Saturday, February 21, 2015

Some more S words

Last time I was regaling you with images of sunny seaside scenes. This week has been an entirely different story: sub zero temperature, snow, sleet, slip, slide, snowplows, shovel, shadows and sunset.

 Sun - the sun was beginning to shine and caught the front of the shrub on the right and the roof of the bird house.
 Shadows - cast long in the trees.
 How much snow? I had crafted my own measuring system last year but only just remembered in time to get it out this week. The first snow was on Monday night into Tuesday and we had about 5".
 Heading South - That's it Sam, the kids and I are all packed and ready to head south to a warmer zone.
I'm staying snug thanks, how about you?
 But in the summer, this will look entirely different.
 Staying tethered?  I was intrigued by this reflection across the snow which seemed to tether the utility box to my neighbors house.
 Saturday's snowstorm was a daytime one and gave us almost 8" of the white stuff.
 Spring blossoms are due on the dogwood in a few more weeks.
 Snow on the north-east elevation.
 Snowy conversations.
Snow removal.
 Snow dog.
Sunset to finish - but here I cheated because this one is from a couple of weeks back.

Okay, the S fun is done. I'm ready for it to resume normal conditions.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Oh, I do Love to be Beside the Seaside

Oh, I do love to be beside the sea!  And right now, the weather outside is frightful - very strong winds and a dropping temperature, currently hovering around 18F/ minus8C - and so I decided to wander back to just a few weeks ago when I was in the Northland region of New Zealand.

 These photos, taken on a days road trip beginning and ending in Onerahi  and going up the coast as far as Matapouri, serve to warm me up.

I was keen to try and photograph the sunrise and sunset each day. This was my first morning and I was ten minutes or so too late for sunrise. But I liked how the low misty cloud hung below the Whangarei Heads.
 Directly out in front of the wonderful holiday apartment we were staying in (Harbour Vista, Onerahi) was this portion of the harbour with a dock (used, at least while we were there, for fishing) with Limestone Island as the backdrop. Every morning, early, there were folk fishing from this dock. I never saw them catch anything but I have to suppose they did as on the incoming tide there was always fishing going on.
 Action on the floating dock.
I wanted to photograph some iconic New Zealand vegetation and, as a native Northlander, cabbage trees and flax bushes fit the criteria perfectly.
 Whenever I return to the country of my birth I always, but always, have to have a fish and chips meal. This trip I splurged and had it more than one time. This lunch, with my sister Cathy and brother-in-law John ranked as the number 1 fish and chip experience for this trip. Eaten at the Parua Bay Hotel on a sunny January day with a cold beverage it was pretty much perfection for me!
 Driving on we stopped at many small, and large, inlets and bays but no longer having access to a good map I regret I cannot identify each and every one correctly.  This was a small inlet I believe at the top end of  Pacific Bay . Maybe if you zoom in you can see the people having fun on a homemade swing hung from the tree just behind the dingy.
 Matapouri Bay was a favorite destination for a day at the beach when we were children. And, as you can see, families still flock here. Yes, on local standards, this beach is crowded!
 Still at Matapouri but looking out towards the Poor Knight Islands (this needs confirmation - where are those maps that I thought I had carefully saved?).
And at the end of the day we returned to our spot in Onerahi overlooking the Whangarei Harbour and Heads.

It is never recommended to take photographs in the full sun of the day - but that is when I was out and about and able to use the camera so that is when most of my photos are taken Being the height of summer the colors are so bright and vivid they really just pop out most all the time.

Thank you to John for the many hours he spent behind the wheel so Cathy and I could indulge in a spot of nostalgia. It was wonderful.