass made the slow-moving vehicles look quite spectacular.

Daffodil Express
The Daffodil Express with all its moving parts in motion

The following weekend was the running of the annual Daffodil express, so I waited for it coming back in the afternoon as it crossed the Silverstream Bridge.

Kaiarahi at Sinclair Head

Some moment of madness, combined with a  brief window of fine weather inspired me to walk he 11 km return journey from Owhiro Bay to the seal colony at Red Rocks. As I was nearing the seals, I saw the ferry Kaiarahi emerge from behind Sinclair Head on its way to Wellington. Even allowing for the foreshortening effect of the long lens, it seemed perilously close to the breaking waves and the viciously sharp red rocks.

Lake Wairarapa as seen from the trig station at Rimutaka summit

A few days later, I was turned loose to undertake a photographic wander, and as I reached the Rimutaka summit, thought I had better attempt the walk up to the Trig station while my health still permits. The sign at the start of the track says “do not attempt in windy weather”. It was fine and warm at the bottom so no worries. Unfortunately, the wind speed increased with altitude, so when I finely arrived a sweating gasping grease-ball at the trig, I was hanging on to any bush and scrub to avoid being blown over the edge. Nevertheless, the sky was clear so with the heavy tripod that I had lugged up, made this multi-image panoramic stitch. That’s Lake Wairarapa in the distance.

Hau Nui
Hau Nui Wind farm in Southern Wairarapa

A few hours later, with my knees still wobbling from my hill-climb, I got to the Hau Nui (big wind)  wind farm to the South East of Martinborough. Some of the fifteen turbines in the complex can be seen here.

Ivey Bay
Ivey Bay on a dark still night

A day or so later, as I was coming home for a meeting at around 11pm, I realised that though it was dark, the weather was still, so I went down to Ivey Bay at Paremata . As I said, it was dark, so I walked up to my ankles in tidal mud before I realised what was happening. A hasty withdrawal and a long exposure followed, with this result.

Wellington Harbour from Khandallah

Then a few days ago, we finally got a typical Wellington day (in joke). The harbour was perfect and I went up to Homebush Rd in Khandallah for this view.

Tulips in the Botanic Garden

Later the same day, I came by the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Spring tulips are my favourite of all their displays. With that, I am up to date, and have a clear conscience once more.