Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kiwi around - SLOW DOWN

My wish to see a kiwi came true this morning as I walked down for the Dawn Parade. Sadly it wasn't the live one that I was hoping for; this one had been hit by a vehicle overnight and lay in a heap in the middle of the road a few minutes walk from home. It was really upsetting to know that it was totally avoidable and that one more of our precious birds died before the 50 or so years of its natural lifespan were up. All drivers here know that there are kiwi around, that the roads are narrow and that vision is limited in some places.

Please drive carefully at night when kiwi are around
The 'Kiwi' road sign just down the road that may have prompted the driver to slow down was stolen a year or so ago and hasn't yet been replaced. Stealing these signs seems to be a common occurrence - see this article here Are people really that thick to think that removing the sign won't have an impact? Sure the sign looks great in the living room but is it worth the price of dead kiwi on the roads?

Kiwi feathers and blood on Back Road
My guess is that the kiwi was a youngish male because of a relatively short bill. He was in great condition and probably weighed around 2½-3kg. It's the first time I've been able to examine one closely as normally there is minimal handling to prevent stressing them out.
Kiwi feathers - so soft and uniquely coloured

See the large ear opening - almost as big as his/her eye
I'm sorry, manu.

Anzac Day 2012

Anzac Day 2012 started with a stunning sunrise, a well-attended Dawn Parade and a sad note - see my next blog. Here's some photos of the view as I waited for the ceremony to start...

The colours in the sky were in contrast to the sombre ceremony as we remembered those who had not made it back from the wars.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ringa Ringa Heights Golf Club

On the way to my rat lines I pass the top end of the Ringa Ringa Heights Golf Club. It's a 6-hole course with the following stats:

It looks like they play 3 rounds to make up the 18 holes. There are currently 32 members and visitors are welcome to rent clubs from the Flight Centre/Post Office. It is New Zealand's most southern course and don't let the views put you off your stroke!

From the golf club it's just a hop and a skip down to Deep Bay which looked particularly scenic today...

After my rat line I had lunch with friends, then walked back to the 'Bay' and couldn't resist taking a few more pics!

Halfmoon Bay from Golden Bay Road

Stewart Island Backpackers

Ayr Street

Fungi fun

The photos in my previous blog were taken with my newest toy - a Sony Cybershot TX10 waterproof camera that's smaller than my mobile phone. I love both my other digital cameras but moisture and electronics have been an expensive mix in the past so thought a waterproof camera was a great idea. I'm thrilled with the picture and video quality, and although it has a heap of functions that I'll need to learn, all of these shots were taken using its Auto-intelligence. Easy eh!

Being so small means that I can slip it in a pocket every time I go out. Just as well I had it today to snap the fungi I passed. I haven't had time to identify any of these yet but they sure are pretty!

The underside of the previous fungi pic

Close up of previous fungi pic

Another close up

They don't come better than this!

I've already used 'perfect' and 'Paradise' and I'm not sure if there are enough superlatives to describe today. What an absolute stunner! No wonder Stewart Islanders smile so much.

I woke early and decided to skype to a landline in England. The signal wasn't particularly good so I moved my computer out on to the deck and watched the sun start to rise above the trees as I chatted with my Auntie. The next minute swirling fog moved in, the temperature dropped and I grabbed my camera. As I was busy snapping I heard a plane and realised that the fog, though dense where I was looking, had almost gone from the other side of the house. Five minutes later the fog disappeared, leaving blue skies in its place and setting the scene for a magnificent day with a minimum temperature of 6.3°C at 6.57am to a maximum of 20.6°C at 10.27am. I'll let the photos do the talking...

View from my deck as the fog rolled in

The fog at its most dense

I'm pretty sure this is a fogbow, also known as a white rainbow

Sunlight shining through the fog as it was lifting

Blue, blue skies
The day just got better - I grabbed these shots of Halfmoon Bay as I walked through to my rat line at Deep Bay.