With a very few exceptions, in the last week or so, we have been experiencing Wellington’s version of winter. That translates as heavy overcast, strong wind, interspersed with rain or occasionally hail. We rarely get snow, but some of our worst days are chilling to the bone. And then there are the exceptions. So let’s see what happened since the last post.
You know it’s a rough day when you see the terns taking shelter. It was very unusual to see them lined up on the handrail of Petone Wharf with one red-billed gull intruding.
A day or so later, the wind died away, though the overcast persisted. Nevertheless, the day was sufficiently benign that people were out walking their dogs on Oriental Bay beach.
While I was at Oriental Bay, a different shade of grey made its way into my field of view. The Inshore patrol vessel, HMNZS Hawea was visiting the city. Despite its ferocious military appearance, this is a typically New Zealand version of the military as the ship is unarmed except for hand-held weapons. It has neither missiles nor a main gun.
Then we had one of the exceptions, so Pauatahanui called me. A juvenile pied stilt is seen here stalking slowly around the pond looking for food.
From a little further around the inlet, the reflections were very nice and Mt Rangituhi and Colonial Knob appear above and below Paremata.
The next day began well enough, but very cold with a deep frost making the roads icy. Across the valley, home fires added to the river mist drifting Southward from Naenae.
A day later, Mary and I took a packed lunch and went up to the Foxton Beach area in search of birds or pleasant scenes. Unsuccessful up there, we arrived at Hokio Beach just South of Levin where the water was perfectly still. I turned to pick up my camera and the wind came in from the West destroying the perfection I had just glimpsed. We ate our lunch in the shelter of the sand dunes and went searching for some fragment to recover from the day. A small fishing boat being recovered was the best I could manage.
Then the wind came back in earnest. I suggested to Mary that we visit Trelissick Park which follows the Kaiwharawhara stream as it flows down the sheltered Ngaio Gorge. I was delighted to spy these tiny fungi, each smaller than the nail of my little finger. Note the two aphids on the rear-most fungus.
Yesterday I was in the city to collect a replacement iPad, so while I was waiting, walked around Thorndon from a different direction. Here is Victoria’s Business School where I worked until 2012. They have added more office and teaching space in that addition to the left since I took my leave.
Having collected the new iPad (that’s how Apple deal with defective batteries) I set out on the return home, and for the first time in a long while found myself entangled in the evening rush hour. Since my Apple repair people were in Thorndon, I followed the Hutt Road and rejoined SH2 at Ngauranga where everything ground to a halt. The moon was rising at about the same rate as the drivers’ blood pressure, but things cleared up and I got home to spend the next several hours restoring my iPad from the iCloud backup.
This morning was threatening dire weather and from Houghton Bay I saw the ferry Kaitaki on its way to Picton crossing the Wairau Valley where there was snow on what I think is Mt Richmond.
Is Winter here yet? The coating of snow on the Kaikoura Ranges would tend to support that idea. We are past the Winter Solstice and should be headed in the direction of longer warmer days, Spring and Summer, but I suspect we have t