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Adventure adversity Architecture Birds Boggy Pond Family Hokio Beach Lower Hutt Otaki Plant life Rivers Waikanae Wairarapa Weather Wellington

December 28, 2021 … what lies ahead?

Another year reaches a conclusion, and what a year it has been for the world, and for our country, for my family and for me. Despite the fact that I try to live with hope in my heart, I look forward to 2022 with trepidation. On the personal front, I seem to crumbling at the edges. As well as the cataract, I have now been fitted with hearing aids, and hope to become accustomed to them. Then, following some sort of event that resulted in double vision, vertigo and nausea (unconnected with the cataract procedure), I ended up in hospital for a couple of nights undergoing a CT scan and MRI. No clear causes identified, but nothing sinister found. And thank heavens for free public health care which was superb for me. Nevertheless, with the vertigo and visual disturbances, my doctors say I am not permitted to drive for four weeks. Grrr.

Christmas has passed and family is scattered in Melbourne, Brisbane, Queenstown and Gisborne. Happily youngest son Anthony,, his wife Sarah and our lovely grandkids Maggie and Jack are at home nearby, so we spent some of our Christmas with them. OK, enough with the babble, what images did I get this round?

Black fronted dotterel

Fine days have been rare in recent times, so when one occurs, I select from one of my preferred locations. On this occasion , it was Hokio Beach (again). Since the whitebait season is ended, it was peaceful with no whitebaiters to deter the bird life. In fact, we had the beach entirely to ourselves. Mary went for a walk along the beach to the South while I lay back on the water’s edge and waited. In just a few minutes, I was blessed with a visit from one of my favourite birds, the black-fronted dotterel. These tiny creatures move very quickly and their legs are almost invisible in motion. They appear to hover across the sand and water. Just beautiful.

Also present at Hokio were the bar-tailed godwits, champions of long distance flight. They fly to tidal estuaries in New Zealand from Western Alaska in epic non-stop flights lasting 8 to 9 days. Barring the great albatrosses, they are the olympic athletes of the bird world. And they are handsome birds, aren’t they?

Feed me mama!

It was a great trip. Dotterels, godwits and even dabchicks. In this visit, the chicks have grown too big to be carried around on the parent’s back any longer. In fact they seem even bigger than the parents now, Nevertheless, they are still dependent on the parents for food. As always, the water in the Wetlands at Queen Elizabeth Park is reasonably sheltered and echoes the deep green of the surrounding bush.

Californian Quail

On another damp but windless day, Mary drove me up to the regional waterworks at Kaitoke. I was delighted to spot a small cluster of female Californian quails browsing in the lawns there beside the road. The males are more spectacular, I suppose, but the females as seen here are beautiful in their own way.

Stick insect

Stick insects are always problematic for me. They are interesting but very hard to make an attractive image with. They seem to need a context, so in this case it was moving slowly among the flax and lavender at the back door. It’s the first time I have seen a stick insect with a face.

Gold

It drives me nuts that, every year, the mainstream media are surprised to discover the existence of Metrosideros excelsa aurea. Breathless headlines about “rare yellow pohutukawa” appear without regard that they used the same story last year and the one before that. To be fair, I probably make the same complaint about them each year too. The yellow variety is definitely less common than the more familia crimson variety, but I think they are far from rare. There are plenty of very fine yellow specimens in the Wellington region.

Coat of many colours

This little Hebe moth is, like many others quite spectacular when up close. Mary drew it to my attention on our stairwell, so I switched to my trusty macro lens and got really close. Do click on the image to see it in the larger version. It reminds me of some of the more spectacular weaving that I have seen, though I think it would be a talented weaver indeed who could produce work as beautiful as this.

Rata in the rain at Kaitoke

Like the pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) , the rata (Metrosideros robusta) is a member of the myrtle family and of the genus metrosideros. The flowers are, to my eye, indistinguishable from those of the pohutukawa. If you get close, the leaves of the pohutukawa are larger and a darker green, and have small hairs on the underside. Rata leaves are smaller, glossy on both sides and have a notch on the tip. A good friend alerted me to the spectacular colours of the rata trees in bloom in the rain up at Kaitoke. He was right.

Waterloo railway Station, Lower Hutt

Most people think of somewhere else when Waterloo Station is mentioned. Our local version would probably fit in the cafeteria of the other one. Nevertheless, it is a locally important interchange between the Upper Hutt/Wairarapa railway line and the Hutt Valley bus services. The wind-shelters in the station are an interesting and necessary feature. As I said before, I am not permitted to drive until early January so I decided to use public transport and roam around the region by train and bus for the day.

Wellington commuter traffic

On arrival at Wellington railway station, I made this image. It occurred to me that not much has changed since the first time I passed through here in February 1954. Well, there are no steam locomotives, and the electric units have advanced through two generations. And then there are the face masks, and the cell phones. And the women wear trousers and the men don’t wear hats. No-one is smoking. Apart from that, nothing much is different

Top deck

Part of my day wandering the region by public transport was to take a trip from the railway station to Island Bay by double-decker bus. Like the schoolboy I sometimes am, I grabbed the front row seat on the top deck, and enjoyed the different perspective from up there. A feature of the city at this time of year is the proliferation of pohutukawa trees in magnificent bloom. This specimen is about midway along Kent Terrace.

Back to the station

On my return from the Southern suburbs, I decided to take the train out to Upper Hutt and thence back to Petone Station from where I would catch a bus back up the hill to home. This was all for the pleasure of riding the rails and seeing our city from different points of view. I paused for a pizza lunch in the station before heading North. Since I wasn’t driving, a glass of Pinhead Supercharger IPA helped that go down.

Once was a high school

Through the train windowI was intrigued by the extent of the “Bob Scott Retirement Village”. This was built on the site which was once Hutt Valley Memorial College and before that Petone Technical College. In its latter days as it was rotting, graffitied and increasingly vandalised, it suffered an arson attack and was totally destroyed. It has taken several years but the retirement village that stands in its place is now complete. Despite its somewhat forbidding appearance, I know many people who enjoy living there, and liken it to living on a cruise liner. I am happy for them, but the lifestyle does not appeal to me.

A favourite corner

I am very blessed that Mary works so hard to compensate for my driving prohibition and she made a picnic lunch and drove us over the hill to Lake Wairarapa. We also visited Boggy Pond and had our lunch on the shores of Lake Onoke at Lake Ferry.

Time was when the trip over the hill was a long and arduous journey, especially with kids in the car. Now you wonder why it was such a big deal back then. Heck there was even a greasy spoon cafe at the summit to break the journey. Obviously the places have not got closer together, but modern cars are more powerful, more comfortable and more reliable. The journey from Te Marua to Featherston is a mere 25 minutes. My favourite spot is a corner just to the North of bridge number 6 where there is a bank of trees down a steep ridge. There is no footpath and no safe space to stop to get my desired view. This shot is not what I desired. I should have waited until we got to where that next car ahead is, but it will do as a grab shot. As a passenger I can stick the camera out the window and point it in the right direction.

That is my last blog post for the year. I hope the festive season treated you kindly and you all had a great time. For any who are locked down or constrained by Covid, my sympathies. I look forward to your company in 2022. I enjoyed a cartoon I saw (but can’t find) which depicts the occupiers of 2021 cowering behind a corner in a dark corridor, reaching out tentatively with a very long pole to nudge open the door to 2022. I would like to hope for a much better year than this has been for the world, and I wish all the very best for the new year to all those who share my journey in this blog. Thank you for being with me and for the kind words from so many of you.

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Adventure adversity Art Cook Strait creativity Festivals and fairs flowers Kapiti Coast Landscapes Light Maritime Otaki Rivers Waikanae Waves Weather Wellington

February 22, 2018 … a need to take control

I suppose it’s a bit late in life to reach this conclusion, but I really need to stop letting life just happen to me. Every morning, there is a new day. And each day just seems to do what it likes with little or no guidance from me. Of course, any new policy of decisiveness will have to take into account that the weather will be unimpressed and just carry on as if I were not here. But there is more to this notion than weather, and perhaps that will become clear as I continue.

Petone wharf
Nice to see the Petone wharf reopened to recreational users after the earthquake damage some fifteen months ago.

You probably got the idea that we had one of those truly spectacular summers which is likely to be a future standard against which other summers are measured. It seems to have come to an end. Not suddenly, nor with an act of meteorological violence, but rather a soft drifting off into mists and grey cloud. For the most part the wind has remained calm so I can cope nicely with that.

Waikanae
Stillness at Waikanae

There were even some days when summer made a brief attempt at revival. This was at the Waikanae Estuary. I was just setting up when the thud of feet and the sound of dripping sweat and heavy breathing heralded the arrival of a secondary school physical training class. They promptly started attempting to form five-high pyramids with limited success. I grabbed my shot and moved on in the direction of Otaki Forks

Otaki
tumbling brown water near Otaki Forks

The rivers were running quite high and the roads were crumbling in places as the recent rain had undermined a number of the edges above and below the road.

Dandelion
Now is not the time to sneeze

The weather really crumbled after that so I was reduced to still-life. Mary found a dandelion seed-head and I decided to get quite close.

Maple
I don’t know if this is the last of spring or the first of Autumn on our Japanese Maple

The next day, with everything still wet, Mary found another target for me … a solitary new shoot on our Japanese maple. I confess to having fiddled a little with this to separate the new pink shoot from the green leaves in the background.

windmills
I titled this image “the spin doctor”

At the weekend just passed, there was the annual fair at Petone. Crowds are not my thing and you need not scroll back far through this blog to recognise that I don’t often shoot images of people. But it is a colourful occasion and I found someone selling windmills, made of various durable materials.

Evans Bay
Evans Bay calm after the storm

 

Then cam ex-tropical cyclone Gita. Howling winds and heavy rain passed much further South than initially predicted but still gave us a hefty clip during the twelve or so hours of its passing. The prediction also suggested there would be some very serious waves to be had. By the time I got to Evans Bay in search of them, I knew there would be none.

Noordam
Holland America Line’s Noordam stops to pick up the pilot to enter Wellington Harbour

In fact at the South Coast, the cruise liner Noordam was arriving, presumably diverted from somewhere that actually was disrupted by the storm, but this view is of the Pacific Ocean, looking South towards Antarctica. As you can see there is an absence of big waves.

ferry queue
Backlog of trucks waiting to cross the strait after the storm cancelled some ferry sailings

On my way back to town, I spotted what seemed like a colourful ribbon across the harbour. It wasn’t until I put the long lens up to the eyepiece that I realised I was seeing the heavy traffic queue waiting for the next interisland ferry. So, that’s the week as it happened to me.

 

 

 

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Adventure Architecture Camera club History Landscapes Light Otaki Paremata Santa Rosa sunrise Sunset Weather Wellington

October 13, 2017 … around the region and further afield

Sometimes I have to work hard to find an image in otherwise drab circumstances, However, sometimes the effort pays off.

Harbour and CBD
A moody evening in Wellington

We have had a lot of grey weather recently, but even in such circumstances I love our city.

Waiwhetu
In the heart of Lower Hutt on the Waiwhetu Stream

Even in dull weather, as long as the wind is absent, I can usually find something worth a look. This is the Waiwhetu Stream on Riverside Drive, near Gracefield. Just out of view above the trees is the Wainuiomata hill with its busy traffic.

Exhibition
Hutt Camera club’s annual exhibition

Every year at about this time, the Hutt Camera club (of which I am president) holds its annual exhibition, and as I have done before, I made a panorama that includes all sixty images. Three of them are mine.

Drizzle
Early morning drizzle in the Hutt Valley

And on the subject of weather, or indeed any other obstacle to my photographic endeavours, sometimes it is an idea to photograph the obstacle itself.  This view from our house looks along High Street through morning drizzle to the Hutt Hospital.

Camborne
Towards the setting sun from the water tower at Camborne

Then the obstacle disappears, and we get what with tongue in cheek, we call “a typical Wellington day at last”. This image was a panoramic stitch made from a small hill in Camborne, looking out towards Mana Island.

Dotterel
Banded dotterel just below the swirling wind and sand

Then the wind returned and outside shooting was just plain uncomfortable. When I say wind, I mean a North Westerly blast in which standing up was actually difficult. I chose to follow the coast road from Wainuiomata to the South coast which was, in many ways a stupid idea. Wind of that strength picks up a significant portion of the sand on the beach and attempts to inject it into any opening, eyes, ears, nostrils, lenses. Nevertheless I struggled down the beach and then lay flat on my back in the lee of a small sand dune. I could hear the wind shrieking and feel the sand bouncing off the back of the hood on my jacket. I lay still and pointed the camera downwind and was lucky to catch this banded dotterel. It seemed unperturbed by the wind and may in fact have been small enough to be in a relatively calm boundary layer.

Otaki Forks
High water levels in the fast flowing Waiotauru River

A day or so later, Mary and I went to Otaki forks. It was a grey day with intermittent rain, but we arrived at Boielle flat in a period of little wind and no rain. Mary explored the beginnings of the Southern Crossing which, for the fit and well-prepared is a three-day hike across the Tararua range to Featherston in the Wairarapa. While she did that I fiddled with my camera to catch this view of the Waiotauru River.

Yachts
Good sailing days are not lost just because it rains

Later in the week we had one of those soft days. In fact it as the day on which I was  to lead the Wellington occurrence of Scott Kelby’s 10th annual Worldwide Photowalk through Newtown. In fact the day was more than soft, it was downright wet. But, since this is Wellington, local sailors were undeterred.

Mist
Though it’s time to go, I shall really miss this view

My last picture for this edition is from a viewpoint that must be familiar to long-term readers. We have lived here since October 1980 … our  five kids grew up here. There have been moments of celebration, of joy and of sadness as you would expect in any house you occupy for such a length of time. We have weathered various storms and remained shaken but not stirred through many earthquakes in the last 37 years, but now, recognising our changing circumstances, it is time to move on, and today we signed a contract with an agency to put our house on the market. We know exactly where we want to purchase, and  it is exactly in the middle of that river mist down in the flat part of the valley.

Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa’s famous “round barn” in July 2012 …. looking Westward in the late evening. The flat grey roof below the ridge was the Fountaingrove Inn. Both are now destroyed along with devastation to housing and lives lost. Ironically the red sky in this image was attributed to wildfires near Clearlake, CA.

Well, it was going to be the last image, but I can’t let this issue end without expressing my sympathy and grief for the people of beautiful Santa Rosa and other parts of  Northern California. In my past life, I spent many months on several occasions working with the New Zealand Dairy Board whose North American headquarters were in Santa Rosa. I spent a lot of time in the Fountaingrove Inn just below the historic round barn on the hill. A large part of this lovely town in the heart of the wine country is destroyed. Lives and homes have been lost and even from this great distance, I grieve with you.

 

 

 

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Adventure Animals Birds Cook Strait Landscapes Light Lowry Bay night Otaki sunrise Sunset Waves Weather

June 18, 2017 – making up for lost time

Oh my goodness. How did I let 19 days pass without posting? To be fair, I have been busy with photography, both personal and club-related.  I had never intended to be so slack.

Lowry sunset
Sunset in the Harbour as seen from Lowry Bay

It has been an extraordinary month weather-wise. A friend from long ago suggested that my posts on Facebook misrepresented the number of calm days we get in Wellington. I have lots of images that attest to the many windy days we have, but recently there has been a great deal of stillness, and when there is stillness, I try to get there.

Getting low
Getting low in Lowry Bay at the end of a calm day

A recent trend in my seascapes has been very low angle, low light and panorama style. I am sure that this too, shall pass.

Night pano
Night panorama from Pt Howard looking SouthWest towards Matiu/Somes Island and the city beyond.

However, while it is in full flight, I am tending to indulge it, even in the dark. The image above is my first attempt at a night-time panorama. This one is a stitch of eight images. It was bitterly cold and my fingers were clumsy with the chill.

Kereru
Kereru in the kowhai

A change of direction(briefly) was brought about by the arrival of a New Zealand wood pigeon to nibble on the tender shoots of our miniature kowhai plant which is currently in bloom. This is a big heavy bird, almost the size of a chicken, so it sits well down inside the shrub to harvest its leaves.

Straitsman
Straitsman succeeds where the others failed and arrives at Wellington despite heavy swells

We had some winds and subsequently some good-sized swells. The Interisland line cancelled its ferry sailings because it was expected that the wave height would exceed safety limits. I went to the South Coast and was surprised that the Bluebridge line decided to take the gamble, and there was the Straitsman inbound from Picton.

Sunrise
Sunrise from our front lawn

On Thursday, the calmness resumed and the day started in glorious colour. Ignoring the warnings of folklore, I set out to visit the Southern Wairarapa district.

Grey
Shades of grey near Pirinoa

There were still some good swells at Lake Ferry, but I decided to go further Eastward, pausing on the way to capture these silhouetted trees between Lake Ferry and Pirinoa.

Seals
New Zealand Fur Seals basking in the sun at Cape Palliser

At Cape Palliser the seal colony had more seals than I have ever seen there before. Mothers and pups were scattered everywhere, and most of the paths were impassable without risk of having one of them rear up with bared fangs and hiss of fishy breath.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking back Westward from the colony, I rather liked the receding series of headlands becoming increasingly hazy in the airborne sea=spray. The nearest of these slopes, the one with the little spike at the top, is Nga-Ra-o-Kupe, or Kupe’s Sail. It is a large triangular sheet of sandstone that, according to Maori legend, is the sail of the great explorer, Kupe.

Boielle Flat
Rapids on the Waiotauru river at Boielle Flat

The next day was also beautiful, or at least it was in Wellington. I decided to go to Otaki Forks. This is inside Tararua Forest Park which is itself inside the foothills of the Tararua range, inland from Otaki township. The road is scenic, and increasingly narrow and winding. There are two fords to cross and after a major slip last year, the road is somewhat precarious in places. Nevertheless, it leads to a place of great beauty and if you are adventurous, experienced and well prepared, is the entrance to many superb hikes across the ranges to the Wairarapa on the other side. Many foolhardy people have died attempting it without the required skills or with inappropriate equipment. I stayed firmly on the ground at Boielle Flat which is the entry for several of the well known hikes. Sadly, the weather had clouded over to the North of Waikanae, but it was still worth the trip.

 

 

 

 

 

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Birds flowers Hutt River insects Landscapes Maritime Otaki Seaview Sunset

May 8, 2016 … stillness and water

Most days since I last wrote, I have made pictures, but most pictures were fairly ordinary.

Roses
Roses all the way

A bouquet of flowers for mothers’ day arrived, and I hijacked them, using the TV screen as a background. I confess to focus-stacking to achieve sharpness front to back.

Hikoikoi
The boatsheds at Hikoikoi reserve. We seem to have acquired some visitors … two more boats than usual.

It may have become apparent over the years that I am irresistibly drawn to reflections on still water. Combine that with the warm light of a setting sun under a nearly clear sky and I am ready to go.

Sunset
Golden glow

From the estuary around to the marina. I have made many images there over the years, in rain and shine, by day and at night. Conditions alter so much that I shall always regard each new day as an opportunity for a new image even if the subject is the same.

Landscape
Looking back towards the Tararuas from Otaki Beach

Today (Mothers’ Day), Mary and I set out for Otaki Beach. The bird life was plentiful and varied, but mostly at a distance. That left me with the opportunity for a landscape at the estuary of the Otaki River.

Skylark
Skylark waiting for its lunch to come within range

As we drove towards the beach for lunch, I spotted this little skylark perched on one of the boundary posts at the edge of the lagoon. I coasted to a stop and wound Mary’s window down, and took this shot through her window. The insect to the right was unaware of the danger it was flying towards. The skylark, on the other hand was on full alert, and as the insect came into range it was snapped up with one movement of the head, and was seen no more.

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Adventure Landscapes Light mountains Otaki Weather

May 31, 2015 … rain or shine

What’s a little rain between friends?

Otaki
Almost immediately I fell in love with the area.

As I have said before, some might see my daily photography excursions as manifestations of obsessive compulsive disorder. No matter what the weather or where I am on the day, I have the need to make images. There is no need for pity over my apparent disorder. It gives me great pleasure to face up to the daily challenge and on most days to produce at least one image that I like. Yesterday I took it into my head to go somewhere new. I pored over Google Maps and settled on the Otaki Gorge. It was a damp grey day, one that might produce what a photographic friend calls “atmospherics”.

Cloud
Heavy cloud on the ranges had the courtesy to stay high enough to add to the picture

My hopes were more than met. Otaki Gorge is the product of the Otaki River coming out of the Tararuas. Though these are not mountains on a grand scale, the country is wild and rugged. I had never been up this road before and was almost instantly bewitched by its beauty, regardless of the weather. If nothing else the wetness reduced the number of people in the area, and allowed me to stop for hasty photographs on stretches of empty road.

Wild
It’s wild country and easy to get lost in. There are a lot of search and rescue operations in the area.

I didn’t go right to the end because I had left my journey until late in the day. Every new corner unveiled new landscape possibilities and the low cloud wreathed around the tops just added to the pleasure of the journey.

Avenue
Long lines of trees near Otaki

A long tree-lined section of a designated area of “rural character” was a particular pleasure worthy of future attention. This is definitely a journey I shall do again, in various conditions, but I definitely shall not be deterred by rain (except perhaps in flood conditions when it would be downright dangerous).

That’s enough for this edition.

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Birds Otaki Weather

January 26, 2014 … hot time at the coast

As I said, I had a wedding to shoot yesterday.

Mouth of the Otaki River
Recreational variety

I’ll regard the wedding images as private, and move on. It was at Otaki Beach, and uncertain of the locations, I chose to arrive early. The locations were very easy to find, so with time to spare, I went to the mouth of the Otaki River and ate my lunch by the water. The weather was ridiculously fine, bordering on “stinking hot” at 28°C. I think Wellington might have made it to 21°C. While I was eating, I watched families fishing, swimming and playing in the river. I am not sure that those activities are compatible, but nobody seemed worried by anyone else. Across the water, Kapiti Island looked enticing.

Waterfowl at Otaki Beach
Bird variety

A little back from the river is a lagoon of sorts which seems a haven for water fowl.  I shall return there and set up my hide and spend a day there at some future time. The numbers of birds was astonishing, and there were many varieties.

Invincible youth
The shimmering along the skyline tells you it was warm

Since it was getting near time to set up for the wedding, I walked back along the dusty road to my car and heard an angry hornet behind me. Actually it was just a helmet-less youth racing down to the beach on his motorcycle.  He was followed soon after by another youngster on a motor scooter … sealed roads are fine, but the inherent instability of most scooters makes them unsuited for rough rural roads, and this guy was bouncing from ridge to ridge and occasionally bottoming out in the troughs. Again, no helmet.

Bikes at the beach
Additional variety to the ways the beach is used

They met up down by the river mouth again.

That’s all for the day.

 

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adversity Machinery Otaki Pukerua Bay Railway

September 9, 2013 … an age of miracles and wonders*

In my opinion, modern kids have missed out on the sense of wonder that went with the age of steam.

Daffodils at Carterton were the excuse for a steam excursion which left Wellington at 8:40 am yesterday. I decided to watch it from the Petone foreshore. There was something of a conflict as I wanted to watch the first America’s cup race. Happily, I could use my phone as a wi-fi hotspot and watch the race streamed live on my iPad. And isn’t all that a source of wonder to those of us who grew up waiting days, or even weeks, for pictures of events that the BBC News told us about on the other side of the world.

So there I was, sitting trackside in my picnic chair, with the wide angle lens camera and wireless remote mounted on a tripod down low, and the longer lens in my lap. There was a mixed overcast with patches of sunshine so at times it was very pleasant, and at others, quite chilly. A distant light raised expectations, but it proved to be an electric commuter train.

Obviously what was needed was a light under a column of steam and smoke. Eventually, soon after Emirates Team New Zealand vanquished Oracle Team USA, the required plume appeared.

The Daffodil Express approaches Petone
I was shooting at eye level on the other camera and this one was fired remotely from the camera set on a low tripod with wide angle lens

Winding its way around the many curves between Ngauranga and Petone, it seemed to take forever, but somehow the time it was in usable distance was extremely brief. Here it comes, there it goes.

A clear blue sky as a background for the steep bushy slopes of Pukerua Bay
There is definitely a different climate on the Kapiti Coast

Later in the day, Mary and I decided for no good reason at all that lunch in Otaki would be nice. On the way there we paused so that she could enjoy the same walk along the edge of Pukerua Bay that I experienced earlier in the week.  The weather was a bit kinder up there on the Kapiti Coast, and we were sheltered from the breeze, so the day felt like Summer.

Despite the turbulence on the water, it was warm and still on the beach
That’s the South Island in the distance

In Otaki the warmth continued and we enjoyed an excellent al fresco lunch and a glass of wine in the nice courtyard of the River Cottage restaurant.

Towards the day’s end, it occurred to me that the train which went up would probably come down again, so I went to the rail bridge at Moera. Regrettably, as I arrived at one end, the train was thundering onto the other end of the bridge. Still I caught it in the afternoon sun. As before it was gone almost immediately and soon there was nothing left but the eerie sound of its whistle as it neared Petone, and a lingering wisp of steam.

Returning home at the end of a successful daffodil excursion
I almost got there in time

That’s it for today.

Sadly, another photographer was killed yesterday photographing another steam excursion. My sympathies are with his family, but you can be assured that I will not be taking photos from on the track.

* The boy in the bubble, by Paul Simon