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.”

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Last night’s little visitors

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Lightly effortless,

Suspended in calm stillness,

Nocturnal visit.

 

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There were a few tiny cute visitors congregated outside the front door and along the window yesterday evening.

What a wonderful surprise greeting us!

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These three were gathered higher up at the entrance, while one frog remained independently alone near the bottom….also attached to the window glass.

 

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About 2 centimetres in length….and I enjoy marveling at their amazingly strong legs and their well-adapted tiny fingers and toes.

 

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Upside-down…..and

 

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…..right side up.

 

 

A Lily a Day….or Daylily

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Tiny dancing girls

Swaying, with long golden hair

In petal curtains.

 

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Ever since that day when I first noticed a massive clutch of orange daylilies growing by the side of a country road – with their vibrant colour and abundance of blooms – I’ve had a soft spot for daylilies, or Hemerocallis as they are also called.

So naturally, when it came time to add some new perennials to my starting-anew-garden over 20 years ago, I had daylilies on my wishlist.  First though, I managed to find some of those orange ones that were growing “wild” along a little used road and not belonging to anyone…..and dug up a clump of them, just a small portion, for transplanting into my garden.  After all, I wanted them to feel included with the daylilies I was planning on getting from a nearby garden nursery.

When I went to the nursery, I ended up getting a more reddish coloured kind, an apricot-coloured one, as well as a pale peachy kind.  In that way all four look distinctly different even though similar in flower style.  I used to know their cultivar names, but over the years I have forgotten them.

The close-up photo above is of the peach-coloured daylily.  And below shows how it looks before the flower buds open up….with two more smaller ones growing in size to have their one day of blooming.

 

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The buds on this next one are from the apricot-coloured one.  Notice how the buds are more elongated and “pointy,” compared to the peach one.

 

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The six stamens on this one look like six graceful long feet wearing black ballet slippers, and the white pistil seemingly doing its own thing is ever so long!

 

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Here is the peach daylily again….with a second flower to the right on the verge of opening up….and another smaller bud in behind.

 

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And finally, the one that started it all in my garden, the Tawny Daylily….collected from a “wild” clutch down a gravelly country road.

 

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For this post, I did some research and found out that those orange ones, that have a tendency to naturalize over time, are called Tawny Daylily or Hemerocallis Fulva.

And in case you’re wondering, as their name implies, each flower blooms for only a day.