Thursday, December 31, 2020


  What a year its been. We have been fortunate in New Zealand to still be free to move around without the fear of Covid. We are very thankful for that.

Early lockdowns taught us to appreciate where we live and enjoy' local.' 

This morning  sadly I heard the news that my sister Susanne had passed away in the UK due to cancer. We are thinking of her family today.

For me there was a need today to seek some peace and what better way to do that than to spend time watching the shorebirds in Shoal and Ngataring Bays.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Pohuehue Falls

 Good to catch up with a friend and enjoy a Christmas walk and chat exploring the walkway to the Pohuehue falls just before Walkworth. I have driven past this Reserve so many times but never stopped but today it was good to enjoy the cool of the forest and the sound of the water tumbling over solid rocks.

Then suddenly I became concerned  that my friend would go tumbling over the falls as she tried to remove a clump of the invasive weed -Mexican devil growing at the edge of the top of the falls. But all ended well as the clump of weed came away easily..

Monday, December 7, 2020

Octopus Garden

We are heading back to Northland  up the East coast exploring the many beautiful peaceful coastal locations pre Christmas.

Watched a little shag fishing when suddenly it zig zagged at speed close to the surface chasing an eel. It was persistent and eventually caught up with it and dragged it to a sand bank and kept snapping at it to subdue it before swallowing whole.

On the Tutukaka coast was surprised to find that the two people in the roof tent nearby were Rudi and Uta from Whanganui. I hadn't seen them since we all met at Ruapehu for some walks a couple of years ago. Rudi is a bug man and it was good to catch up with news about the bio-blitz he offered his expert help with at Spirits Bay.

At a tidal creek a pair of pateke ducks were sunning themselves on the grass bank

On the road to Matapouri a weasel was in hot pursuit and gaining ground on a young rabbit. For a split second i could see the fear in the rabbits eyes and the weasel veered to the verge and the rabbit disappeared under our vehicle. I like to think that the rabbit escaped.

Then on to a beautiful farm camp site with several stunning beaches on one side and estuary on the other. Couldn't leave this place so stayed extra days. Great to have good access across the farm and around the coastline. I'm thrilled to watch a decent sized octopus moving effortlessly in a large rock pool before disappearing under some healthy looking kelp.

It wont be long before I return here to further explore  as the there were further tracks to follow through a recreational reserve at the end of this peninsular. No phone or internet reception so all rather peaceful.

Then North to stock up at one of my favourite towns Kawakawa and a visit to the new Hundertwasser gallery which was excellent. before gaining internet reception in Russell which was abnormally quiet missing its foreign tourists. A swim was essential at Long Beach as the temperature ramped up to 28degrees.