Tag Archives: water

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

Late summer roses at the Aotea Lagoon Rose Garden today

Enjoy these lovely late summer blooms at the Aotea Lagoon Rose Garden today.
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And take time to reflect a little on life.
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Dappling, dabbling and dawdling

When the spring winds died later in the afternoon yesterday we headed to Aotea Lagoon for a walk and to enjoy the surroundings there.
I particularly enjoyed the dappling of the sun on water in the larger of the two duck ponds.
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The ducks were dabbling.
This gull was content to allow me to dawdle very close to his/her perch.
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And other gulls were dawdling in a group near the main Lagoon.
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Sun, late afternoon light, water, nature….what could be better on a late Sunday afternoon in September.

Introducing Isra

Those of you reading along will remember my last two blog posts have been about the hedgehog who visited my garden needing to drink lots of water.

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It is winter here so hedgehogs should all be tucked up in a safe nest hibernating. Sick hedgehogs do not hibernate and seek water in an attempt to stave off dehydration caused by illness. Mange is a common and very debilitating illness for hedgehogs and this is what was causing my visitor to call at lunch time.

A friend alerted me to the fact that the visiting hedgehog was likely to be unwell and gave me the contact details of a woman who knows how to treat and care for sick hedgehogs.

In my last post I detailed the capture of the little one.
Today I learnt that the hedgehog is definitely a female. I had searched out a name for a male and for a female. There are websites for hedgehog names!

I chose Isra for a female. It is an Algerian name meaning “journeying by night” which is what this little one should be back doing next spring and summer once she is deemed to be well. Hedgehogs can cover remarkably long distances during the hours of darkness.

For those of you wondering about the male name I had selected, I had chosen Tsini, a Hausa name meaning Spike.

Isra is doing well. The crusts caused by mange have dropped away from her eyes. She is eating well and being given vitamins to assist in her healing. She adores her heating disc, much like Jazz, our cat does and apparently stretches out over the welcome warmth.
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I am very grateful to the carer who willingly takes in sick or injured hedgehogs and cares for them, mostly out of her own pocket. I will keep you posted re progress over winter as Isra will not be allowed to hibernate and will only be released in spring if she is fit and strong enough.

Jacqui, the hedgehog rescue and care lady is posting update comments still to my previous posts if you would like to read those too.

The calm before the storm

Late on Sunday afternoon we headed to the other side of the Pauatahanui Inlet for some much needed rest from garden work and studying.

The day had been glorious and the light perfect for taking photographs
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but as we neared our parking spot the predicted change in the weather began to really show itself.
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We have noted a dramatic increase in birdlife both on and above the Inlet in the past few weeks. However they are shy and like to scurry or fly away at our advances and without posh camera equipment it is difficult to capture much more than blobs.

The clouds told of the approaching front as it came in from the north
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and edged a little in from the eastern flanks as well.
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We got back to the car just as the first large raindrops plopped to the ground but not before we had spotted two Kingfishers and had heard the Canadian geese calling off in the distance.

Water on the brain

The entire North Island of New Zealand has been declared a drought area. It is very, very dry and rain is desperately needed. We have been told that there is only 20 days of water left before emergency supplies will have to be used. We are being told to conserve water in any way we can now.
Any water for the garden must be “grey water” collected in a bucket. No more sprinklers or hose use until we get significant rain.

Here is my bucket with grey water from the kitchen sink.
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I also take my trusty bucket into the shower with me for the brief wash that has become. I am slowly going around the garden tipping the grey water very carefully on to the thirsty plants.

Today’s paper has further hints on water conservation. We are also invoking a ditty that my young niece used to tell us when Auckland was in the grip of a water shortage a number of years ago.
“If it is yellow let it mellow,
If it is brown flush it down”

It takes a good deal of mind shifting to capture “grey water”, to be aware of just how much trickles or runs down the pipes and how easy it is to waste water. Fresh water is such a precious resource that is so easy for us to take for granted here in New Zealand where we usually have plenty.
Amidst all the new water saving routines that are being required came a letter from our City council telling me that for at least four days next week there could be very low water pressure or perhaps no pressure at all in the house.

The good news is that it is all part of upgrades to water reticulation services to help prevent problems in the future. If drought periods are to become more frequent here it is very reassuring to know that planning is underway to cope with that eventuality.
So I need to store some water next week to ensure any needs between 10am and 4pm are covered.

Water is certainly on my brain at the moment.

Another walk by the Pauatahanui Inlet

The long spell of unbroken summer weather continues on here and earlier in the week I went for a walk along the Inlet on the Camborne Walkway.

I began my walk with this view ahead of me.

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The boatsheds are a colourful and eclectic group of buildings. Each has a different character which makes it a very interesting place to wander by.
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And between each boatshed is a glimpse of the stunning Inlet on a stunning day.
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There are creative additions on almost all the sheds.
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A finial to keep away any witches that might be lurking.
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Colours to surprise you and which match the heat of the day.
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Nautical settings with summer flowers.
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And all the time the slap, lap, slap, lap of the water beneath the sheds and around the posts.
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This dachsund does not usually swim but this morning he was happy to stand, tummy deep in the warm water
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As we both looked out over the view
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Sunday reflection

When you hear the splash of the water drops that fall into the stone bowl,
you will feel that all the dust of your mind is washed away.
—Sen-No-Rikyu

I visited a nearby lagoon area today to capture a photo or two of this delightful water feature. It is easy to gaze on this and feel relaxed and refreshed. After a week of the common cold laying us all flat and some very wintery weather it was a tonic to be out in the clear, sunny conditions and to listen to this gentle water moving.