Thursday, February 27, 2020

Dunedin to Invercargill, waterfalls

Today was a scenic route travel day from Dunedin to Invercargill. Last time we did this drive it was practically a monsoon. We couldn't see squat hardly, and didn't want to get out of the car. I did once. Today we broke the drive up with several stops.

These are Matai falls. Not big, but pretty, with several different exposure settings for fun.



You remember her, of course. She didn't want to frolic through the waterfalls.




This is Florence Lookout. I stopped for this shot last year. Ok, not the exact same shot. That one is on the computer at home. But you get the idea. We started cloudy and ended up with a hot beautiful day to struggle through rush hour traffic to get to the grocery store. We were shocked, SHOCKED(!) to find the New World supermarket here doesn't sell wine. No, we aren't doing without. New Zealand wine is very good.


Driftwood of the Day


The driftwood environment

Can you believe it? Another day on the beach! This was past Brighton beach, towards Taieri Mouth, and a bit past it. Lots of driftwood, but what was interesting this time was actual little dunes on the beach. I think they get lots of wind there. I got lots of my usual driftwood shots, but started including some of the rills and mini-dunes around the driftwood.

There were some that seemed worth doing as panoramas. Some include a bit of moody sky. Some of these might work well as B&W, and I'll look at those on the main computer when I'm home again.

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3. My eyes did not see that streak along the horizon.

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I almost walked past this, then noticed the subtle patterns in the sand. I channeled my buddy Sean who likes such compositions, and had a go.

Pick the one above you like the most for Driftwood of the Day.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

We punched our eco card

We wanted to visit the Orokonui Ecosanctuary after the beach yesterday, but we spent too long on the beach. It would have been closed shortly after getting there. So we didn't.

Today we went there first, then did some more beach. For those that don't know what an ecosanctuary is, consider that New Zealand essentially didn't have any mammals before humans came along and introduced all sorts of species. Most of the native species don't compete well, and were dying out. An ecosanctuary is one of the solutions; putting up a varmint proof fence around a big area, and let the native species have a chance. It's a lot of work.

1. We saw these little guys at a feeder.


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4. And dragonflies. Or maybe damselflies.


5. This is a Takahe.

6. A close up of the feathers, which are sort of cool. It's more like a fabric than feathers.


7. The obligatory artsy shot (non-beach division).


8. The obligatory artsy shot (beach division). Yes, we did go to the beach afterward. It was a little bit more cloudy, but still nice. And almost completely empty.


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Driftwood of the Day


More beaches, more sea lions

Last year we went out the Otago peninsula and saw a lovely beach on the opposite side of the harbour. We never got out there on that trip, but made it this time. It's called Aramoana beach. It is lovely. Are you tired of me saying that yet? But this is the best beach yet to bring a model out and pose on rocks, or the sand beside rocks, or the seats on the rocks. We saw three other people on that end of the beach. Very private. Very quiet.

From where we parked it's a short walk through the dunes and beach grass, and then you see this when you get to the beach.


Here's the other side of that hole in the rock.


Linda posed on a rock wall a little further down.


The obligatory artsy shot.


The clouds were starting to roll over that big bluff, and I was loving space between the clouds and the beach.


Here's a close up of that bluff.


We saw several sea lions, but we didn't want to get too close.



In addition to all the other great rock that I loved, Linda found this one.


The selection of driftwood is growing by leaps and bounds, but I'm going to stick with Driftwood of the Day. 


Monday, February 24, 2020

Another day, another 3 beaches

So there we were, trying to make up our minds. So many beaches. So many choices. Decisions, decision. But the day started with this view from our apartment.

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We landed on these three.
Ocean View beach.
Brighton beach.
Long beach.

All were beautiful. We strolled and loved the beautiful day. The winner in terms of driftwood was Brighton. Holy doodle! It had the most amazing piece of driftwood that I've ever seen. I was around and around, shooting it with different lenses. It might be worth a blog of it's own. The rocks nearby were pretty amazing too. But I kept on taking photos of reflections.

2. This is Ocean View.


3. This was a surprise. I've never seen this on a beach before.


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4. Brighton.

5. Linda is so happy with this vacation she is walking on clouds.


6. The obligatory artsy shot.


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8. Another surprise, we almost walked into this sea lion on Long Beach.


Driftwood of the Day




Saturday, February 22, 2020

Biz class $$$$, Feb beach day, priceless!

Today was our first beach day of NZ vacation! Dunedin has two beaches (at least) within city limits. We explored St Kilda and St Clair beaches. I don't know why they have two separate names for what is one long stretch of sand. It's a lovely beach, soft mostly white sand. Not much driftwood for me to shoot, but there was a bit.

I hit Moana pool for a nice swim first. Last time here I didn't swim for two months, and it was like my arms forgot how when I got home. It took most of the year to get it back. I'm determined not to let that happen again! If I can get in even once a week, that will keep the water feel. I hope.

There's a surfing school that I watched for a bit. It's quite a reasonable price, and I'm tempted. The south end is the busy end. We got there a bit before lunch. Fish and chip. This is going to be a staple here for us I think, because it's so damn good! Yesterday we had some for lunch, and it was better than we've ever had in Calgary, but only so-so by NZ standards. Today's was quite good.

We strolled (gently) after, down to the heated salt water pool, and back to the other end. Well, Linda went all the way to the end. I parked my butt on a log for a bit and watched the world go by for a while. The beach gradually got more people on it, in two big bunches near the parking areas, but it was never what you'd call crowded.

It was sunny and warm, but not hot. There was a nice onshore breeze. This is what vacation is about.

1. Linda consorting with some sea lions. This one is named Mum.

2. Linda saying hello to the ocean.

3. Half of the beach.

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7. The obligatory artsy shot.

8. The other end of the beach, with the old posts.

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9. Me resting, waiting for Linda to come back.

And of course, Driftwood of the Day, now into the genuine NZ article.



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