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.
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.
CIA recently wrote of the flatness of the Netherlands, and how we never quite got comfortable with it. Wellington is not flat, indeed, it is famous for the way that the houses crowd the ridges, clustered along steep hillsides. Yesterday was a Wellington special; what I like to call a nice day, spoiled by wind. Still, you can’t see the wind in these pictures, so…
You can’t beat Wellington on a good day.
But you can lose your breath.
Photos by PJD, around Oriental Bay, near where he and CIA used to live.
Earlier this year we were very lucky to spend an incredible few days on a slice of planet Earth in the Pacific Ocean which in contrast to our usual urban dwellings remains blissfully, comparatively untouched by human intervention. In this tranquil place, with only sand and sea and flora and fauna to keep us company, we had time to take a closer look at aspects of the natural world that might otherwise go unnoticed. Incredible natural shapes, textures, patterns and colours. Some were even homes to other small, equally impressive creatures. They were, we realised, aspects which have evolved with the ebb and flow of the impact of time on land and ocean, and we found a deep appreciation for the beauty held in these tiny, perfect details.
We needed no more encouragement than the WordPress weekly photo challenge theme of “Summer” today, to get us posting this picture that sums up summer pretty well for the both of us. Sand, shells, sparkling clear blue Pacific ocean and just a smattering of perfect cotton candy clouds on the horizon… bliss. In fact, this is one of our absolute favourite photos that we took on our honeymoon earlier this year; I’m sure you can see why! Just looking at us takes us right back there to that moment when we ran into the ocean, so much so I can almost hear the sound of that splash as the water first hits your body as you dive on in…
Photo taken by our trusty Canon Powershot s95 on our well-loved self timer setting, on one of the pristine beaches of the Kingdom of Tonga.