Saturday, August 25, 2012

Yellow Admiral

This butterfly provided a little burst of colour when I walked downtown this morning. I didn't know what it was at first, but with the wonders of google I found out it is a native Yellow Admiral, also found in Australia.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Signs of spring are becoming more abundant. These flowers are from the native kowhai tree, and I love the way that tuis are attracted to eat from them.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


A few signs of spring are appearing... there are bulbs coming up in the garden and the early ones are already flowering.

Thus far it has been an annoyingly wet end to winter/ start to spring. Yesterday though I managed a walk downtown without my raincoat, though it seemed as if any moment the heavens would open. 

And when I still had 2km to go on the way home the skies seemed even blacker.

But strangely enough, those skies didn't open to drop their load. The black clouds cleared, and some sunshine even came out. The unpredictability of spring- gotta love it!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Himatangi Beach

It's a month now since I got home- surely time for a walk along the beach. I love Himatangi Beach as you can walk so far, for quite a few kilometres if you feel like it. Since it is a west coast beach, it can have some quite wild moments, though today it was sunny and calm.

 There were a few others sharing the beach...

 and you could see Kapiti in the distance.

  Just a few birds were surveying the shore for shellfish-
a few gulls and a couple of pied stilts- or were they pied oystercatchers?

 And a few others were walking along the beach. You could feel the tension from the working week just drop off your shoulders and down your arms to be left behind in the sand beneath your feet.

Back home, it was time to face the reality that I needed to do the lawns, and that quite a lot of weeding is needed in the garden. It really is time I made some good resolutions about the garden and kept them!
 But meanwhile, the first of the white stellata magnolia buds have come out to be enjoyed, whether I do any gardening or not!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Summertime in Paris

Now for a jump back to summer.... At the end of all my Camino walking, I headed back to Paris at the end of June to spend a few days before my flights home.

I booked a hotel in Montmartre, quite close to the Abbesses metro station. The whole area was full of lively shops and activity and I loved being based there.

Late that afternoon one of the places I visited was Notre Dame. It was a good time to visit as it turned out: there were fewer people around, and the sun shone onto the facade, showing up all the detail clearly.
This photo is one of my favourites. This young man was busking on a bridge near Notre Dame, and I ended up listening for quite a while to the music he was making.

Next morning I started my wanders up on the hill of Montmartre. First I visited the distinctive Sacré Coeur Basilica, which seemed to be a bastion of more conservative catholicism. Around the corner from that was the much older St-Pierre church that dates back to 1147, and is still a parish church these days. This sculpture was just one part of the sculpture on a bronze door.

Down the hill again, and closer to my hotel, was the church of St Jean L'Evangeliste. It was built 1897-1904, of a very innovative design. This design was on one of the outer doors.

There were lots of interesting shops once you were down the hill away from the original 'village' area now dominated by tourist shops.
This shop was a cheese shop on Rue le Pic, and I bought several cheeses here to take to a Camino friend's home. I am not much of a cheese-eater, but even I found the array quite fascinating.

I kept on heading downhill, and it wasn't long before I stood in front of the famous Moulin Rouge.

Not far along the same street was this juxtaposition- a supermarket of a more traditional kind, alongside one for more erotic goods.

Next day I spent much of my time near the Seine. I realised I had never crossed this particular bridge, covered with padlocks that declared undying love.

And beside the Seine I got this view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

On my last day I wanted to make sure I revisited Forum des Halles and these colorful sculptures that I remembered from a previous trip. Today the sun shone and I loved the brilliance it imparted.

One of my last adventures was afternoon tea at the famous cafe of Les Deux Magots. I must admit that eating in such a cafe is usually beyond my budget limits, but I was kindly taken here by another Camino friend.... and so endeth the Paris adventure!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Spring is in the air...

Ahhhhhh spring is in the air. These two photos were taken at the Esplanade this morning. I must say, I knew the magnolia tree was flowering, but I was surprised by the fullness of blossom on the other trees.