Tag Archives: pukekos

At the ponds

We went for a stroll at the Pauatahanui Forest and Bird Reserve yesterday afternoon on a day that heralded summer.
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The first pond offered some “Ducks are a-dabbling, Up tails all!” (The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame)….well in the third photo it is up tails all.
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These were young ducks accompanied by their mother and sharing this pond with at least once other, very shy, duck family.

A Pukeko was poking about on an island in the pond but was reluctant to stand clear of foliage and with zoom at full stretch the photo is not that clear. Its camouflage is excellent bar its pristine white undergarments.
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We sat at a second pond and admired the reflections and the Welcome Swallows zooming and darting above our heads.
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All seemed quiet and still until out drifted this duck with her 8 very new ducklings.
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Our patience was well rewarded and our reserves replenished from some time out in nature.

Light on the water

Recently we spent some time up on the Kapiti Coast. The weather was perfect and once the heat began to ebb from the day we went to explore the walk along the Waikanae river that is accessed from the Otaihanga Domain.

When we had young children and when my mother lived near this spot we spent many happy times there.
The Domain is a very large flat grassy area which is perfect for ball games and for children running and playing. It is circled by many leafy trees such Weeping Willows which provide shade and opportunities to climb. It also has the benefit of being a more sheltered spot from our trade mark winds. Many people picnic there. And I see from the link to Otaihanga Domain that there is now a very impressive children’s playground.

The river forms the boundary on one side of the Domain and allows for paddling and dabbling and swimming if there is enough water in the river.

Across a suspension bridge is a path to the left which leads to the beach or other branches which can lead to places we have yet to explore.

To the beach.  Kapiti Island in the distance.

To the beach. Kapiti Island in the distance.


My eye was drawn to the light on the water as we crossed over the bridge.
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And then as we moved down the river pathway.
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A Pukeko family were drawn to the water to dabble casting their own effects on the water and the light playing on it.
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I felt freed from the many pressing challenges that have been part of my daily life for a long time as I watched the light and its interplay with the water. It is impossible to know what the exact dynamics were but that added to the mystery which attracts. And if it was the water playing with the light or the light playing with the water it did not matter in the least as the flow of both was so soothing and relaxing.

This quote from artist James Turrell, that popped into my email inbox minutes before I began to write this post, has added an even more interesting dynamic for me to reflect on deeply.

I mean, light is a substance that is, in fact a thing, but we don’t attribute thing-ness to it. We use light to illuminate other things, something we read, sculpture, painting. And it gladly does this. But the most interesting thing to find is that light is aware that we are looking at it, so that it behaves differently when we are watching it and when we’re not, which imbues it with consciousness. – James Turrell

A walk around the Upper Lake

After I picked up some provisions from the local shops I went for a walk along the side of the Upper Lake in my suburb. We have two man-made lakes and the upper one is smaller, more wooded and quiet. It seemed an ideal place to walk, to reflect and to focus the camera.

A short distance down the path I came across these four geese.

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On the lake were these white ducks.

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As I approached the geese, two pukekos emerged from the long grass and headed to the lakeside, wary of my intrusion.

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Many native trees grow along this path but there are also homes on the left-hand side and a splash of vibrant colour caught my eye in one spot.

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I paused at seat near the lake edge and looked out at the water-lilies and the reflection in the water of one patch of blue sky.

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We have some unusual looking trees in our bush. This Lancewood is one. It makes me think of primeval times.

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My camera batteries died as I neared the steep incline at the end of the lake. That seemed a good indication that it was time to head home.

Frenzied feeding on a foggy day

It is not often that we experience foggy weather here. Mostly this is because I live in a part of New Zealand that is very famous for its windy climate. But today we awoke to a muffled day of thick fog and low cloud.

I wanted to capture a photo of this foggy day down by one of our lakes. The birdlife was hopeful that I might have bread to feed them but I didn’t today.

Fortunately for the birds a grandfather and his wee granddaughter did have a bag of bread to share in that time honoured tradition of “feeding the ducks”.

A feeding frenzy began with the 4 resident geese leading the charge. The sea gulls skirmished with the ducks and the two pukekos sprinted over to join in the melee. It was chaotic with squawks, honks, and quacks.

The wee one sat wide-eyed but quiet as she ate the piece of bread her grandfather had given her to toss to the starving wildlife!

It was fun to watch and enjoy in the misty, foggy rain.