Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2009

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2009

Not a hobbit or faerie in sight…but it was fun looking:)

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Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

It’s not hard to see why I love Pohutakawa Flowers so much!  These huge native trees are very common in coastal NZ and as they flower during the summer months they are often called “NZ’s Christmas Tree.”  It’s not just people who love Pohutakawa’s, the bees love them as the top photo shows and so do many species of birds and even Monarch Butterflies. It’s hard to imagine a  NZ without these trees and thanks to a law protecting them it’s not likely we’ll have too- anyone caugtht damaging theses trees, even pruning them without permission is in big trouble!

I spent around an hour photographing these awesome Copper Beech trees at Yatton Park. I was already back in my car and driving away when  this lady in the pink shirt appeared on the bicycle.  By the time I had whipped my camera back out of the case and gotten the lens cap off she was almost gone but I did manage to get her as she rode underneath that huge wisteria tree and, conveniently, towards the smaller Copper Beech!

This tree is the only one NOT from Yatton Park. It was photographed at Greerton Village School and is 105 years old (and protected.)

I have taken and posted several other photos of these amazing trees which you can see here and here if you would like too.

Watching me take the photos of the mosaics below was this black bird…and he allowed me to take his too!

I have no idea what these bright berries are but I found them while out on a walk and was immediately eniticed by the colours and the way the sunlight was falling on the leaves!

 I can’t decide which I love more, Autumn or Spring….

So much for the number 13 being bad luck! I’m a huge bird fan and  I feel truley priveleged to have gotten this photo. I would have been very happy just to have gotten photo’s of the nest, so the birds are like striking gold!

I’m still learning to use my new Nikon D40x which means I am still prone to making basic mistakes. It’sfrustrating in some ways (ok, many) and I could have spent much longer at the nest attempting to get perfect photos. However the birds themselves are more important to me and I decided to respect there space and back off. Mother bird flew away when I came by and I didn’t want to be responsible for her not coming back!

The only other time that I can recall seeing baby birds as young as these was when I was a kid and I found a nest that had fallen from a tree, the almost featherless still birds inside. I’d just gotten off the school bus so took off my sweatshirt to wrap up the birds and then took the whole lot home in my lunch box! Guess it was a sign of things to come!

INTERNATIONAL BLOG ACTION DAY…I just read this great post about not letting the burst of enthusiasm you may have felt on blog action day fade away. The writer says that ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’ and encourages readers to commit to doing something about poverty. Don’t let the dust settle around you! Remember…Acknowledge it and then take ACTION!

At the back of Yatton Park in Tauranga there’s a huge reserve with many large and historically significant trees. It was while out photographing the trees (and hoping to miss that rain you can see!) that I came across this scene. Instantly I was drawn to the colours! Rusty, earthy browns and grey provided a soft relief from the many shades of green where I was standing. Not that there’s anything wrong with green:)

I don’t know the name of the estuary that winds through all the tussock grass but I recently found a 2nd walking track that will lead me through it from a fork in the track at the Fraser Street Reserve (where the photos below were taken) back to Yatton park. One fine day I will make a point of going back to photograph this area specifically. I may even be lucky enough to capture some of the bird life that thrives here!