The aftermath of a biting cold southerly can leave the air crystal clear and the outline of our neighbouring South Island much more visible. Today was such a day and so we rugged up very warmly and spent some time back at Karehana Bay where the Shore Plovers were resting on the sandy strip behind the storm- piled seaweed. (There are approximately 200 of these birds left so seeing these 5 again became even more special today)
Then we wandered along the sea front and sat on a seat and gazed at the sea and the views of the sky that was so strongly blue after so many grey days. The horizon seemed to be a meld of blues, the island in the distance yet more blue hues.
And so with all our senses sharpened we returned to the warmth of the house refreshed before the promised icy chills of the evening.
We have lived in this area for over 25 years and naturally many changes have happened in that time. When we first lived here this hill to the northwest of our home was named “Pine tree Hill” by the children because that described it perfectly.
Eventually the pine trees were felled and the logs that were commercially viable were taken away. The bare sides of the hill were hard to look at. But very quickly mass planting of natives began and they are all well-established along with many flowering cherry trees and other plants that have resulted from birds dropping seeds. The hill provides cover and food for many of the regenerating native bird populations.
Last year our city council spent some money on making a look out area on the most northern part of this hill. Earlier this week these photos were taken from this wonderful vantage point on what is now known as the Spinnaker Lookout.
This is the view back to my “neck of the woods”
The photo below shows the large area of trees, native and exotic that cover a hillside near my home and which is a great home for our birds and wildlife as well as wonderful places for children to play in the natural world.
This view is the Lookout at the end of my street and which is currently under the gaze of the city council to perhaps “improve” it in some way. We will give careful thought to our submission as this area is windswept and natural with growing areas of natives and home to visits by the Shining Cuckoo, tui flocks and families and no doubt many other birds. It is a great area for children to play on in a free and natural manner using their imaginations. I look out onto these hills from the kitchen window above the sink. The hills are extremely dry at the moment thanks to all the winds we have had this summer and the lower rainfall in the past few weeks. I like the micro-view I have of these hills as I watch the light and shadows change, the weather changes and the movement of cattle from time to time. This photo is much more of a big picture view.
Back to the east is the Pauatahanui Inlet with the small settlement of Pauatahahui at the head of the Inlet.
A shift to the west shows the Inlet, then the entrance to the Porirua Harbour and in the distance the Tasman Sea. Somewhere over the horizon is Australia.
Finally a more western view shows the South Island as blue hills off in the distance.
Large trees block any view due south into another section of my suburb.
This photograph shows the village of Whitby and some areas of earthworks as development moves apace again.
At the vantage point high on Spinnaker Hill there are two large signs offering visitors links to various places of interest with a historical reference or two, some ecology information and links to other walking tracks as well as the interesting symbol that smart phones can read and then provide more information.
There is a large seat to rest on after the rigorous climb to this point and the plantings around this and the signs on the vantage point have been selected to survive conditions in this very windy spot. You can tell which way the predominant wind blows from this tough, drought resistance grass.
Even on this cloudless day there was a stiff nor’wester blowing.
The path down through the wind tossed exotic gum trees crackling with cicadas and off home for a well earned cup of tea.