Those early morning drives…

Yes, there are perks in having to wake up really early on a Saturday morning!

While the rest of the world slumbers for a few more hours, I find myself driving along quiet country back roads to go to my summer part-time work up at White Lake.

I always love this stretch of road…so dense with towering trees…and I am the momentary intruder.  In a few spots the tree tops seem to actually reach across and create an arch effect.  So pretty!

 

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The potential bonus is that at that early hour – with almost no other vehicles around – there is a good probability of glimpsing wildlife.  Whether it’s a red fox that quickly dives into the underbrush.  Or a scurrying chipmunk.  Sometimes a swooping crow.  Each drive is never the same, as it’s a whole new ensemble of wildlife appearances – and THAT’s the fun part!  I often wonder…so who will surprise me this time?

Last Saturday I did actually get to see a red fox, but oh boy, it slipped away SO fast.  However, luck was still on my side, when I came onto a stretch of road and saw three young deer crossing from my right side over to the left side.

Two of them stayed on the road – one already disappearing among the trees ahead of this one…

 

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And there was a third deer – much closer to the main part of the road – that was quite  intent on chowing down on some greenery and had no intention of taking off, even when I stopped and sat there watching for a few minutes.

It climbed up the wee hill and stretched its neck to get some choice leafy morsels.

I just waited until it looked in my direction.

 

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Whispering good-bye and thank-you to the curious deer, I took some photos from the other angle as well…this last one (below) feels to me almost like a painting.

 

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I bet you can imagine how incredibly joyful I felt for the rest of that day!  🙂

 

 

 

 

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Surprise Visitors!

 

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Moving quietly,

Two deer foraging keenly;

Such gentle creatures.

 

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When I was at a friend’s house last Monday, at one point in the early afternoon, I happened to glance out the window and was treated to the sight of these two lovely, young deer, as they looked about and helped themselves to fresh greens to nibble on.

The presence of my friend’s cat on the outside porch – glancing with curiosity in their direction – didn’t seem to faze them much, other than they took note that the cat was there.

Harmony prevailed.

The deer grazed.

The cat lazed.

 

 

 

 

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!!  🙂

 

 

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.