Wednesday 14 November 2012

Keens Road

Keens Road goes down to the Waimakariri Riverbed

Cabbage Tree Shadows on Keens Road

Mount Torlesse is in the distance.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Cloud Piercers

Back Peak and Otarama of the Torlesse Range

Sunday 11 November 2012


Red Shirley Poppy

Saturday 10 November 2012



Thursday 8 November 2012

Spring Sunshine

The Torlesse Range
Sheffield Valley with the Torlesse Peaks
The Hawkins River

 At this time of year there is water in the river.  For much of the year it is dry in this section.

The yellow broom adds colour to the landscape, but it is a noxious weed.

Large Narcissus Fly in a Pot Marigold

The large narcissus fly (Merodon equestris) is yet another accidental import from Europe.  It arrived in a consignment of daffodil bulbs and has spread over much of the country.

Although it looks like a small bumblebee it is a hoverfly.  It hovers above a flower before landing, and when it has finished feeding on the nectar it darts away so fast that it difficult to see which direction it took.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Road to the Sky

Road to the Sky

I had thought of calling this 'Road to Heaven,' but that would have been misleading.  Down there out of the chill wind the sunshine was balmy, the birdsong was glorious, and the fragrance from the golden broom was divine.

Tuesday 6 November 2012


Starling Chicks
I found this trio in a heap of dead leaves under the cabbage trees.  They had apparently fallen from their nest in the tree above.  They were clearly not ready to fledge, and they quickly burrowed into the leaves when I approached.  I watched from a window and saw that two adults were feeding them.  The chicks were very vulnerable to cats and stoats.

For three days they preened themselves, explored the heap of leaves, and exercised their wings.  At the end of this time they were ready to fledge.  The parents took them off to safety. It was a great relief for me.

Monday 5 November 2012

Rainy Day

Praying Mantis nymph (Orthodera novaezealandiae)

This tiny (1cm) mantis nymph is not deterred by the rain as it waits patiently for something to come along.

Sunday 4 November 2012

November Snow

Torlesse Range
  Although it is late spring the mountains still get falls of snow.

Wellingtonia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum)