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.😉
Here are some photos from time spent in nature last weekend and words of upliftment and encouragement.
All that you can see has its roots in the unseen. Forms change; essence remains. Every sight will vanish, however gorgeous. Every word will fade, however sweet. But be strong of heart! Where they come from is everlasting. And renewing. Rumi
When I went for a walk around the pond at the Forest and Bird reserve last weekend I could hear lots of Piwakawaka (NZ Fantail) calling in their happy, friendly, chirpy manner.
This little one flew down on to the path in front of me and proceeded to hop towards me.
As you can see in this final image the little bird was on the move. They are rarely still for more than a second.
What I cannot show you is this bird, barely an arm’s length from me, on a branch of Kawakawa. My camera batteries died at just the wrong moment. Our Fantails are busy, flitty and flighty birds and despite its friendliness and courage this one did not wait for me to replace the batteries with fresh ones.
My camera has been quietly resting for the last few weeks but I have been out and about on a few days in March this year.
Here are my favourite photographs from March. I really like the contrasts between the brown bleached hills and the lush greens seen in the trees and leaves of other photos. Nature showing so much of its best around or near my home.
The big dry on the Belmont Hills
Early morning at home
Silhouette of a Fantail. A fleeting moment of stillness.
Kereru feasting on Karamu berries ( I think)
The stunning work of a small spider.
This ball of feathers is a fantail preening – so little stillness with these delightful birds
Summer has hit here with a capital “S”! Temperatures have been high and being out in the blazing sun for too long is not advisable. Sun hats, sun block, covering up, seeking shade and plenty of fluid is the order of the day.
The sky has been a deep, clear blue for days on end without a cloud in sight.
Yesterday an errand took me near this vantage point and I thought I would share some photos of the Porirua Harbour and views over Porirua.
Mana marina, Porirua
The entrance to Porirua Harbour and the Pauatahanui Inlet. Mana Marina to the right of the photo.
The flat top of Mana Island on the horizon, beyond Whitireia Park and Onepoto, Porirua
The view across Onepoto to the hills of the South Island looking blue in the heat haze.
Across Porirua Harbour to Elsdon and Takapuwahia, Porirua
A section of Porirua City
The steep, parched hills beyond Porirua city. The highest point is known as Colonial Knob. It is a muscle stretching climb to that point.
A local resident was using his vantage point to fly the Union Jack.
And finally this Black Backed Gull decided to use this vantage point near me!
As I was watching the Coot chicks at the lake yesterday this Black Shag flew in and stood on the wooden pontoon that is attached to the concrete of the lakeside path.
The wind was perfect for drying feathers because despite being water birds and looking very oily and waterproof these birds must dry their wings. Shags are swift underwater swimmers, with a sharp hooked beak to help them catch fish, eels and small crustaceans. They are often seen sitting on a perch with their wings spread out, drying their feathers. This is because shags’ feathers are not waterproof. This makes it easier for them to dive and stay under water for an average of 20 to 30 seconds per dive (the observed record for kawau is 58 seconds). But it also means the birds quickly get waterlogged and cold. So after a bout of fishing, shags must spend a lot of time preening and drying to restore their feathers and warm up.
This handsome bird kept a very wary eye on me as I approached. The various turns and moves it made reminded me of a conductor in front of an orchestra or of a person relishing the first taste of summer warmth with outstretched arms.
But I also heard this nonsense poem that my Dad used to enjoy…..
The common cormorant or shag
Lays eggs inside a paper bag
The reason you will see no doubt
It is to keep the lightning out
But what these unobservant birds
Have never noticed is that herds
Of wandering bears may come with buns
And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.
By Christopher Isherwood.