Sunday walks: Waikanae River and Lagoon

Armed with pram and camera, the Waikanae estuary has now been explored. And it’s time for a nice sit-down and pot of tea and a chance to tell you just how pleasant it is…

The morning was glorious; warm, blue skies, with chores completed early. The LovePlantLife Expeditionary Forces ventured forth for a nice stroll and some happy snapping while still maintaining mission focus. The winter, surgery and chocolate have all been cruel to my figure so I’m initiating Operation Waist Reclamation. It involves an awful lot of walking because I just can’t abide running, except when faced with imminent disaster and that’s usually accompanied by screaming, something else I just can not stand. So until we have an attack of sea monsters, you are very unlikely to see me run.

Gazanias are out in force in all their glorious colours. They really are very scraggly when seen alone, so please do plant your gazanias en masse. Grevilleas (top right) are just exploding colour all over the place right now. But while these introduced species look great it really is the natives that for me steal the show. But it leads me to two questions:

1. How do kowhais (which lose nearly all their leaves over winter) have flowers and fully developed seed pods at the same time?

2. Is this actually a pohutukawa and if so then what is it doing flowering so early? Is there some special estuary microclimate thing going on here?

What absolutely floored me though was the number of birds both species and quantity. Trees full of pied shags, battalions of black swans, geese a’gabblin, royal spoonbills, herons and more species of duck than I knew existed.



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