The First Spring Flower!

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Carpet of old leaves,

Remainder of melted snow –

The snowdrop bursts forth!

 

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The first shoot of green I noticed in the garden two days ago after my walk.

A tender green in a sea of brown.

One single, solitary snowdrop.

Others will pop up soon, but this is the one that stretched its way through the ground to catch those warm sun rays….and show itself….first.

Surrounded by brown and dried up leaves, that little bit of green – and white! – pops out…..and well….gives me something more to smile about!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Winged Visitor

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A buzz and a flit,

Then quietly, lightly perched –

Fly, four-winged dragon!

 

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I spotted this reddish dragonfly whilst roaming in the front garden last summer.  First she flitted here and there, and I thought….”Too fast for a picture!  I wish she’d land somewhere and give me a chance.”

And, d’you know?  She listened!

Next thing I knew she had landed on this well-situated plant and stood there patiently, as if to say, “Well, what are you waiting for?  I’m ready!”

She was in no hurry.  I snapped several photos of her, admiring the detail in her fine, lacy wings, her colours, and what a unique looking insect overall.

I love seeing dragonflies.  I’ve had one land on my leg while canoeing on a river; I’ve had another one land on my shoulder as I was in the garden.  I enjoy watching their flight….how light and graceful they move.

Before posting this photo though, just to make sure my information was correct, I double-checked online to see what the differences are between dragonflies and damselflies.  I came across a helpful blog post here, which confirmed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Calla Lily Opens

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One long white petal

Unfurling into curling

The spadix revealed.

 

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In a beautifully laid out backyard garden on the South Island of New Zealand last November, I went exploring with my camera and found ever so many wondrous colours and forms in plants, leaves, and flowers.

This particular calla lily plant had budding flowers in varying stages of development, as well as some dried up ones among its blooms.  They were all so fascinating!

 

 

 

 

Preserved in Snow

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Warm spells in winter

Cause icy snow to retreat;

Surprises revealed!

 

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Last week, for about a day and a half, the temperatures in our area moved up high enough that a good deal of the layers of snow and ice melted down.  As I was walking along the pathway toward the front door of our house on that warm afternoon, I noticed this still greenish oak leaf lightly embraced by retreating snow – but not withered and dry.  Still somewhat soft and pliable due to the preserving affect of the ice and snowy layers during the cold period.

 

 

 

 

Sunset in January

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Walking in snowshoes,

Through the quiet woods in back;

Just crispy snow sounds.

 

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Sunset at 5 p.m.  Last Wednesday.  My son, Stephen, and I went for a little snowshoe walkabout in our back woods, both of us with our 35 mm cameras in hand. For some snowshoeing fun…..for some creative photography fun…..for some fresh air…..it was a nicer temperature….the snow was still fluffy in parts, crispy in others…and white! 🙂

And as we were making our way back towards the front yard, both of us went crazy on capturing the sunset. This photo I particularly like, because of the equally colourful and layered sunset reflected in the van’s windows (as was painted in the sky). 

Yep. Did that on purpose! Haha!

 

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A few more photos from that walk:

 

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When I look at this birdhouse, there’s always the thought that at any moment a tiny bird will pop its head out to peek at me!

 

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In this one it looks as if there’s an antler coming out of its head.

So, can you see the white dog face in this image? Gazing off to the right….the two eyes and the nose….?

 

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Stephen walking up the hill….

 

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And beside where we were snowshoeing, in a few places we saw some animal tracks.  Here, some deer had passed through…..and also someone’s canine friend?

 

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And…..here I snuck one in, peeking over Stephen’s shoulder as HE was taking a photo!  🙂

 

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A Happy and Healthy Christmas to you, my Friends!

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Inspired by a friend’s idea, I’m sending you a reflected wave with a festive backdrop and in the spirit of the season.

Merry Christmas!

And a Magical and Exciting 2018!

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And nature has been generous with sending lots of the white ‘n fluffy stuff over the past few days.  I took this photo today of the blue spruce in our back yard – it’s roughly 25+ years old – that we planted when we first moved here.

 

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Tall and majestic,

Richly adorned in white snow –

Winter Sentinel

 

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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.

 

 

 

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.”