Thursday, May 03, 2007

autumn glory

it's been a while since I posted and I'm going to deluge you with a flurry of photos much like the leaves cascading from the trees right now. the autumn colours are just glorious - especially cherry trees glowing in peachy oranges and rowan trees laden with bright red berries and leaves turning from golden yellow through orange and red to a deep burgundy mauve at the crown.

this is my walk into town, taken on a wet day - you can see the peaks of the remarkables in the clouds in the background. I walked this way back from town earlier in the week and had a bolshy little fantail bird come and display at me from about 6 inches away. they're the size of blue-tits with a white tail that fans out bigger than their body size, and they're not afraid to let you know you're in their territory. I'd love to have them in my garden, but they hang around in more natural environments hunting for bugs.

this is the creek I walk past, that powered the first hydro scheme in queenstown. the hydro plant started operating in 1924, although the mayor had been trying to get it started sooner the explosion of the acetylene gas power plant gave the plans a kick start! it operated 'til 1966 and the power building is now restored and you can walk up the creek next to the ruined old pipes.

after a record breaking busy april we had the weekend booked off for fran to get some well deserved rest, although bad weather around those days means he had a week off in total. on saturday we walked the 'fernhill loop track', which starts near our house and takes you into those mountains you could see on the photo behind our house. it was a stunning walk, through a mixture native deciduous beach forest with tropical looking ferns, encroaching still dark wilding pine forest, and open grassland with tussocks and flaxes laden with moisture from the low clouds.

I still find it really strange living somewhere where bright sunlight doesn't mean it's warm enough to remove layers... walking along with thermals and fleeces and a warm hat in the sunlight just doesn't compute in my english brain! in england when it's cold 95% of the time it definately isn't sunny!

we packed far more food than we needed, and a hot thermos of tea, and had a really nice time. at our lunch stop half way round we sat at a high point with a view down lake wakitipu and watched the plane at the dropzone 12km away taking off and landing and the skydivers under canopy spiralling to the ground, caught in bright sunlight against the remarkables shrouded in clouds.

the way up was a gentle uphill all the way - the way down took us along a ridge and then dropped off steeply into more wilding pine forest. (these non-native tress are rapidly taking over native forest and grassland and removing habitat for many native species). at the moment the floor of the pine forests are littered with fly agaric mushrooms as far as the eye can see - it was quite surreal to look through the trees along the floor and see thousands and thousands of red caps pushing up through the leaf litter. it's my hope that somehow this mushroom edipemic is the start of nature's cunning reclamation of lands taken by the pines!

and finally, proof that I have at least one friend...

friday night was 'girl's night out' in celebration of rachel's birthday, so along with my friend lizzy we went out for cwoffees and dessert at a funky new cafe in town, and then, after wandering round town and stepping into crowded noisy bars, inspiration hit and we went to 12bar - a funky, classy bar with cool wall paper, little booth rooms and comfy sofas for relaxing next to the wall of flickering yellow flames. definately a place to return to. and to make my night the barman called me 'luv' - made me feel all homey and english, if only he'd called a bloke 'luv' I could have been in sheffield...


Blogger Emma Andrews said...

Looks like you've been having a good time! How do you always look so beautiful....even in walking gear! I always look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards!!! Miss you guys and love you lots, Ems.x

Saturday, May 05, 2007 11:37:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your photos are so beautiful and you two look so happy there-amkes uys realise more and more how crowded this little island is! mum

Sunday, May 13, 2007 4:13:00 am  

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