Thursday, 31 December 2015

Setting the Sun on 2015

As the clock nears midnight here in New Zealand it is time to say goodbye to another year gone. It has been a year of great change and one where my blog has been severely neglected.
However, as the sun rises tomorrow on a new year and 2016 starts there will be new resolutions and no doubt plenty more changes to come.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Lake Lovers

On a recent trip to Taupo I took in some of the local bird life.

There is a reasonable number of black swans that appear to call the lake home and most seem to spend their time upside down finding food at the bottom of the lake.

Due to the crystal clear water this morning we were able to witness them digging around the stony bottom.

We also came across this very interesting looking Mallard duck. I have never seen one so white before, there was even a joke that maybe it was half seagull. 
Along with Mrs Mallard there were some gorgeous little ducklings hiding in the clover at the edge of the shore.

Friday, 31 July 2015

The Moon and His Friends

For the past month and a bit we have had a very interesting night sky in New Zealand. In late June we saw the appearance of the Bethlehem star for the first time in 2000 years. This occurs when Jupiter and Venus appear to overlap from the earth's perspective. Unfortunately at the time I was unable to get any photos.

In this photo you can see Jupiter and Venus, I'm unsure which one is on top, as well as the Crescent Moon and Mercury hanging out to the right.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Sealing around the Shore

About a month ago I went for a wonder around Red Rocks, are area on the Southern coast of Wellington.
From April/May - Augustish male seals come ashore here.

This bachelor colony represents the rejected males that failed to find females for the breeding season and winter period. Come spring they will head back out and go off to the South Island. 

The seals seemed to be huge posers. They liked to keep an eye on the people that were hanging around, when not sleeping, and most people made sure to keep a healthy distance. I sure did as I know they can move very quickly when they want to.

The abnormality of the colony was this little pup. He was the only one this size, the rest were twice and in some cases three times his size. There seems to have a bite on his flipper but otherwise he appeared happy to chill between his uncles and brothers.

This dude popped up just to make sure we weren't doing anything untoward. A bit of a poser I think.

Saturdays Critters

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Bloated Blue Bottles

Last weekend while out discovering the southern coast of Wellington I happened across these blue bottles, presumably washed ashore during the massive swell during the week.

Bluebottles are also known as Portuguese Man of Wars and can inflict a nasty sting with their very long tentacles. While I got very close I made sure I didn't touch as even when on land they can still sting.

It wasn't until I looked at the photos later that I noticed the little green stitches on top of one of the bottles. They were so delicate and almost looked like tiny sutures.

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Place I Call Home

Last Sunday there was the most spectacular sunset over Kapiti and the South Island. I drove up to the Paraparaumu water reserve/ lookout and was able to capture these images on my cellphone.
The mountains on the distance to the left is the South Island and Kaikoura ranges, while the Island on the right is Kapiti.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Canadian View

Last June I went to Canada and was amazed by the breathtaking scenery. Here are a few of my favourite photographs.

Seton Lake in British Columbia, Canada

Friday, 20 February 2015


A few weeks ago, work had a development day out at a working station farm called Boomrock.
Boomrock was named after the sound the waves make when crashing against the rock, cause a loud boom to resonate up the valley.

When we arrived at the Bunker, this was the view that greeted us. The bunker is named after the fact that this location was used by the Home Guard to watch out for Japanese submarines coming through the Tasman Sea and Cook Strait to Wellington. As far as I'm aware no submarines were ever spotted but many a farmer hung out here with their rifles. It is now a clay bird shooting range with eighteen hidden traps among the bush. 

  This was the northward view.
The family who own the station have moved their house onto the cliffs, though cant be seen in this photo, and are able to get spectacular views. Even during a storm I have been told the view is amazing. Later in the afternoon a sailboat even drifted between the mainland and Mana Island with Kapiti looking foreboding in the distance.

While there we were treated to a 4WD excursion to the back of the station, Coming down the track to this view was simply breath-taking. The farm was incredibly dry for late January, traditionally February is the hottest month of the year in Wellington.

At the top of the station the Tasman sea looked so appealing you just wanted to dive in. Though getting to the edge was quite daunting in a vehicle as you would go over small hills and bumps and as you went up there would be nothing but sky to greet you. A lot of trust in our driver was require in believing that he wasn't about to take us over a cliff.

The northern located islands weren't the only ones to come to the party that day. As the day went on and the heat climbed the clouds that surrounded the South Island burnt off to give us a glorious view from d'Urville Island to all the way down the Kaikoura ranges.

Skywatch Friday
Black and White Wednesday
Black and White Weekend

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Chicklet Evolution

A whee while back one of mum's chicken when clucky, since we have two roosters roaming around she decided to put some eggs under her and see what happened. Around 22 days later these two popped out.

Apart from appearance they seem to have very different characteristics, at least as much as two week old chicks can. The black one seems to have clear attitude, as demonstrated above while the yellow one can be a tad daft at times.

Either way Mumma seems to be doing a good job. She wasn't too happy when I put my head into the house to take some photos.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Bruce My Big Blue Buddy

Last Friday while I was sitting on the Wellington waterfront I had a friend come visit me. From what I understand he is a blue shark and possibly an older juvenile. Needless to say he gave me a rather large fright when he suddenly appeared right in front of me. 

Blue sharks usually like the clear deep blue water but this guy seemed pretty happy cruising the shore line. I wonder if the beautiful hot weather has brought him out.It appeared that he had been caught in a line at some point as you could see some fishing line trailing down his body from his mouth. He's made multiple appearances in the days since, and some people even managed to cut the line that was attached to the hook. 

On Monday I went back out, with my camera at the ready to see if he would make another appearance. Low and behold he popped up and I managed to get a few photos, people then followed him down the waterfront as he drifted along. Last night he was on the national news and he's also been featured in the paper.

Our World Tuesday
Water World Wednesday
Outdoor Wednesday
Skywatch Friday
Saturday's Critters

Monday, 19 January 2015

Flying Fish

Just before Christmas my dad and nephew went fishing an caught some gurnard, this specific type is the Pacific Red Gurnard and can be found around New Zealand and Australia.

Along with these wings, which help to give the fish an appearance of flying, gurnard have little fins, or walkers which help to scare pray out into the open. These fish mainly eat crabs and other small fish. They also honk, or make a sound similar to a honk when they come out of the water.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A Shagging Good Time

In Waikanae near the estuary the Pied Shags appear to have claimed this macrocapa as their own. The side they have taken up residence on appears to be dead and the smell is rather ripe. I do wonder if the acidic smell has had something to do with the half-death of the tree.

As I watched I managed to capture some images of the parents coming back to feed their young. 

They appear almost full size with most of their feathers having come in so I wouldn't expect them to be in the nest much longer. The fledglings can be determined by the spots on their bellies.

This one appeared to be rubbing his head in despair at all of the noise from the demanding babies, it was unclear if he had his own.

The bachelors had the right plan and were relaxing by the lagoons edge with some of the fledglings.