Tag Archives: animals

A trip to the South Coast

A break in the weather meant a jaunt down to the South Coast of Wellington. It was a stunning day but any breeze that was blowing was still bitterly cold. Our climate can be harsh here so any day when the sky is clear blue, the wind low and the sun shining brightly is a day to get out and about.

It has been a long time since we visited this wild, wind-swept and often stormy stretch of coastline. When the southerlies pound in the sea is an extreme and dangerous force.

It is also near the entrance to the Wellington Harbour and around the road to the west is the runway for the airport.

Across the Wellington Heads the land is no less rugged or any more hospitable.

DSCF2847 (1280x960)

The channel into the harbour has many jagged rocks and reefs so navigation is done very carefully, often with a locally based Pilot to steer foreign ships safely into the harbour.
DSCF2846 (1280x960)

There are no safe swimming beaches but plenty of rocks to climb and explore.
DSCF2838 (1280x960)

Diving is a popular past time for the people brave enough to go into the icy waters.

The sea here is a mix of Cook Strait (that divides the two main islands of New Zealand) and the Pacific Ocean.
DSCF2849 (1280x960)

Sadly the high, snow-laden Kaikoura mountains at the northern part of the South Island were hazy but they help explain why the air is so very, very cold at the moment.
DSCF2843 (1280x960)

After braving the rough, stony beach to take some photos, including this one of one of the regular Ferries that cross Cook Strait
DSCF2841 (1280x932)

and of this aeroplane coming in to land at the airport, we headed to a popular café in nearby Lyall Bay to enjoy a hot drink.
DSCF2858 (1280x960)

From the footpath near the café the view goes back to the airport and beyond that the beach we had just stopped at to take the photos.
DSCF2860 (1280x960)

In contrast this is a sandy beach and people surf and swim here although the water is never particularly warm.

Bracing and beautiful summed up the experience.

Advertisements

A walk by the water

Yesterday, the second half of the year began and with the weather pretending to be springlike we went for a stroll along the edge of the Pauatahanui Inlet. The light from the sun was golden, the air still in sheltered spots and the temperature surprisingly mild.

Birdlife was abundant and active, although a low tide meant photographs were tricky to take, even with a zoom.

The White faced Heron was happy to show its elegant footwork once we sat down and were quiet. It appeared to have plenty of food on offer in the shallows.

DSCF2739

DSCF2740

DSCF2741

This spot is a favourite for the local Kingfisher population and there were plenty about. They like to sit in the trees, scope out their next meal (mostly small mud crabs) and dive swiftly to catch it.

DSCF2742

This one was more than happy to sit on a rock and look about. It looks very well fed!  Camera gear and equipment needs to be much more elaborate than mine to get good photographs of these zippy, beautiful birds.

These flowers (Kniphofia) displayed winter warmth.

DSCF2746

Our stroll took us past Toe Toe, which always respond to any breeze or wind blowing and can look very stream-lined and active.

DSCF2744

Then past this tree having shed its leaves but glowing with life still. ( The strength of the prevailing wind can be seen in its shape – we really do have tree-bendy winds here)

DSCF2745

And the light on the water was magical.

DSCF2750

The Peace of Wild Things – a poem by Wendell Berry

The Peace of Wild Things

By Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things” from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998. Published and reprinted by arrangement with Counterpoint Press.

Source: Collected Poems 1957-1982 (Counterpoint Press, 1985)

I followed the wise words of Wendell Berry and went to Pauatahanui today.

By the Inlet I found a Heron feeding….

DSCF2508 (1280x934)

DSCF2507 (1280x904)

And not a wood drake but a solitary Black Swan.

DSCF2520 (1280x960)

The Wild Things were calm and untaxed.

DSCF2501 (1280x960)

DSCF2496 (1280x703)

The water still and beautiful.

DSCF2522 (1280x960)

It was easy to breathe and calm and feel restored.

Isra, the hedgehog update

Here is a short video clip off Facebook showing a very happy and healthy Isra Isra 13 June (6) and her carer Jacqui.

Jacqui has messaged me today to say she is hopeful that she has found a release spot for Isra and some other of her hedgehogs who are fit and ready to live in the wild again. It has been difficult to find suitable areas where there is no baiting or trapping, busy roads and other ‘hog hazards.

Isra, the hedgehog on video.

Regular readers will remember that I blogged about a sick hedgehog here. She was named Isra and is being cared for by Jacqui in a Hedgehog Rescue haven. Jacqui has several “hogs” in her care, returning them to good health so that they can be released to a rural property far from roads and relatively free of predators once winter is over.

Earlier this week Jacqui updated Isra’s progress. Isra now weighs a kilo and her new quills are growing now that the mange has been cured. Naturally Isra would like to hibernate but that would stop her quill regrowth and delay her release in spring. In order to prevent hibernation she is being kept very warm on her heating disc again.

Jacqui also posted this video on the Hedgehog Rescue (NZ) Facebook page. If you turn the sound up on your computer you can hear Jacqui talking to Isra and describing her as friendly and inquisitive.

Thanks again Jacqui for the treatment and care you have given to Isra and the other hedgehogs in your care :-))