Tonight as we drove West, a golden sunset drew our eyes to the horizon. The beauty before us reminded me of a golden sunrise which we were lucky to experience together earlier this year, during a very special trip to a stunning island.
Photo by CIA or PJD (who knows, it was after all five o’clock in the morning!), Fafa Island, Tonga, February 2012.
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.
Tui, looking south, Mt Victoria Lookout
Tui, looking north, Mt Victoria Lookout
Photos by PJD, Mt Victoria, Wellington
In the weeks leading up to Wellington’s most recent world premiere, I was getting pretty excited, to be part of the spectacle (as a spectator!) and to soak up the atmosphere of the whole “Wellywood” celebration. But then work decided to rain on my parade and notify me that I would be needed in Auckland on the day of the premiere. What?! Nooooo! Disappointing, sure, but at least I got to experience it vicariously via PJD’s most excellent coverage here on foldedcranes. Seeing the way the city got into the spirit of the occasion and the joie de vivre shown by the city’s people has had me reflecting (from afar, up the island!) on what a truly lovely city Wellington is, and these photos, taken during the course of a long walk that we took together last weekend up Mount Victoria (one of the best vantage points from which to view the city panorama – and incidentally, a Lord of the Rings location site!), are a reminder that Wellington has a whole lot more going for it than just the odd world premiere or two. But those sure are cool, when they do happen. So, keep bringing it on Wellington, the world’s coolest little capital city for sure.
Halfway up Mount Victoria – looking towards Oriental Bay
Picnic in the long-grass? – further up Mount Victoria, looking towards Newtown, Brooklyn
At the summit – looking towards our compact little city
Look at that harbour! Beautiful.
Photos by CIA, Wellington, New Zealand, 24 November 2012.
Yesterday as we were taking a walk along the Wellington waterfront towards Oriental Bay (having just climbed to the top of Mount Victoria and back down again – another post on this to come!), we spotted a couple of people with a plentiful box of kina next to the water. Intrigued, we sat down near them and began to chat. Could these amazing looking creatures – and a source of food, considered a delicacy by many Māori people – have been found in our local (working) harbour, a stone’s throw away from our own front door?
It already feels like an age ago, but one evening in London, on our way to a delightful Ethiopian feast, we enjoyed a glorious sunset as we rambled along Hampstead Heath.
Dr Johnson said something like “anyone who is tired of London is tired of life”. On an evening like this one, it’s impossible not to agree.
Photos by CIA and PJD, atop Hampstead Heath; we particularly liked the way the Shard glinted in the sun. Love it or hate it, it’s an impressive sight.
Colour challenges are easy, in the sense that finding photographs with a certain colour in them is usually straightforward. But, that being said, the harder task is finding a theme that can bind otherwise disparate images together. And so today I am looking at the alliterative joy of green and gothic.
Incidentally and tangentially, I always grew up with green associated with envy; a German colleague of mine in the Netherlands told me the colour is associated more with hope. What else does green make you think of?
Photos by PJD or CIA or others, in diverse European locations. Today’s post was brought to you by the letters G and P, the number 11 and the colour green.
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Green (ronmayhewphotography.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge; Green (annarashbrook.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Green (keiththegreen.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Green (arindammohapatra.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Green (dailypost.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Green (myawakeninglife.com)
- Green Reflections in the Water (cardinalguzman.wordpress.com)