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My Dad

It is my Dad’s birth date today. He would have turned 95 if a heart attack had not caused his death at the age of 62 years.

He was a warm, affectionate, loving father who believed in being very involved with his children. He believed that reading to children was vital and so bed-time routines were a happy, secure time in my daily life growing up. He was also funny, humorous and very quick witted.

His musical and sporting abilities and clever brain meant I had a childhood full of his very skillful piano playing, singing, ball games, bike rides, walks, visits to libraries, the Dominion Museum and many other enriching events and places to visit.

My love and interest in nature was inherited from my parents. We lived in Johnsonville and a remnant of native bush still existed within walking distance of our home. It was part of the Old Coach Road and it was there that Dad shared some of this area’s early European history and taught me about various native plants such as: Rangiora, Kawakawa, Ongaonga, Tataramoa, and other flora and fauna. We had many visits to Otari Bush, exploring the vast area of native trees, ferns,mosses and lichens. My curiosity was nurtured and encouraged.

Earlier this year I decided to research my Dad’s life. He was a teacher for 38 years, a father to me and my 4 brothers and a very loving husband to Mum. He had provided so very well for us all and given us sound foundations. But what more was there to learn about him and other aspects of his life away from his family?

I have discovered via letters, documents, records, old newspapers (thanks to National Library’s Paperspast) and people off Facebook groups all manner of details that have filled out the character, values and service to others that were so very much a part of my Dad.

He loved New Zealand’s native birds and with his keen musical ear he could tell the songs of many. He did not live to see the re-population of so many native birds into our suburban gardens but he would have been utterly delighted by it. I see and hear so many and they are a daily tangible link back to my Dad. RIP Dad xxxx

Wordle

I “wordle” semi regularly, opting to use a range of opening attempts but which usually include 2 vowels. My husband always opens with the same word. This morning I thought I would open with his favourite word and to my amazement there it was.

Wordle solved in the first attempt. I doubt that will happen again in a hurry.

Winter Blues

The winter light was perfect today for showing off the stunning colours of the Tui. This image is a rough one but the iridescent blues being highlighted make it worth posting. This bird had just swept through moving another Tui and several Sparrows away from the sugar-water feeders. His flight-path saw him perch briefly here in the Wonga Wonga vine. Tui look black from a distance but any dark feathers are brown.

Further to a recent visit to Plimmerton

On my recent visit to Plimmerton beach I watched a pair of White faced Herons glide in on the gentlest curve to land on the rocks. The tide was lowering so there were plenty of rock pools for them to forage in.

The smaller of the two was very close to where I was seated and so I was able to observe and photograph it as it fished for small and often silvery food items.

It was amazing to watch the bird shift its weight almost imperceptibly on to its left leg while the right leg very gently and quickly stirred the water. It was not a vigorous movement but it netted a morsel into that darting beak every time.

We live in an area close to the Pauatahanui Inlet so we see these lovely Herons on the shore very frequently. It was very special to be so close to them on this visit.

White Faced Heron poised for foraging.

Te Kukuwai O Toa

Te Kukuwai O Toa.

We enjoyed a wander around this re-established wetland in Porirua this afternoon. It is an area that is central to our local Iwi and was very prone to flooding. The plantings will assist in filtering out contaminants which will improve the health of Porirua harbour. Birds of note so far were a pair of sleepy Paradise ducks, and Swallows flying too fast for my eye to catch on camera. I hope Mitre 10 Mega donated towards this project because they are receiving a lot of free advertising.😉

Plimmerton beach last Sunday

We are very fortunate to live near Plimmerton and now that Te Ara Nui o te Rangihaeata (Transmission Gully highway) is open we can access this lovely beach in a matter of minutes.

There is also a stretch of flat footpath that winds along the coast road and it is a very popular walking place.

The weather was warm and sunny on Sunday and so we set off to Plimmerton to enjoy the best part of the afternoon before the winter chill and darkness began to set in.

I sat in a spot where there are a lot of rocks and varieties of bird. The tide was lowering and there were plenty of pools for birds to feed from and shallows to forage in.

There were lots of oyster catchers and this one caught my eye and I think he just about spotted me taking his photo, given his look in my direction.

It was restful and calming on a winter’s day.

Words from my country when I have no words.

Today is a tough day for me because it is 15 years since my mother was killed in a car accident.  This anniversary comes just over a week since a terrorist killed 50 innocent people at prayer and wounded so many more in my homeland.

My words are absent but this piece written by Simon Wilson has spoken deeply to me today.  I would encourage you to read it and absorb it and go more kindly and peacefully in the world.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12213687