Sunday, June 29, 2014

Down by the Riverside

Sunday mornings I sometimes go to an AquaZumba class at 10am at the Lido- then if the weather is pleasant, I might wander across to the Esplanade for a walk. Today I had just such a wander- and the Esplanade always has treasures, whatever the season.

I began by walking along the river pathway- which has been improved in recent years to allow easier access for many more people- cyclists, pedestrians, families with young children...

There was a definite winter look to the path today, with shadows still deep on parts of the path itself with the sun still so low in the sky.

New signage helps people keep track of where they are relative to entry-exit points all along the pathway.

After walking just past the bridge, I took the path back via the Esplanade, where some early magnolias are already blooming. Beautiful. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Trip to Mt Bruce

Sometimes I get to see special places as part of my job- and last week it was Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre. Weather forecast was for some slight showers, but we decided to go ahead, and it was a wonderful day.

 We drove through the Manawatu Gorge to the eastern side of the Tararuas, and I was glad to see some sunshine up ahead.

 First on the agenda was the feeding of the takahe- always of interest with their 'thought to be extinct' back story.

Inside there was a tuatara in a display case with temperature and humidity sensors. (There were outside tuatara as well, but they were well hidden with winter temperatures outside.)

As we started walking outside the kaka seemed to take a definite interest in our group, repeatedly flying close by overhead.

 We all knew we were probably going to see a white kiwi in the Kiwi house, but I had assumed the kiwi was an albino. Not so as the sign says- the white kiwi has two copies of a rare recessive gene.

A favourite part of the day was the eel feeding- and they really went for the day-old left-over meat from the kiwi enclosure.

As we walked back to collect bags etc for our return bus trip, some people spied a weta- a source of great interest.

And so we returned back up the eastern side of the ranges- so flat here- but so close to the major Wellington Fault. An interesting day was had by all.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Trying out Strava

No long walks are on the horizon in the foreseeable future, but general fitness (or lack thereof) calls for some more walking! I am keen to take advantage of some modern technology and record some distances and altitude changes. Today I had a go using the Strava App, even though I wasn't going too far from home. What I liked about this app over Map My Walk was that it sensed when I wasn't walking- ie taking photos!- and it deducted that from the time, without me having to fish out the phone and put a 'pause' on it. Turned out that I walked a 4km circuit, going from my place, to Memorial Park, then to New World, then home.

The sun was shining, and it was very calm, so once I reached Memorial Park I got some good reflection photos in the small lake.

The gardener's  shed was enjoying the best of the winter afternoon sun. I know that my house is well positioned for sunshine, but as I walked today I was surprised to see how many modern units seemed to be built with garage/road as the prime consideration, even though the living areas then had minimal sunshine.

 Fungi were well placed here to take advantage of the rotting tree stump.

 I know this shot is a bit 'odd' as the duck is looking away from me- but I just loved the texture and colours of the feathers.

 And as I mentioned, the reflections today were stunning. 

Feather on the pond

And here you can see reflections as I leave via the Fitzroy St entrance, which is currently being worked on.
There is a memorial to those whose lives have been lost or affected as a result of workplace conditions- and it is now more obvious with the changes they are making to the entrance.
 And finally a 'dairy photo' - following a tradition set by Marcus Lush as he walks 'skirting Auckland'.

So- what's next? I think I need to check out the altitude capabilities of Strava next- which means climbing a few more hills!