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.

 

********************

 

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.

 

 

 

Advertisements

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.

 

********************

 

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!!¬† ūüôā

 

 

Waves at Tauranga Bay

 

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

 

Rhythmic sound of waves,

Continuously growing;

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 Study in Lines and Colours

200

 

While waiting for our luggage to arrive on the conveyor belts of the baggage claim area following our domestic flight back to Auckland, since it was still early in the morning, all these carts stood there in silent readiness for the day’s “work.”

I was enthralled with the effect of the lines and colours all these neatly arranged carts created.

ūüôā

 

203

 

A slightly different effect from a slightly different perspective….

 

222

 

From above and slightly off the side (above)….

 

227

 

…to straight on and down the middle of the bars (below).

 

 

An unfolding Circle

IMG_0210 (2)

 

Long green curled-up arm,

Rounded green fingers clasping

Little brown circles.

 

********************

 

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

DSCN6587

 

Mesmerizing sight;

From the wing of an airplane,

Just as beautiful!

 

********************

 

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.

 

DSCN6588

 

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

 

DSCN6591

 

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 Revival of Old-style Communications

Isn’t it interesting that in these smartphone and computerized times there are still people around the world who delight and participate in sending letters – and especially postcards! – to friends and family…..AND even to strangers!

Yes!  They do!

I’ve been drawn back into that world of communications quite recently…just by those unexpected happenstance moments.

The first one occurred on my return flight back from my visit to Germany in May of this year. ¬†The woman sitting on the other side of my husband was on her way to visit friends in Montreal. ¬†And somehow she and I just clicked and we got to chatting – in German – about each of our adventures. Ultimately, we realized that one of our common interests involved how much we both enjoy writing and receiving mail…the old-fashioned way. ¬† So, we exchanged our mailing addresses and have since embarked on a fun pen-pal relationship.

A couple of weeks ago I sent her these two postcards, showing some views of the town near where I live…

 

IMG_4660 (2)

 

And then the second memorable time was when I went to the book store in that town to find some postcards to send. ¬†I was chatting with the owner of the store, and as our conversation was coming to a close, he added on something that had just occurred to him on the subject of postcards and how tricky they can be to find these days in view of all the e-mailing and social media that’s going on.

He told me how his wife had found a website that encourages postcard exchanges from all around the world!  She had just recently started and was enjoying it immensely, and he gave me the link in case I was interested in pursuing this old-style mail exchange.

And yeah!  Was I ever interested!

So, I searched out Postcrossing.com, registered, and was on my merry way to engage in postcard exchanges.  The site is well organized in that from all its members, people wishing to send postcards are given randomly drawn names of other members with their addresses and then are required to send a postcard to that person.  There are codes given with each postcard for ease of recording and keeping track of all the mail exchange activity going on.

The site is super friendly and provides interesting information, as well as a forum and help pages. ¬†It gives stats on the distances being covered with these postcards and keeping track of one’s own personal sent and received cards, along with a wall in which to post one’s favourites.

The fun is in requesting a name for sending a postcard – and you don’t know who it will be, but you can read their personal write-ups on the website once you have been given their name. ¬†You get a little idea of who they are. ¬†And once your postcard has been received by that person and registered with the website, then someone else will get your name…..and THEN…..the delightful surprise at one day going to the mailbox and finding a postcard from someone from another country!!

Isn’t that cool !!

In my case, the first person I was given lives in Germany, and he’s a fellow who enjoys sports and collecting stamps, among other things.

So, I picked this postcard from my town, which shows the statue of the gentleman РDr. James Naismith Рwho invented basketball.  And I picked out a stamp with a Canadian moose on it for his stamp collection.  He sent me a thank-you message when he received it.

IMG_4723

Once I found out that my postcard had arrived all right at its destination, then I was eagerly awaiting the one that would be coming to me!

And I’m happy to say that when I went to the mailbox yesterday, there among a couple of advertisement flyers was a postcard for me! ¬†Interestingly, it came from a young lady, also living in Germany……but from a different area.

Here is what hers looks like:

 

IMG_7640

 

Cute, isn’t it?

Translated, it means: ¬†“Don’t wait for the storm to pass by….instead learn to dance in the rain.”

So, I went on the Postcrossing website and registered the arrival of her postcard.  And I also sent her a thank-you message.

AND….I have requested my next new postcard recipient! ¬†She lives in Moscow, Russia! ¬†How exciting!!

Exchanging postcards in this way is a bit like travelling, isn’t it?

Yes…even with all of our ultra advanced and cool technology, there are still some old-style activities that provide lots of fun like they used to do.

 

 

Tourist Moments #4

IMG_0259

 

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.

 

IMG_0256

 

My friend, Josh, stood beside this LEGO guard in order to provide a comparison perspective to show the size of these LEGO people.

 

IMG_0262

 

On one wall were the various LEGO logos designed over the years.  LEGO logos Рsay that a whole bunch of times real fast!  Haha!

 

IMG_0261

 

**********

 

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.

 

IMG_0335 (2)

 

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.

 

IMG_0337

 

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!

 

IMG_0332

Night-time Flight

IMG_7222

Sea of blue below,

The steady wing runs its tip,

Reaching toward Space.

********************

Looking out the window of the airplane on the overseas flight to Germany….in that time between setting sun¬†to seeing the new day’s sun appearing on the sky’s horizon again.

A magical quiet time.

Unique additions to an underground garage

Having a long overdue trip to Germany – filled with visits with my cousins and uncles, as well as enjoying some sightseeing excursions.

This time the explorations have been in the northern part of the Black Forest area and a couple of places in Bavaria…..all of which I hadn’t seen before during previous family visits.

Now generally, the underground garages in Canada are fairly well laid out in that parking spots have designated numbers and letters, and then there are the entrances and exits with either ramps, stairs, and elevators.  Nothing that stands out.

Today I saw these two unique features of an underground garage located in the town of F√ľssen, Bavaria, namely…..

 

a) ¬†A cordoned off area for people’s bicycles, which seems quite useful for certain situations.

 

IMG_8964

 

……and then…..

 

b) ¬†a designated “Frauenparkplatz” ie. a woman’s parking spot – there were close to 10 of them in this underground garage.

 

IMG_8957

 

And I wondered…..

WHY would women need these designated areas??

I can already imagine the comments from the peanut gallery…..haha!