Spring in winter

Having just had the warmest July on record apparently, August has marched on by with a multitude of bright fine days. The average temperature hovers around 12°C, whereas further north Nelson and Gisborne have regularly touched 18°C.  Now the University of Otago campus is full of pink blossom and magnolia flowers, although the white cherries along the Leith aren’t out yet.  The kowhai are blooming at the head of North East Valley and my broccoli and cauliflowers are growing too fast for me to eat.  Spring in Dunedin should be at least a week away, but I am not complaining.  I’m back on my bike and enjoying the longer days and beautiful dawns.Image

  IMG_0594

Today I drove out on Highcliff to revisit my favourite places on the Peninsula. First, a stop at the Tomahawk Lagoon, where I found four of the seven white herons (kotuku) that have called this suburban wildlife reserve home over the winter.  They retreated to their favourite dead tree, too far away for a photo, as soon as I got out of the car. They were still close enough to see their wonderful trailing tail feathers and large yellow bills.  The tide was draining the harbour and the day was still and cloudy, when I stopped on the high road. Rugby fans were celebrating the win of the Ranfurly Shield, in the toaster, which dominates Dunedin unmercifully.

The toaster

Turning to look north, the harbour claimed the sky.

Cloud harbour   New lambs

New lambs dotted the hills and the reflections of the boatsheds at Broad Bay reminded me of times past, kayaking in the bay.

Broad Bay

Home again and the kowhai flowers are nearly out, though snow is forecast for later next week. It has been a strangely warm winter.

Low cloud on Cargill

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