October 5, 2010
Home and Away
Lady Mondegreen had the Secret Garden to herself today: the roaming dandelions and the drifting daisies, the winging kingfisher and the nesting starlings - all these delights were hers to enjoy undisturbed.
And me? I escaped with school holiday Spirits, to Hanmer Springs, to bask taskless in the sun around the hot pools or wander with Elwin in the cool forest on Conical Hill. I was intrigued to hear the bellbirds chortling in the Douglas firs high overhead, these nectar feeders thriving, it seems in exotic gymnosperms.
I don't usually enjoy watching children chase birds, but today I couldn't help admiring the tolerance of a chaffinch being chased by a little girl: round and round an oak tree at a toddle she chased it, while the bird kept his distance without lifting a wing. Later while picnicking I noticed the chaffinches scavenging tourist leavings, so no wonder they can deal with a little human interaction.
In these higher altitudes the wild plums are flowering in pastoral groves and the ornamental cherries - spent in Christchurch now - are still lovely in the alpine village.
So I return refreshed - and delighted that one of my attendant holiday Spirits has helped me find my way back to posting photos!
Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii
Wild plums and ornamental cherries Prunus spp