27 February 2010

Wave within rocks, Flounder Bay

Home to many small lives

At the south end of the beach I looked down to see the edge of a wave rushing between the boulders, beneath my feet.

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

26 February 2010

Gullruffle, Flounder Bay

Feeling better now
On a grim morning with dark rain out at sea and moving closer, we wandered the beach near the mouth of the stream. Anne-Marie did some yoga; I prowled for pictures. This tarapunga (red-billed gull) stood preening on a rock at the water’s edge, safe from the surging surf that raced and foamed upstream. Gulls appear in photos most often in their clean, sleeked-down state; this time I concentrated on catching a different look. (The shutter speed was 1/250 s).

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

25 February 2010

Life and death at the Cove of Giants

Who lived here? Who died here? Who still lives here?

Signs of life and death, some recent, some long gone, littered the shore at the Cove of Giants (you’ll be able to read about my visit there when I finish and publish the post ; in the meantime, if you’re interested, you can read some other impressions of our Time at Flounder Bay).

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

24 February 2010

Storm and wave, Flounder Bay

"At the mouth of the stream, sunlight on breaking surf shines so bright and white it's hard to look at, but out at sea, dark cloud drops an ominous veil of rain on the horizon."
—from the just-published post Time at Flounder Bay, on Pohanginapete

By the time I photographed this, the veil had become a shroud. We got back to the cabin just in time.

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

23 February 2010

Wave over rocks, Flounder Bay

"Further out, the boulders and weed appear momentarily then vanish as the swell surges over; when they reappear, water pours off them in long, shining streams like a different kind of weed: unbranched, ephemeral, constantly changing."
—from the just-published post Time at Flounder Bay, on Pohanginapete

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

22 February 2010

Signs of (human) life at the Cove of Giants

This place belongs to the sea

At the Cove of Giants, someone, probably not recently, had built a fire against one of the big rocks embedded in the sand. All that remained was a barely discernible blackened, scorched patch on the rock; the ashes and charcoal had long gone, long been claimed by the sea (perhaps on the very next high tide). I found it both eerie and comforting — that signs of human presence could so easily be erased.

Update (23 Feb. 2010): I've just published Part I of some impressions from Flounder Bay on my primary blog.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

20 February 2010

Pihoihoi, New Zealand pipit

Always looking for a tasty morsel

Most mornings when we walked the track to the beach at Flounder Bay we'd meet these delightful little birds. Pihoihoi (New Zealand pipits; Anthus novaeseelandiae novaeseelandiae) seem relatively unafraid of humans; in fact, on one occasion we stood still as one made its way with that characteristic, tail-wagging walk, almost to our feet.

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

19 February 2010

Not going with the flow [rock in stream, Flounder Bay]

Hang on tight, little fella.

The mouth of the stream at Flounder Bay changes continuously. Sometimes it's too deep to cross comfortably; sometimes, as in this photo, you can cross in ankle deep but still swift water.That's a limpet clinging to the rock — an indication the sea's only a few metres away.

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

18 February 2010

Where old tractors go [Flounder Bay]

Rust in peace, old guys

Just a couple of the old tractors and similar machinery that make Flounder Bay such a fascinating place.
The horses get ridden; they’re not just for looking pretty. Maybe one day, when all tractors (and cars) will be as functional as these, we’ll be thankful we still have horses.

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

17 February 2010

Jacob's Ladders, Hawke Bay

Dawn over Hawke Bay.
We knew them as Jacob's Ladders when we were kids but that usage seems rare now. They're one of the forms of crepuscular rays, which have many vernacular names: I've most often found them called "God beams". I still prefer "Jacob's Ladders" but admit a fondness for the word "crepuscular".

We saw these at dawn at Flounder Bay last week; this is a cropped telephoto shot. I’d have loved a gannet to have cruised past as I pressed the shutter, but they were too far away to be recognisable as birds. [No—please don’t suggest adding one in Photoshop. :^) ]

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

16 February 2010

Evening, Hawke Bay

No land between here and southern South America
About two thirds of the way from Flounder Bay to Driftwood Cove, the track above the rocky coast passes a point with a flat area about the size of a small room, where one can look out over Hawke Bay. When the weather's clear, the view extends from the Mahia Peninsula in the north-east to Cape Kidnappers in the south. But it's the view directly east that so often entrances me.

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

15 February 2010

Beached tree; the Cove of Giants

Click on the photo to see a different view, from May last year.

I visited the Cove of Giants on the last evening of our stay at Flounder Bay. The great tree still lay at the waterline, bleached whiter, buried a little deeper in the sand, missing a few more branches.

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

14 February 2010

Back from Flounder Bay

I'm back from Flounder Bay after two weeks of writing, photographing and pottering around the shore. Normal posting has resumed.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor