Monday, June 26, 2017

Sharing my backyard

If one guest is great then three guests must be triple the fun! Claudia braved one of the roughest ferry crossings of the year, and Leslie, the Belgian tramper we met at Mason Bay, joined Kev and I for Easter. The weather for the first three days was wet and windy but that didn't stop us visiting Ulva Island, ticking off the day walks and exploring the beaches at low tide.

Claudia and Leslie on the Ryans Creek Track
One of the best things about showing visitors around is that I get to see my island again through fresh eyes; it's easy to take things for granted when you live here all the time. Their enthusiasm for the natural beauty, the birds and the laid back way of life renewed my appreciation of it too. Thanks guys!

Leaving Golden Bay and heading over to Ulva Island on the Ranui

The Ranui at Ulva Island Jetty

Bracket fungi on Ulva Island

Flagstaff Lookout on a wet and misty day

Tieke (saddleback) finding bugs on a large rimu trunk

Getting checked out by a toutouwai (Stewart Island robin)

Beautiful bush and winding tracks on Ulva Island

When they put the tracks in they didn't want to cut any
trees down so the path goes around or through!
I've discovered a few limitations of my new Olympus TG-4 camera; although it is waterproof, the lens gets wet and isn't easy to dry without smearing - it also fogged up when I took it out of its case. I'll have to work out a fix so I can get better photos on wet days!

Claudia watching the weka on Boulder Beach, Ulva Island
The Lee Bay anchor sculpture is a bit patchy during its repaint but at least it wasn't raining. The inscription reads:
Te puka - the anchorstone
Maori creation stories tell how Maui, a legendary Polynesian voyager, pulled up from the sea floor the anchor stone Te Puka a Maui (Stewart Island/Rakiura) to act as an anchor for the great ancestral canoe Te Waka o Aoraki (South Island of New Zealand).

The stylised anchor chain is secured firmly on land by a shackle but disappears beneath Foveaux Strait/Te Ara a Kewa to remind us of the physical and spiritual connections between Stewart Island/Rakiura and Bluff/Motu Pohue, the traditional taurapa or stern post of Te Waka o Aoraki.

The chain links also symbolise a history of inter-relationships tat have given the people of Stewart Island/Rakiura a strong sense of heritage and identity.

Low tide at Lee Bay
A large noble chiton (top left) measuring about 130mm
All too soon it was time for me to return to work and for Kev, Claudia and Leslie to head off on the ferry. It was a full-on 10 days leaving me with wonderful memories of their visit.

The section behind me sold in April so I had to move my 'woodpile' off the right-of-way. Thanks, Big Bro, for helping me and offering your advice on all my other questions; hope you can return sometime in the future to see how I've got on with my 'homework'.

The moved woodpile, nicely stacked up off the ground