A Sunset in Panmure
There are often nice sunsets visible from the belvedere. I like the powerlines that are in the way.
Two Sparrows Having a Bath
I'm pretty sure they're sparrows. The Hamilton Gardens had about eight differently themed gardens. This one was the backyard kitchen garden. I wish.
A Baby Rabbit
This little bunny was tiny! This garden was especially calming.
Two Ducks Swimming
Two mallards this time. In a little stream that had a bridge going over it.
Wheki (Dicksonia squarrosa)
It's rewarding to notice plants in all their different stages of life.
Everyone is really keen to explain to you that these things are raised to stop rats getting in. I overheard three people say this.
The Pond of Contemplation
Think about it.
Tongariro Crossing T+30 Minutes
We did this walk during easter, so there were lots of people. I didn't really know what to expect with the crossing; I was pleasantly surprised at how diverse the terrain was.
The Soda Springs
This was an optional detour off the main trail. A funny lady who had been drinking from the stream came up to me wished me a good hike.
The wind started to pick up and blow clouds in. It felt very volcanic.
One of the four volcanoes nearby on this walk. Tourists are no longer welcome to climb to the peak, as it is sacred to the hapū Ngāti Hikairo Ki Tongariro. I was chatting with a few guys over lunch near the base, and they decided to go up anyway. I called them out but they ignored me. What are ya gonna do.
Coloured by calcium carbonate and algae.
The Most Yonic Rock Formation I've Ever Seen
I was quickly ushered into the club of tens of thousands of people who have seen this thing and thought "Wow, that mountain has labia."
Another part of the crossing. The scenery changed every kilometer, as the altitude and humidity became more conducive for plantlife.
The Last Stretch
The final part of the crossing was a classic bush tramp. I really liked this part, despite being quite tired. I spent far too long fishing out a plastic bottle with my walking sticks that had fallen off the track into a cluster of ferns while two birds hopped around and watched me.
The next day I went on a little bike ride around the Aratiatia walkway.
This stream came out of a hot spring, it ran for a few kilometres and was steaming hot.
Along the ride there were lots of these sorts of pipelines venting steam. I wish I could have gotten some better shots of this one but, boiling hot moat.
Make rain not cars.
Tarāpunga (Larus bulleri)
Mission Bay Moss
Low tide at mission bay. Some stuff for boats in the background.
When I was a kid I'd tuck one of these into my pants and pretend to be a monkey.
I'm actually not very good at recognizing native plants. I've got a flash card app to help rectify the situation, but for the next few months there is a chance that this isn't actually a Rimu tree.
This was at the end of the lookout along the School Road Trail in Paihia. I stayed there for about two hours, maybe only eight other people walked past. COVID's been good for touristic privacy, I suppose.
Sentinel of the Paihia rock pools. I had to clamber over a bunch of them (rock pools, not shags) in jandals to get close enough.
Just below Haruru falls.
Plastic lasts till we no longer need it.
This campervan park outside the beginning of the Haruru Falls trail had a couple dozen chickens in it. They were very friendly to me, although a few were showing signs of the pecking order.
Many of these photos are just closeups of some organic system. I love them. For all the work that generative artists do to create something beautiful with an algorithm, it's entirely superficial compared to what is produced by nature.
Through the mangroves.
Manawa (Avicennia resinifera)
Shells in Sediment
This was only a small elevation from where the river currently is, now thriving with terrestrial plantlife. I wonder how long this sort of thing takes, and how much of the world's coastal calcium deposits we owe to mollusks that got hung out to dry.
Just Two Regular Mushrooms
Been reading Entangled Life recently. These cuties now feel a lot more imcomprehensible.
Tree in Light
The sun poked through for some nice contrast just as I rounded the corner. I find a lot of forest shots fail to capture what it's like actually being there. The parallax is missing.
Some Kind of Beach Grass
Look. I'm not a botanist, I just liked the way the golden tips of the stems looked.
A runner zipped past me here as I hunched over to take a photo of some bird shit.
Trunk and Web
There really is a near-fractal level of detail in everything around us. Ten thousand years ago I'd have been an animist for sure.
It was an overcast day, but felt nice to get out of the bush and on my way to Waitangi.
Allow Me To Introduce,
Dead possum. I imagine anyone who's reading this knows me personally and thus likely knows that I've taken a great interest in daughterless gene drives as of late. I can get as mad at the possums wrecking our ecology as much as any New Zealander, but it doesn't bring me joy to think of them dying of poisoning, or trapping. I'd rather they all die of natural causes, as virgins.
One Stump Hill
There were some kids playing make-believe minecraft inside.
Not as terrible as '86, but it's shocking that we're still doing this.
This was from a really nice day I spent wandering around Onetangi Bay, a disgustingly gorgeous place.
Arlington Apartments Going Keep!
Went down to Wellington to stay with two friends. Right next to their place were the remains of the Arlington social housing apartments. They'd been levelled for redevelopment.
We went for a walk up Hawkins Hill to check out the wind farm and VHF station. A cool tesselation made this radar dome that serves Wellington Airport.
"Get on up" — James Brown.
I'm not 100% sure what alloy this was made out of. Looks like old bark now.
C & D Loader
This cool Construction and Demolition Landfill was probably my favourite part of the walk. I spent about half an hour taking photos, much to the polite impatience of my friends.
C & D Puncture
A guy named Kyle gave me a ride into Paraparaumu. He was a heavy diesel mechanic and probably would have been able to fix this.
It was an overcast day so many of my shots didn't come out so great, but I liked these bright green boards.
The interior of an abandoned bus. It'd been converted, complete with moldy beds and frayed curtains.
They wanted $700,000.
By this point I'd been in so much beautiful scenery that the ugliness of the landfill really appealed to me — the poignant human story behind it all, or the off-gassing.
There was a shy black cat living here.
Gorse Mite Nest
Gorse plants get these little silk nests on them from time to time. Turns out they're from a mite that we introduced to help deal with all the gorse. A real little old lady (she's dead, of gorse.)
An exception to the forest photo rule.
Peripherally I thought someone had been mixing green and yellow paint.
In one of the muddiest parts of my walk to Montgomerie Hut I came across this glade of trees that had presumably been struck by lightning. Their mossy exteriors were slimy but didn't smear off at all when I touched them. Apparently dead trees can take hundreds of years to fully decompose. Maybe I'll return to these ones in a couple of hundred years to check.
Why Are These Fungi So Small?
Because they don't have mushroom to grow.
I wonder when trees celebrate their birthdays.
I'd gotten really into geology just before this walk. Noticing rocks is a game-changer.
After the West Coast floods in July 2021, more than 1,000 cows drowned and were washed out to sea.
Distant, austere, in the midst.
I thought it was polite of the lichen at the end of the pier to colour itself accordingly.