Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bumble-bee in Plumbago Larpentae... in my garden!

bumble-bee gathering pollen in Plumbago larpentae
It is so intriguing to watch the bumble-bees gathering pollen from the tiny blossoms of Plumbago larpentae... an excellent ground cover with a spreading habit that will quite literally take over your garden if you let it. The bumble-bees wrap themselves entirely around the blossoms as they make their way around gathering pollen. (A bit more about the spreading habit of this plant... ONE tiny plant put into my garden some years ago has now spread over half my front garden and well down the way toward the back of my house in my side garden. If it does grow where you don't want it, it's quite easy to yank up... but it grows by underground runners and spreads everywhere as long as it has enough sunlight.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sydney Harbour Bridge during rush hour...

Sydney Harbour Bridge traffic
The bridge carries cars, buses, trains, pedestrians and cyclists across the harbor... and maybe even streetcars... I forget. I took this photo because of all the traffic lights.

Setting sun on Sydney Harbour... bridge, boats and city skyline..

setting sun on Sydney Harbour Bridge
This view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was taken from the Sydney Opera House... some of the best views of each of these two famous Sydney sights are taken while opposite the one from the other...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cows... watching and wondering... Roadside Vista en route to Waimangu Volcanic Valley near Rotorua, NZ

cattle, somewhere in NZ
Stopped by the side of the road on my way to Waimangu Volcanic Valley because the cattle where RIGHT next to the fence. As soon as I approached... they scattered back 30 to 50 feet from the fence and turned to watch to see what I would do next.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pre-European Whare (house) built by early Maori settlers at Whakarewarewa Village, Rotorua, NZ

early maori home in thermal village
From the Visitor Guide handed out to visitors of Whakarewarewa Thermal Village: Early Maori utilized native materials to build their homes. The first inhabitants of Whakarewarewa built directly on top of the geothermal area to take advantage of the heat to warm their homes. (more photos of this village will be posted later today on my vacation blog... still slogging away at catching up with posts)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mitai Maori Village Warriors dance and play native instruments... Rotorua, NZ

Seem to be having a hard time getting it together to post photos from my trip "down under" ... mostly because I took SO MANY and it's hard deciding which ones to share. A visit to Rotorua, NZ isn't complete unless one attends a Maori cultural experience... this photo is representative of the performance given by the Mitai Maori Village as part of their cultural evening experience.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Typical New Zealand Countryside... and weather!

New Zealand countryside, north island
This photo was taken en route from Auckland to Rotorua, New Zealand. The weather is cloudy, rainy and sunny by turns but almost always with clouds in the sky this time of year. The lighting was not so great for the foreground but I do like this photo anyway. Enjoy... (note that I'm back from vacation and WAY behind on posts but gradually trying to catch up... my vacation blog has more photos if you care to have a look)

Black Swan in Lake Rotomahana, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, New Zealand

black swan
The first of these swans I saw was across the lake building a nest and too far away for a clear photo. I'd never seen a black swan before so wasn't sure what I was looking at but had my suspicions confirmed by another tourist who was much closer to home (from north of Auckland) than I was. Apparently these birds aren't native to New Zealand but were 'imported' from Australia some time ago. They are quite happily resident on Lake Rotomahana and we saw many, both from ashore and while on the boat ride portion of the Waimangu Volcanic Valley experience. (note that I'm back from vacation and WAY behind on posts but gradually trying to catch up... my vacation blog has more photos if you care to have a look)

The Child Who Left...

According to Maori legend, this rock sticking up from the ocean offshore of the black sand beach near Karekare (on the Tasman Sea) is the child who left. Ashore and not easily photographed due to the time of day were a much larger rock formation (the mother) and a smaller formation nearby (the child who stayed). I don't recall the rest of the story but liked this photo because it shows the sparkly nature of the black sand beaches of New Zealand. (note that I'm back from vacation and WAY behind on posts but gradually trying to catch up... my vacation blog has more photos if you care to have a look)