We are back into Daylight Saving time here in New Zealand. We put our clocks forward an hour in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The day here was wet, cold and windy. The day saved the best of the light until last with this lovely pastel sky as part of the sunset.
Our neighbour has a flowering cherry tree alongside the footpath. It has looked a picture for a few days now and with inclement weather upon us I was determined to get out and see what I could record with my camera before the elements bruised and battered the beauty too much.
The tree is simply a mass of flowers and the scent strong and sweet. A Tui was enjoying the nectar but gave me a merry chase and managed to stay mostly out of sight.
The Tui appears as a black object in the centre of this image.
The wind was blowing about and the light glarey but sometimes that can work.
It has been an excellent day for blogging, not so good for enjoying photography.
Two weeks ago I headed out in our back garden with the camera on Macro setting to record the intricate beauty of Kowhai tree flowers. I love the intense golden colour of these flowers which provide so much nourishment to the Tui from the nectar within each flower.
Tui have an articulated tongue that has a fibrous brush like tip that allows them to harvest the nectar from these tubular flowers.
The final photograph shows some of the damage that results from vigorous drinking by the Tui.
In an interesting side note. Kereru (Native Wood Pigeon) eat these flowers rather than sup the nectar.
The weather forecast mentioned increasing cloud and rain. That all seemed to come in a little earlier than forecast so with the clouds thickening as a warning we headed out for a short stroll at Aotea Lagoon. Our timing was perfect and we enjoyed the sheltered area near the small duck pond and rose garden.
No spring baby water fowl were in evidence and the stunning flowering cherry tree was still to burst forth but there were some other lovely colours to soak up and record with the camera.
This Wisteria will be a mass of flower and fragrance in the next week. I suspect the colour of the flowers will deepen as more emerge.
The Bottle Brush bushes have a good covering of “brushes” right now. These bushes are located very close to our house which means the birds fly away swiftly at any approach.
A female sparrow keeping a close eye on me as I kept a close eye on her!
It is easy to work at the bench right now with so many birds feeding here at the moment.
I have some waxeye photos taken in the same manner to post about too.
For a long time now I have wanted to record some photos of Starlings. I see them in and around my garden all the time and hear their raucous but also tuneful songs amidst all the other birds who frequent our neighbourhood.
I often watch them from the kitchen window as they bob along in an almost military strut pecking for tasty morsels in our grass. There are times when their feathers look unkempt and others when they appear to use a lot of grooming “product”. But they also have beautiful iridescent colours and delightful white speckles as part of their plumage.
I had tossed out some food scraps earlier in the week and these had drawn the sparrows, the occasional finches and some starlings. Later in the afternoon several starlings had arranged themselves on our boundary fence and my luck was in.
One of my real enjoyments as the day begins to draw to its end, is to watch the flocks of starlings flying at speed to their nightly roosting places. It is quite magnificent and if I am outside the sudden sound of the whirr of their collective wings is dramatic but fleeting. A photograph of this has eluded me to date. But I like a challenge.
When I turned my camera lens towards this climbing rose putting out its new and very special spring leaves I did not expect to see in the image things that my eye had missed.
But this can be the way with cameras and eyes. More commonly it is that the camera has not recorded what my eye was seeing. However in this instance it was the recorded image that made me pause.
The grey background of the fence was one detail I had overlooked and in the whole picture it had become a key aspect. It allowed the light, the gloss and sheen of these fresh, bronzey, silver, green leaves to stand out even more. Such a display of early new spring growth is very short-lived and within days these leaves look very different. Such is the nature of the abundance of spring energy.
I am still contemplating on this photograph and it may be that no great hidden message exists in it for me. It might just be that the stunning digital workings of the camera, combined with nature in a special moment has offered me a gem to enjoy in many ways.
Delights can come in many ways.
Fathers’ Day dawned sunny and warm here today. The Japanese Maple is bursting into leaf offering so many fresh new hues.
Here is one branchlet of springy newness almost with autumn tones.
But my late Dad would quote Robert Frost who so correctly said: “Nature’s first green is gold…..” And so it is with the Maple.