How – and why – does life sometimes manage to get so busy?! The photo below is of a place which is truly timeless, both in the sheer beauty of the dramatic landscape, and because it’s a place where all sense of time disappears, just you and immenseness of the land, the crashing surf, the sun on your skin and the sea breeze. A complete contrast to the previous post here on foldedcranes, getting lost in the wonder of an untouched edge of the land like this one is an ideal balance to the bustle of life in the city. Capturing it in a photo – and being able to take it home with you, to get lost in, every once in a while, is a great thing to be able to do, too.
Photo by CIA at Te Henga – Bethells Beach, West Auckland, New Zealand, March 2013.
Okay so it’s been a while since I promised I’d post about Bloc Party’s recent concert in Auckland, but I’m hoping it’s a case of better late than never. This was the second time in less than a year that I’d had the privilege of seeing these boys from London take to the stage (the first being at Zurich Open Air last August) and they absolutely delivered second-time around as good as if it was the first. The Powerstation provided a venue of perfect proportions (not too big, not too small, great acoustics) and the crowd was suitably excited. After all, it had been six years since Bloc Party had toured these distant shores.
Bloc Party visited New Zealand this week. It had been six long years since they had last seen these shores. Yes, they kept us waiting, but the wait sure was worth it…
…I think it probably made the concert even better than we had hoped it would be. More tomorrow!
Photo by CIA, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand, 7 March 2013.
A stingray isn’t the only encounter we’ve had with wildlife lately. On Christmas Eve we heard an odd noise, and upon investigating found ourselves face-to-face with a tree frog*. It was a lively moment, and no easy task to keep the frog in frame.
Photos by PJD, Auckland, December 2012
* or some other kind of frog.
It’s been a great summer, though not without its ups and downs. We’ve missed blogging a lot though.
And so, to kick things off for the new year, here’s a view of the beach and headland at Karekare*. There are some amazing falls nearby, and we kept walking, eventually finding a spot from which we could admire this magnificent view.
We’ve got some big plans this year, and are looking forward to sharing our progress with whoever of you out there is still keen on checking in on us. Whether you missed us or not, here we are again.
Photo by PJD, above Karekare beach, Karekare, West Auckland, New Zealand
* This is the beach where The Piano was filmed.
New Zealand (and perhaps especially Auckland) is famous for four seasons in one day. Theoretically, this would make the challenge simple. Perversely, though, the trouble with rapid shifts in the weather is that it can be hard to pin down an iconic moment that marks the shift from one season to another. In Christchurch, the arrival of the migratory godwits marks the beginning of spring. But summer? Summer is elusive.
Meanwhile, we walked down to French Bay*. Today was a magnificent day. The sun glowed in a nearly cloudless sky, the trees swayed in a gentle breeze. A sign, perhaps, of the summer to come? Kauri trees struck elegant silhouettes, surrounded by smaller cabbage trees. At the beach in French Bay, there were paddle-boarders, and a handful of others sitting on the sand. After all, the season is only changing, and the water is not very warm (yet). The pohutukawa were not flowering here, but they had begun to bud – the distinctive red blossoms often flare up, bright red, for Christmas. As we walked elsewhere in Titirangi, we saw that the pohutukawa had started flowering – some trees covered in the bright blooms, others with just a few. The best moment of the afternoon came with the discovery of a swing, above a path to the beach. And next to it? A pohutukawa tree, flourishing and with the brightest flowers you can imagine.
And we realised this was it. Pohutukawa flowers represent that iconic moment: summer is here.
Photos by PJD & CIA, with invaluable assistance from Nature. All photos were taken today, as we walked around Titirangi, Auckland.
* I first heard of French Bay when I saw an amazing painting (one of several with that title) by Titirangi artist Colin McCahon. McCahon is one of New Zealand’s best known, and most influential artists. This particular French Bay painting is often (always? we haven’t been for a while) displayed in the Toi Te Papa (Te Papa’s art collection) on Level Four of that wonderful museum. So, it was with some excitement that I walked down to the bay for the first time today.
Photos by CIA, Newmarket, Auckland, December 2012. The Queen on the decks is almost as good as Prince Charles making jokes…