I returned from the No. 1 Line track, late in the grey gloom of an afternoon that threatened rain, to find the remaining three pigeons had finally been liberated. One stood on the ridge of the old shed, blinking from time to time as if in disbelief at its new freedom. It looked like everything I'd tried to say last Saturday.
Not all bird photographs need to be needle sharp if their purpose is to convey an impression. Of a series of photographs of two riroriro late this afternoon in dim light, none was perfectly sharp but I liked several, including this one. Riroriro are one of Aotearoa's smallest birds: titipounamu weigh the same but have a shorter tail.
The rabbits in the front paddock haven't yet been shot (and I hope they won't be). I know this, because while I was wandering along the edge of the terrace the other day, this rabbit popped up and stared at me. I'm not sure exactly how many live here, but it's at least two or three, and I see one or two most mornings and evenings. The winter might deal to them, but in the meantime I love just watching them.
On the walk back out from Rockslide Biv to Masters Shelter last Monday, we were treated to brilliantly clear views of Ruapehu (shown here) and Ngauruhoe. Even Taranaki appeared, small but distinct, in the far distance. The ground remained largely frozen but the cold made for ideal tramping weather.
On Sunday I drove north and walked, almost non-stop, for five-and-a-half hours over the tops to a bitterly cold bivvy in the northern Ruahine. I arrived just before dark, surprising Jono and Laura, who'd assumed I hadn't managed to get away. They'd walked in on Friday from a different direction, and had endured an icy walk up the river to the biv. At least I'd had no rivers to wade. We survived the night, although anything damp — socks, boots, etc. — froze overnight.
This photograph shows a section of the track along the tops during my walk in.
In the previous post I mentioned how the tree lucerne had begun to attract birds like the korimako. This evening I finally managed to photograph one of these beautiful birds. This is a female, easily identifiable by the white stripe at the corner of her mouth.