Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Back road home

A little Tomtit was fluttering around my car when I went to leave the lodge yesterday.  It's not the first time I've seen this pretty little bird, nor the first time I've tried for a photo.  There is a resident pair that nest around the lodge somewhere.  I got the camera out and sat there but it didn't return.

However, as I drove away another fluttering caught my eye.  I think it was another Tomtit but it was too quick for me.  There had been a shower of rain not long before but the sun had returned and was filtering so prettily through the bush I just had to try to capture it.

You won't often hear people say Ruawai was calling to them.  And I don't know where the idea came from but when I reached home I had a crazy idea that I felt like going to Ruawai.  I had planned on going to the supermarket in Whangarei later in the day.  The supermarket in Dargaville could be on my way to Ruawai, depending on which route I took, so I headed there first.

It was a windy, blustery day, the Northern Wairoa River had its dirty brown churned up look.  You can see my hills of home in the distance.

Ruawai means 'two waters', referring to the Northern Wairoa River and the Kaipara Harbour.  One meets the other around here.  Yesterday, the meeting produced extremely muddy looking water.

Ruawai is a small country town, population around 400, with a surprisingly good local cafe.  Maybe it was the thought of their food that lured me there.  I chose Thai pumpkin soup for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Thank you, The Well Cafe.

From Ruawai I took a cross country, back road home, stopping a few times to take in the view.

Monday, August 14, 2017

People watching

The cows have been in the paddock around the house.  Some are avid people watchers.  Or maybe it's just me with whom they are fascinated. If they were human people watchers they would have a few lessons to learn about discretion.

Mind you, I think she did try not to be obvious about it but her body language gave her away. 

A good people watcher learns how to do it without staring.  That is just rude.

People watching is sometimes about details.  I enjoy people watching but am not a details person.  It took me a while to notice that there were two cows who were observing me every time I step outside. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Whenever I drive to Auckland I always think about the traffic in the city before I leave and plan my trip to avoid traffic congestion.  Even if I don't have to worry about getting somewhere on time, I still resent any time spent sitting in traffic in the city.  When it happens I try to tell myself not to be like my father whose hatred for traffic (and traffic lights) was often a source of amusement to his offspring.  

On the other hand it doesn't matter one iota has long I have sit behind a flock or sheep or heard of cows on a rural road.  It is always a pleasant experience for me.  Of course, it helps if my camera is handy and I have time to fire off a quick shot out the car window. 

These sheep know the drill and mainly stick to the road as they are moved from paddock to paddock.  The roadside fences are there but don't seem necessary.

They are pretty important when the flock reach their destination.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Late Fences

I've become accustomed to composing my photos to include fences because I've been taking part in Gosia's weekly roundup of Fences Around the World. Although I rarely remember to post on the right day.

Anyway, here's my collection of fences from the past week or two.  The first few are from Taranaki where my eyes are always drawn towards the mountain.

This shot  is here purely because I drove up a particular road with this shot in mind, only to find the clouds had moved across in front of it while I was getting there.  I was not amused.

A few minutes later the same day he was a little more visible.  Yes, according to legend, he's a man mountain.

I got up closer but luck was still not with me.  There's always next time.

The next few are taken out the car window when I drove to Mahurangi Regional Park on my way home on Saturday.

And these are the fences on either side of the road that I travel frequently to visit my son and his family on the 'other' farm.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Long way home

Saturday was a glorious day.  Cold but bright and sunny, too good a day to spend simply driving home from Auckland after flying from Taranaki the night before.  A day where places I haven't seen for a while beckoned me off the well beaten track.

Wenderholm is one of Auckland's Regional Parks.  On the east coast, it's about a 35 minute drive from the city, but a whole world apart.  In summer it's long sandy beach is extremely popular with lots of folk picnicing on the large grassed area, under the shade of the huge, old pohutukawa trees.  On Saturday there was a scattering of people enjoying the winter sun.  Mainly older folk.  I guess younger people have other things to do on a Saturday.


Any time of year is selfie time.

 Around the corner, on the Puhoi River side of the park it was equally tranquil. 

I decided that I'd call in at another east coast regional park, a little further north.  I don't think I've been to the end of the road in the Mahurangi Regional Park at Sullivan's Bay since the 70s.   There are more houses along the road, of course, but still a lot of farmland and the views haven't changed.

All was quiet down at the beach.  There was a young tourist couple with a little child enjoying a walk on the beach, all smiles and friendly nods although we couldn't understand each other. And this older couple sitting beside their campervan having a cuppa. 

Before I reached home after dark I'd made another three little detours to visit family and friends.  And I felt like I'd enjoyed the absolutely perfect day.  Oh, and I'd taken one more photo - looking down the Kaipara Harbour on the west coast, from a friend's bedroom.  Yes, it's that easy to visit both coasts in a day.