A Duckling’s Curiosity

Baby duckling near the Stone House, Nov. 15, 2017

 

With Mama Duck near,

Duckling is curious and

Comes to check me out.

 

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Such a cutie!!

This little duckling….foraging for food and sipping water in the puddles, along with its sibling and mama duck.

At one point it saw me with my camera and decided to come on over to say hi.

MADE MY DAY!! Hahaha! Wish I’d had something to feed it.

Ah well. I said hi.

There were some other water fowl in this nature reserve, which is a park area with a good-sized pond and being part of the grounds of an old historic building – called The Stone House – in this part of New Zealand.

 

 

 

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The Weka – one of New Zealand’s flightless bird species

Weka at Tauranga Bay seal colony area, Nov. 11, 2017

 

Curious weka!

Busily foraging and

Unperturbed by me.

 

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The weka!

This pretty, brown mottled and modest bird.

Roaming freely….in this area of native flora and man-made walkways that leads visitors to the look-out points to observe the seals of this seal colony at Tauranga Bay.

I was looking at the information plaque regarding the penguins and other animals living in this ecosystem, when I suddenly realized that there was this friendly feathered friend walking about. Before it disappeared again into some brush. Saw it again later on the walk back to the car. It seems quite comfortable having people coming through.

My first time seeing one…..especially in its natural habitat! COOL!!  🙂

 

 

Waves at Tauranga Bay

 

Crashing waves in Tauranga Bay, Nov. 11th, 2017

 

Rhythmic sound of waves,

Continuously growing;

then crashing on shore.

 

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The mighty, foaming waves crashing in at Tauranga Bay!!

Such an awesome sight!! ^_^

And the roaring sound!!

I stood there….watching….feeling mesmerized by the beauty and majesty of the ocean in its endless dance.

 

 

 

An unfolding Circle

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Long green curled-up arm,

Rounded green fingers clasping

Little brown circles.

 

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This is the curled up tip of a large/giant fern, which is the approximate size of your fist.

I have been seeing many of these on my visit to New Zealand again, this being my first time to go in their spring time.

Every time I look at these “heads,” I am constantly amazed at the intricate detail of the fern leaves that will grow to their much larger size as the stem uncurls over time. They all look like wondrous works of art – with tiny nautilus shapes!

SO COOL!!

A friend asked me, as he was wondering, whether these unfurled fern heads are edible, similar to the MUCH smaller fiddleheads that are harvested in parts of Canada during our spring time and are considered a tasty dish.  My kiwi friend explained that yes indeed, these giant-sized fernheads can be steamed and eaten.

And here they are called pungers, which sounds like “pungas.”

 

Six Word Story #17

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Boldly colourful painting welcomes store visitors.

 

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Outside of a quick, casual glance at the ground as I hurried into the store yesterday – it was raining at the time! – I didn’t pay THAT close attention to the painting.

However, as I was leaving the store with my two purchases from The Granary, which sells bulk items and vitamins and various natural soaps among other things, I couldn’t help but then properly notice the pretty sidewalk painting at my feet.

Naturally, I had to go back inside.  I paid my compliments to Christa who was then working in the store.  She told me it was another employee, Jane, who had done that painting, as well as all the other like creatively drawn smaller signs dotted in and around the store.  I asked her to please pass along my compliments to her for such a beautiful and cheerful greeting!

 

 

 

“Landscapes”

This past week the photography assignment theme was “Landscapes.”

I picked four from within a time span of the past four months.

Most participants were submitting a great variety of cool landscape shots, some quite spectacular.

I was pleased with the ones I had picked – although they probably weren’t spectacular, haha! – and I was mostly inspired with the fun of sharing.  Which is why I started my set of four off with this one…..taking the theme but giving it an unusual twist in perspective…..

 

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Landscapes #1 – (Archived, May 2017) With a different perspective….from up high. Coming in for a landing in a propellered airplane…..landing wheels extended…..over Montreal. T’was a rainy day. 🙂

Added note:  I knew it didn’t have any spectacular sun views or sky views, since it was taken on a rainy day, but I thought it fit the theme and it was something a little different. At the very least, I thought people might like seeing that shot from an airplane view. ^_^

 

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Landscapes #2 – (Archived, June 2017) Splash of vibrant sunset colours behind silhouetted farm fields just a couple of kilometres from my home.

 

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Landscapes #3 – (Archived, May 2017) A winding road running along the shoreline of the Plansee in Bavaria.

 

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Landscapes #4 – (Archived, August 2017) A couple of the kids and I went out for a two-hour canoeing/kayaking excursion – two canoes and I was in the kayak….from Taylor Lake to Clayton Lake. Squeaking in to our destination just as it was getting dark. So peaceful on the water……with forested shoreline all around.

 

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This last photo was one of several that I took….some of which I included in a recent blog post, here.

A Happy Ending!

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Hello, Friends!

You may remember a couple of my posts in August about the monarch caterpillars that my mother was fostering.  I had stayed with my parents for a few days and eagerly took photos and observed right along with my parents on the gradual progress of each caterpillar.

In the meantime I had returned back to my home and so wasn’t present when each caterpillar transformed itself into a pupa, then chrysalis….and finally, coming forth from its temporary home as a newly fledged monarch butterfly.

However, my parents kept sending me updates and a couple of photos.  The above photo is one of theirs, and it shows the first of the three emerging from its chrysalis case, while the second one, on the left, is still inside.

My mother sent me this photo with the message, “It’s a girl!”  🙂

I’m pleased to let you know that each of the three in turn and in their own time successfully made their debut – safely until their wings were in fine form – then were moved into the backyard….and flitted away….as is their way, on their long migratory journey south.

And the other two butterflies ended up being a boy and another girl!  🙂

Note:  Here and also here are the earlier posts about the caterpillars that I mentioned above.

 

 

 

 

A high-flying sunset

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Mesmerizing sight;

From the wing of an airplane,

Just as beautiful!

 

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A couple of photos that I re-discovered from July of 2007 on a flight from Blenheim to Auckland on the first stretch of my journey back home from New Zealand to Canada.

In a small propeller plane where every passenger has a window seat – a single row of 10 seats on both sides of the plane’s cabin – I felt lucky that I had one of them facing west where I could watch this unexpected and breath-taking view.

I have seen sunsets over oceans and lakes and over hills and valleys.  A sunset with its burst of orange colour and accompanied by fluffy clouds is pretty wherever you see them.

 

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So spectacular in design….and one feels embraced in warmth.

 

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I had zoomed in a little more with my camera to see what lay beyond those clouds, and it looks like a whole other kind of world over there.

 

A Treasured Hand-made Gift

My Grandfather’s Passion

I wonder what he envisioned when he held the untouched block of wood in his hands.

I wonder if his creation came to him in one moment or did it develop over time as he prepared and carved the wood.

I wonder how his eyes would have appraised the progress and noticed anything that needed some extra care.

I wonder at how his hands would have held the wood and turned it and applied the tools and correct pressure and motions to reveal the figure bit by bit.

I wonder at how he felt as he anticipated the joy it would bring me to behold his gift.

I wonder at the hours he spent carving and shaping and smoothing and painting.

And I wonder and feel thankful for the love he put into all of it.

 

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I pulled this wood-carved figure down from the shelf that it stands on to have a good look at it again.

My husband’s and my wedding anniversary is coming up next week, and this carved figure was a present in honour of our wedding day over 30 years ago, presented to us by my grandmother and grandfather on our honeymoon visit to see them in Germany.

My grandfather was self-taught at wood carving, and I know he had such a passion for it, as he carved many beautiful pieces over the years.  His skills may appear rough compared to more highly trained wood carvers, but in our family we appreciated all the work and joy he put into each piece.

Whenever I would go for visits to their place, in every room I would see a diverse array of his artwork, including a big and detailed head board for my grandparents bed.  He also lovingly carved an appropriate sized “stone” that rests at the head of their gravesite, which he made when my grandmother died before him.

 

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Do you wonder why this long-robed man carries a key?

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The answer lies with the good wish that came inscribed at the bottom of this wooden figure.

 

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My grandfather initialed and dated this wooden figure, along with the message, which translated means, “Our dear Ela, for her wedding and for the future the key to happiness.”

And he signed it “Vati,” my endearment for him.

❤ ❤

 

 

Summer Evening Paddling Trip

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A call of a loon;

Quiet splashing, rhythmic sounds,

Kayak glides along.

 

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Yesterday’s warm temperatures and sunshine beckoned.

So, following the family supper, some of us embarked on an evening’s paddle.  Well, as many as could fit into two canoes and a single-person kayak.  😀

We launched our craft onto Taylor Lake and eventually made it to the channel leading to adjacent Clayton Lake….and ultimately the village of Clayton where we finished just as it was getting dark.

It’s a lovely paddling excursion….usually taking about two hours.

There are quite a few cottages along the shores of Taylor Lake, with avid boaters and fishing enthusiasts sharing the water….and everyone respecting the speeds near other boaters.  By contrast, Clayton Lake is quieter.

We were lucky and were treated to multiple loon calls, the sighting of a loon family of three, and a pretty sunset.

Here are some more photos…

 

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A juvenile loon…

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Sunset on Taylor Lake

From the time the sun was just touching the top of the trees to my extracting my iPhone from the protective plastic box tucked inside my life vest and then going for a photo, as you can see the sun went into hiding – moved so fast! Anyway….still looks pretty over the water like that.

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Kayaking is a lot of fun!

(Good time to add in a selfie….)  😀

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On Clayton Lake

I took a photo of the view behind me with the pretty clouds and the pinks and purples…..getting darker fast.