With Mama Duck near,
Duckling is curious and
Comes to check me out.
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.
Rhythmic sound of waves,
then crashing on shore.
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.
A call of a loon;
Quiet splashing, rhythmic sounds,
Kayak glides along.
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…
A juvenile loon…
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.
Kayaking is a lot of fun!
(Good time to add in a selfie….) 😀
On Clayton Lake
I took a photo of the view behind me with the pretty clouds and the pinks and purples…..getting darker fast.
Hint of pink inside,
Buds holding tight and slowly
Unfolding the show.
Exploring in my garden again today and was caught up in the buds’ progress of this peony plant.
And to think the flowers will eventually be quadruple the size of the buds…..and I wonder how do the buds manage to keep all of that floral splendour inside?
And all those busy ants!
Complement to rocks and wood,
The silent runner.
The common lizard. Or so my research tells me.
My uncle first said it’s a salamander, as salamanders are native to Germany.
We also bandied about gecko and lizard.
Either way, a sleek-looking and fascinating creature!
We – my uncle, my husband, and I – spied this little lizard on our extensive hike up towards Schloß Staufenberg in the Black Forest during our recent visit. The first part of the hike was on a good-sized trail through a forested area, followed by a road along hilly fields, covered in rows upon rows of wine grape plants.
This lizard had been coming along the edge of the trail and then decided we were such big creatures and it was better to hide away in among the sticks and old wood.
Scrambled away quickly!
When in Copenhagen….you’ve got to check out the LEGO!
Everyone in our family is an enthusiastic LEGO builder and player!
So, on my brief layover in Copenhagen last May, naturally, I was always on the alert to see where LEGOs would pop up. Particularly since it’s a long-lasting classic toy originating from Denmark.
On an evening walkabout, when most stores were already closed, I spied this brightly lit up store and spent some time looking at all the LARGE and well-constructed LEGO creatures, such as the dragon above. It boggles the mind, thinking of the planning and then constructing that went into these amazing structures.
My friend, Josh, stood beside this LEGO guard in order to provide a comparison perspective to show the size of these LEGO people.
On one wall were the various LEGO logos designed over the years. LEGO logos – say that a whole bunch of times real fast! Haha!
And imagine my surprise when at the airport the next day, there was even a LEGO store there….in among the usual clothing and electronics stores.
Certainly not a small store – given it’s at the airport – and filled with a large and varied selection of different types and sizes of LEGO toy boxes.
Here’s a closer look at the LEGO playing table….laid out so invitingly for sitting down and playing.
Near the entrance stood an almost life-sized LEGO traveller, complete with pith helmet, tropical shirt, and an assortment of cameras.
Imagine how long it took to put that fellow together!
In among the brown and green,
They smile – springtime cheer!
A week ago I went exploring in the front garden. I found a few yellow daffodil buds popping up and a couple of flowers opened in full, like these two.
Something about their sunny yellow colour that has me singing inside.
I also noticed how some daffodil’s leaves and buds were so determined to show themselves, that they broke their way through last year’s leaves, taking them upwards with them!
Leafy collars are the new fashion. 🙂
On my trip in July of 2007 to the South Island of New Zealand – on the occasion of my girlfriend’s wedding – her daughter, Emily, and I took off one free afternoon to go on a mini-excursion.
We came upon this nifty looking, wooden Maori carving – quite TALL – which is located at the Karaka Point Historic Reserve (a short drive outside of Picton).
This look-out point offers up a spectacular view of part of the Marlborough Sounds area.
The following sequence of photos gives you a somewhat panoramic glimpse into these beautiful sounds.
The clouds and waves that day created a bit of dramatic ambiance.
I looked up some added information for you.
Online the site, 100% Pure New Zealand, describes the Marlborough Sounds as follows:
“Marlborough Sounds is a collection of ancient sunken river valleys filled with the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Forested hills rise steeply from the sea around an intricate coastline of sheltered inlets and sandy bays. The area has three main bodies of water – Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorous Sounds. The Department of Conservation manages over 50 reserves in this scenic playground.”
There are grassy areas where one can walk about and enjoy the views. I imagined what it would be like to walk all the way to the end of that huge outcropping.
And finally, included is the sign as well.
Canada’s Birthday in Ice and Lights
What a vibrant glow from those red and white lights as they shine through the carved ice!
The colours of our flag.
Celebrations have already started, and there will be all kinds of activities and events taking place in communities all across the country, leading up to July 1st of this year.
This ice sculpture is among several artistic and creative frozen carvings temporarily located in Confederation Park in Ottawa, Ontario, during the Winterlude Festival.
And here is how it looks in the day time – I took that one a few days earlier.
Note: I took the day-time one first as I was passing by…..when I went exploring the area, right along with all kinds of tourists and visitors.
I didn’t realize that the colours would be intensified in the evening darkness, which I noticed yesterday evening on my way to go see a play at the National Arts Centre (located a bit further north of Confederation Park).
With icy and snowy landscapes greeting me as I look out the windows, I sometimes go poking through older photos with some of them taken in the warmer seasons…..just for that occasional break.
I came across these two last night.
In a patch of downtrodden grass
Stands a sentinel.
Reaching tall….reaching for the sun’s warmth.
A splayed fan of fine, grassy wisps at the top.
In a burst of bright green,
Saying, “I am here!”
Little girl in white
With a bouffant of pink hair;
Dancing with a friend.
The first photo was taken during a visit at a wildlife reserve in August 2015 up in the Yukon. Our group had walked over to where some caribou were grazing in their sufficiently large area – we could watch them with a wired fence between us – and in between taking photos of the caribou, I also found some other beauties in this spot….like that little grassy shoot.
The second photo was taken of bleeding hearts blooms in the front bed of my garden in the spring of 2015. I had actually waited too long, and many of the fuller clusters had already passed the height of their generous blooming time.