Tuesday, 13 March 2018

I'm not on the train......... I'm in the bush ....... at Orokonui ecosanctuary

A weekend away.

Not far. Two hours from oamaru is Dunedin ; a large university town with a railway, cruise liners and for the likes of me, a beautiful peninsula of hills and beaches.

I headed to Portobello, beside the sea.

It was very cold the first day. So cold that I had to put on my favourite socks,

But it didn't last. It turned out very nice.

And while the sun shone I explored.

Saturday was the pyramids and the beach.

the small pyramid at Victory beach

I duly climbed the pyramid and got a wonderful view. I had it all to myself.

looking south from the pyramid

marshland below the small pyramid

grassy paths below the small pyramid

Soon after my descent a large party arrived to climb the hill. I was safely on my way to the beach before all 30 of them crowded at the top.

The other pyramid is easily seen from the top .

larger pyramid at Victory beach

The beach was beautiful.

White sand and sparkling waves.

Victory beach

obligatory selfie

Victory beach

I relaxed in the sunshine, and then spent the rest of the day exploring the peninsula, meeting dogs and sheep along the way.

The dog was a lot better company than the sheep.




Beach side huts are common on the coast.

Interpret this one as you will.

So that was Saturday.

On Sunday I was to ride the Taieri Gorge railway.

I got up very early for the occasion. Seven o'clock on a Sunday morning.

I drove to the railway station.

I was early so I took a few photos.

I looked at my ticket.

It said I was due to travel on Saturday. I was a day late.

I talked to the good folk in the ticket office.

They kindly upgraded me to the longer journey to Middlemarch. A six hour return trip.

Time was passing. I was not sure about six hours on a train on such a beautiful day.

A very expensive piece of paper......

I chickened out at the last minute.

Turned back to the car and escaped.

I couldn't face a few hours of sitting cooped with a number of strangers who looked more keen to be there than I.

I headed off up the road to Oronokui Ecosanctuary.

The best decision that I have made this month.

It was heavenly.

I spent hours there.

Orokonui ecosanctuary cafe

Orokonui ecosanctuary

my bird photography leaves a lot to be desired.... this is a Kaka

The bird song was vibrant and loud.

I made lots of recordings, for these are the sounds that I associate with South Island.

Easter orchid


young lancewood trees

If you have a few spare minutes and are really bored, or just looking to relax,  here are some photos, a video and lots of noisy bird sounds in a video compilation from the sanctuary.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

going round in circles - no beast from the east down here

As you know, I am in Oamaru, working for a couple of months to escape the beast from the east and the dark nights that winter brings.

Since I arrived in the town I have been going around in circles trying to think of something interesting to post.

I have been working quite hard, and taking a few bruising comments from folks who don't think that a female from up-top is a good enough replacement for the man that they have been trusting their problems to for many years. The disappointment is clear on their faces when they discover that their beloved MJ is not here today. And then I have to work extra hard at being nice to try and gain their trust.

So the ocean is a welcome relief from work, and I have set myself a task to photograph the Pacific from the same point every day during my lunch break.

This involves a 10 minute walk down a steep hill, a few minutes to take the photos, and then a very steep walk back up. It is keeping me fit after sitting on my butt all morning in front of my computer.

Circles are my favourite thing right now, so I am choosing one image each day to make into a circular image. When I have enough I will find a way to present them - maybe a giant grid, a series or a book.

I should really capture sunrise, as I am sure that would be more colourful, but I am not committed enough for that.

I enjoy the ever changing colours.

Blue skies and grey.

lunch break, Oamaru

Sunshine and cloud.

evening, Oamaru pier

The occasional evening shot just because the light is different.

Gita, Oamaru

We even had a storm.

Not the beast from the east, but anticyclone Gita.

The ocean reflecting the colours of the sky.

Oamaru pier

Back at home, OH ( my other half) is lighting a log fire and turning up the heating to a level that would keep me awake at night if I were at home.

Everyone is posting images of snow on social media, and the M80 is apparently closed, with folk trapped in vehicles.

I feel far removed.

I am not sure what images I am going to come home with, for I haven't settled into a project.

So I will just keep on running up and down the hill, and will come home with far too many photographs of waves and water.