Sunday, December 19, 2010

Places to go to...

Wendy has just been down for four days, so it gave me an excuse to get out with my camera and my new 10-22mm lens, which I am loving.  On Thursday, knowing the weather was going to eventually pack up and rain, which is nearly unheard of down here in summer, I took the opportunity to go up to Lake Rotoiti again....

This is what greeted us when we arrived...


The sky was blue, and the lake was like glass.  Perfect for trying out the new lens.  The lake was like a mirror...


But when I pointed the camera a bit further down, I managed to capture the crystal clear waters and the green plants underneath...


With the lake only an hour away from my place, I tend to take any guests there as it's always a pleasure to walk in the bush and listen to the bellbirds which are abundant.  I have never heard so many all in one place, and it's all thanks to the Department of Conservation for really coming hard down on all the introduced pests such as rats, possums and stoats.  I imagine it is like what New Zealand's forests would have been like before civilisation destroyed them!


This is one of the Bellbirds at the  lake taken back in May when they were actually showing themselves and singing to me on the lower branches where I could actually photograph them.  Unfortunately on Thursday, while we could hear them, they refused to come close.   You can hear what they sound like here.

Both Wendy and I recorded the bellbirds on our phones, but I haven't got a USB cable for my phone so I'm unable to transfer the sound file to my computer, to in turn upload it to the blog.  We tried  to do it via bluetooth to no avail, as my phone is simply too 'basic'.

Wendy loved the lake, and in particular the ducks...


This was after our walk in the bush along the lake edge to the right of this image.  Note the clouds are starting to build up already. 

Here's the lake again from another angle, and I could only get all this in with my new 10-22mm lens - the old 18-55mm just wouldn't get the length of the whole lake....


We took off over to the other side of this bay after this shot, but not only had the clouds built up, but the wind was just starting to get up as well, changing the whole mood and colour of the water..




I took a photo of the actual water patterns made by the wind just for fun..


At the waters edge there was a black swan that came right up close to us and just sat there in the water.  We could have reached out and touched it.  I used the 10-22mm for this shot as well - gives the whole swan a different perspective...  Almost looks like the Lochness Monster!


We left the lakes, and travelled further west to Murchison.  We fossicked in an old bric a brac shop.  I think everyone who ever dies in this region, all their 'treasure' goes to this shop.  Bargains galore can be found if you know your antiques.  Lots of collectibles.  I bought an early 1800's iron made from cast iron - one of those ones that gets heated on a coal range.  I'll use it as a doorstop to stop my doors banging in the nor'westers!

After lunch at the Murchison tearooms - a typical kiwi lunch consisting of a meat pie with tomato sauce - we headed down to the swing bridge on the Buller River.  Just after the turnoff that leads to Westport, we crossed a bridge over the Buller River and it looked so beautiful, I decided to stop to take photos.  Pulled in to a parking bay and by the time I had my camera out, a South Island Weka was making a beeline to us from across the road.   I was terrified that someone would come round the corner and squash it!


 It was almost tame, but wouldn't quite let us touch it, but came close.  A campervan pulled up, and asked what it was.  After I told them, I suggested they give it some bread as that was obviously what it was wanting.  They obliged and the guy pulled out his Nikon DSLR to take photos, but made some rude comment about my image that I had taken of the Weka, was not bad for a Canon.  Typical Nikon user - I've always found Canon users much more polite!!  I made sure I mentioned something about him being Australian to get him back!

The river was beautiful though - and it was so hot I felt like diving in, as the water was crystal clear...



We moved on down the road and arrived at the swingbridge.  Apparently the longest swingbridge in the country and it costs just $5 to walk across.  Wendy bought a ticket and I decided to stay on the 'right' side and just take photos of her as she crossed..


Unfortunately, this is as far as she got before she wimped out.  She couldn't do it as she didn't like the instability.  So...  I took her ticket off her and went over with my camera...


Even with having no balance, I have no qualms about walking over a bridge suspended by wires!  I simply have no fear - at worst I'd fall in the river and go for a cold swim!!  This is halfway over looking to the left...



And this is on the other side looking downriver.  Note the jetboat - for $85 you can do a few thrills on this river with an experienced driver.  You can also pan for gold here for $12.50.  Any gold you find you can keep.  Probably with the price of gold these days, it might be worth it - Imagine if you found a sizeable nugget!





We headed back home after this, and it wasn't long until the rain we had been expecting all day started.  We pulled in for one last look at the lake to get a photo of it in the rain...


Quite different in the rain.

All up a great day, which both Wendy and I enjoyed....


 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lovely photos and writing - I live near Murchison and love it! But please don't feed the wekas or any other native birds.

Robyn said...

I didn't, but this Weka was just about tame anyway. It literally ran across the road to us as soon as I slowed down and parked my car. So obviously the tourists have been feeding this one reguarly.

Up at French Pass, they are being fed as well in the park by the beach as those ones there, also greeted us in a hurry earlier this year.

But, apart from planting trees that encourage native birds, I don't actually feed them.

Morgan said...

Wow, that lake is incredible. What an amazing setting.

I really like your swan photo - how the bird is framed nicely between the mountains and the really close up, intimate angle it is shot at. The expressiveness captured on it's face is priceless. I love how dramatic it looks and how the character of the swan is unusually imposing.

Same for the Weka.

How rude of the Nikon guy. You can always tell who the crap photographers are by how loud they are boasting that their tools are more superior than every one else's. Shame their photography never makes it to the same lofty heights of their arrogance!

Robyn said...

I love the swan as well - and I don't even like swans that much. I just love how the lens have given it a different perspective.

The lake is beautiful - can't wait to take you there.

cheers
Robyn