Sunday, July 31, 2011

Himatangi Beach People

The holiday break is coming to an end- and this Sunday morning was quite glorious outside- so I wasn't the only one who headed down to Himatangi Beach for a walk. Here are a few of those breathing in all that sea air.
 This little lass was having a ball dancing away on the edge of the waves.

 And this was one of many couples walking together.

 Not everyone walked of course...

 These feet belong to yours truly.

 First little girl was still out there when I came back again- this time looked like she was with her Dad.

 Another child dancing barefeet with happiness into the waves.

And these three weren't stopping just with the feet. Brrrrrrrr- how could they jump in like they did??

And just to finish off- Kapiti Island in the distance...

212: Beach Feet

I took a lovely walk along the beach today, and have quite a few lovely landscapes I could put here. But I feel that the last day of the holidays calls for something a little quirkier- so I hereby wish to prove that not only did I take my shoes off to walk along the sand, I also even paddled in the water- only ankle deep I know- but that was bracing enough!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

210: winter church

Doing the 365 project this year has made me 'look' at all kinds of things more closely. I have come to notice how the intensity, colour and angle of light changes on some of the buildings around town. The late afternoon 'colour' of the light on this local church has changed markedly since summer, and I seem to remember that fewer 'faces' of the building saw the summer sun. But I will have to keep watching when summer comes around again to see if I am right...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

208: waxeye feast

After the storm, the feast in the backyard. Waxeyes at the bird feeder.
I know the lighting etc is all wrong- but loved the sight of these birds all having a great meal.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Volcanic Plateau

This photo shows Mt Ruapehu with Mt Ngauruhoe in the background- as seen from the Desert Rd last week, before the latest snow storm.

Thanks to my photography tutor I was able to stitch photos together for this landscape :-)

207: snow-free hills

Well, this was a surprising turn-up for the books: no snow visible this morning on the hills behind Palmerston North!
Yesterday much of the country was in the grip of a severe winter storm. It was very chilly here in Palmy, but the worst weather I saw was a small bit of sleet, that I could almost imagine a few snowflakes in. However, roads were closed by snow just over the other side of the ranges, and I fondly imagined I would be putting a photo up here today that showed snow low on the hills near Palmy. But the whole storm seems to have more or less bypassed us, and you only see snow when you get a glimpse of higher parts of the ranges!

Monday, July 25, 2011

206: Wrist warmers

Well, quite a bit of the country is having snow at present, but not us. I feel deprived- though it is still cold enough- only about  6C. You can tell there is snow falling on the nearby ranges though, and can see a sprinkling of it below the cloud level, so maybe I can bring you a photo of that tomorrow... 

Meanwhile, here is a bit of warmth with these wrist warmers. I found them in a market in Rotorua on Saturday morning. They are made in Nepal, and a UK friend suggested such a thing to help with some winter wrist pain in the bone I broke last year. I had never seen them before in NZ and was quite amazed to come across them. And did I buy one of the nice sensible neutral or pale coloured pairs? Well, ummmm no.... I went for the bright rainbow connection! And they do seem to be doing the trick. Although it is now really quite chilly, my wrist feels pretty comfortable.

Friday, July 22, 2011

203: Champagne Pool

Champagne Pool at Wai-o-tapu. For me, this shows the thermal wonders of the Rotorua area at their most magnificent.
(You used to be able to take photos closer to the edge, but this guard fence is an addition since last time I visited.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Orakei Korako

En route between Taupo and Rotorua today, I diverted off the main highways to visit Orakei Korako, a thermal park I had never visited before. What a treasure it was! When you arrive you see steam rising from the bush across a lake, but you really have no idea how extensive the park is going to be. Access is via a short boat trip over the lake, then most of the track is on boardwalk. That might sound 'modern' and 'contrived', but in fact you feel like you have stepped back into some kind of primitive pre-history.
There was so much to see, and I spent much longer there exploring than I thought that I would: these photos just give you a sample.

 One of the amazing features of this park is the amount of coloured thermal algae.

 Steam rises into the air over a large area, but native bush also thrives.

 I don't know whether the thermal environment had anything to do with this or not, but I liked the combination of lines and bubbles. (I presume it is a spiderweb, but I might be quite wrong.)

 Coloured rock, coloured algae, steam.... in so many different ways....

One thing that surprised me was how much bubbling hot water there was.

This fault scarp dated back to 131AD and near it there were small geysers blowing water out quite often.

This was called the Artist's Palette.

 Here is one of the small geysers blowing boiling water forth on the upper plateau- a place to view from above, not to walk across...
One of the pools with boiling mud puddles. Apparently there is more mud action when there has been rain, so winter is a better time to see these looking active. (Check back later for a short bit of video action!)

 So many viewpoints- so much to see...

Then when you think you have nearly finished and seen it all, you pass by this exquisite pool with very hot water bubbling forth.

I loved it at Orakei Korako. There were quite a few visitors, but it never felt crowded. And it felt like I had truly stepped back in time.
Just to finish off- a short bit of video clip of some of the boiling goings-on.

201: Mt Ngauruhoe

Today I traveled north on the Desert Rd, and the volcanoes of the Volcanic Plateau were looking resplendent in their winter snow-cover. Here is a photo of one of those volcanoes, Mt Ngauruhoe.
Later I visited the thermal park of Orakei Korako- and there's a Nomad post coming about the treasures there!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

200: riverside sunshine

Down by the riverside on a gloriously sunny winter afternoon.
And this is the 200th post for the year!

Monday, July 18, 2011

199: shells & stones

The sun is shining in the back yard this morning, and onto this collection of stones and shells on my back deck- all collected on various walks around NZ countryside and beaches.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

198: Magnolia

Spring is in the air..... a magnolia flower at the Esplanade today...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Music in the City

It's been winter storm time here in Kiwiland- at least ten days worth of it... but just in time for the Rugby World Cup Roadshow outside in the Square here in Palmy yesterday morning, it cleared. This first photo is of the MAD group- Manawatu African Drummers- performing before the daylight had quite arrived. They are being filmed for TV... The Manawatu Community Choir also performed, just a little bit later.
One of the other tents in the Square had the UCOL students cooking a free breakfast. Yum! Thank you- the early start meant I had left home without breakfast.

This morning brought a super frosty surprise:

...but there was another special event on downtown, that fortunately didn't require quite such an early start. It's lunchtime, but the foodcourt at the Plaza is looking suspiciously full all the same don't you think?

Hmmmmmm what are all those people looking at?

Surprise! I think it's a Flash Mob!!!!! Yeeeahhhhhahah- such fun. I have always wanted to be part of one of these! Where's the next one Jen??!!

And with the Flash Mob over and done with, we all just 'melted away' as you do with these things. I imagine some thought it weird- but hope that many enjoyed it as we did. I crossed over at the Square to see this lovely bed of polyanthus being cared for by the Council gardeners, who bring us colourful joy even in winter...

I carried on walking up Broadway to find an international event in full swing outside Downtown. Here is the Japanese drumming team from IPC in full swing.

And this dancing group was also from IPC: this dance is a traditional one performed to 'cheer people up'.
After our recent storm, such a dance was great to see while standing outside in the sunshine. It made me think of the seismic events that have affected lives in Canterbury and parts of Japan so badly this year, and the many people that are in need of something to cheer them up.

Just to finish, a small bit of movie of this dance:-

197: Downtown

There was all sorts of excitement downtown today. There was even a Flash Mob in the Plaza. Yeeeeehhhaaaaah. Manawatu Community Choir. And then outside the Downtown Complex, there were Japanese drummers from IPC doing their thing as I walked past... After a very frosty start to the day, everyone was just hanging around, enjoying the sunshine, and the entertainment.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

193: ornament

This ornament is quite elderly now: one of my sisters gave it to me as a gift when we were both much younger. Very precious.

Monday, July 11, 2011

192: desktop

Yep, it's hosing down outside again, so you get another 'interior' shot!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

191: Bird feeder

This weekend I have been taking some camera movie footage of the birds at the garden feeder, ready to edit at my last digital camera class next week. Here is a still shot of a silver-eye.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

190: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast- a ballerina and a tuatara. 
A new sculpture by local sculptor Paul Dibble, has just been installed outside the Regent Theatre.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

188: wet magnolia

The magnolia buds from the other day have opened out a bit more- and have become distinctly 'wetter'!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

186: wandering cat

We went for a walk looking for shapes, and the local neighbourhood cat came to check out our doings!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Turitea Walkway

Well, it surely does help to keep one sane if we keep having lovely winter days like this in the weekends. Another Sunday, another lovely walk - this time along the Turitea Walkway, which starts on the edge of Massey University grounds.
 The walk starts off along a track that passes through bush, near the Turitea Stream.

Later it emerges out onto farmland, and you get some great views across to the northern end of the ranges in behind the city.

 I saw quite a few people out walking their dogs. This lady is wearing a t-shirt, same as me- always makes it feel less like winter when you can do that!

I walked as far as this picnic table, just short of Old West Rd. The reflections in the pond were so beautiful in the sunshine. This is a pool where I look for some ducks with ducklings in the springtime. But today I used the view here as a place to practise my landscape-sequence ready for some 'stitching' efforts- as part of my night class 'homework'. Here are two of the landscapes I 'stitched' once I got home, and I am quite pleased I got them to 'match' up pretty well.

It was time to head back along the walkway for the car, and I decided to put the camera away and speed up the pace. But then along came this fungus beside the path, just begging to be photographed.

As I drove home, I noticed one of the magnolia trees in the Esplanade was in full flower. Ahhh well, if we have another fine day next weekend, I shall have to go and explore there...