Out and About in September

Around Mt Robert   Nelson Lakes National Park   
With our walking group we started out along Paddy’s Track heading up towards the Bushline Hut arriving just before 11am. We had stopped for morning tea high up, on a rock outcrop and just about out of the native bush. The light was a little different somehow and very still. The cloud reflections on the lake were quite something. The open ridge heading up towards that last steep climb before reaching the hut is one of my favourite spots. After a brief spell at the hut, it sits right on the bush edge at 1290m asl, with a great views towards the North and East, we continued on up to the main ridge over patches of snow to reach the  Relax Shelter for lunch. 
After that it was along the Mt Robert Ridge downwards to the bush edge but no old little hut there. Taken away, gone and a pity as quite often it was a good sheltered place to don wet weather gear or a windproof coat or jacket. 
Down the zig zag track or Pinch Gut as they call it, to the car park and then home. 

Fish Ponds Waimea River rainbow trout.

Waimea River Stopbank  Walk 
It’s better to do this by bike I think. However, we walked from the Brightwater end to the Appleby Bridge and Highway and back and it sure seemed to be longer going back! The best part is the fishing ponds by the river and they hold trout too but they were built especially for children.  The local Fish & Game stock the ponds with trout and then run special children fishing days. 
The ponds looked a lot different from when a friend and I had helped with some planting way back in 2011. I forget the species planted but they were around the edges and in shallow water. The ponds have been extended too and walking around the edges, we watched a number of trout swimming around. The pond water was remarkably clear, no doubt fed and filtered from the Waimea River running nearby. We had lunch here under the watchful eyes of a pair of kingfishers. 

A Kingfisher at the fishing ponds.

A Little Bit of Estuary Walking   
We started off with a walk around Dominion Flats Reserve where a lot of native planting is going on. Then we went down to the end of a side road, parked, and walked along a track to the Waimea Estuary, passing some small ponds on the way. A pair of Canada geese, mallard ducks, a shag and some pukeko were going about their business.  Along a little further until we could see a strange shape lying on it’s side by the mudflat. 

The submarine remains at the waimea Inlet.

It was the remains or leftovers, of a submarine project that never got finished. It is now a bare steel reinforcing rods object, the shape of a cigar and it looked to be almost ready for its coating of plaster cement. About twenty odd years ago, a chap, Peter Mackey, had this idea of a ferro-cement submarine and he made good progress over two years however, due to thieves stealing his tools and other gear – twice, he gave up. Nearby is a dilapidated but photogenic hut which he had used for the project. I think the hut is worth preserving!  And the sub too for that matter.  It did get in the water though – at high tide. It can even be seen on Google maps!
Maybe the sub could be mounted standing upright? It would be cheaper than some of the ‘art’ work around the area plus it does have some history behind it. 

Hoddy Reserve.

We next when along the estuary to the Hoddy Estuary Reserve had a walk around and then lunch time. On one side of the reserve is the estuary and in one corner is a largish pond complete with a boardwalk around one side. A number of mallard ducks were on the pond and it was good to see some pairs of black teal or NZ scaup. And then out from some willows swam four shoveler ducks. Two pairs of male and female and good to see them as they are not all that plentiful. Swift flyers and the male being quite colourful. The scaup are not all that plentiful either but seem to like these small ponds that are scattered about. 

NZ Scaup in the Hoddy Estuary Reserve.

Walking the Dog

Now and then we ‘baby-sit’ George. George is a border collie, a very obliging dog and loves to follow me around when working up in Will’s Gully. Well, I think he does, going by his tail movement and pricked up ears. On a lead of course as wekas are about and when one weka arrives for a look at what I’m doing, there is a wary staring match by both. After awhile the weka will have a poke about with its beak then wander off. George will look at me as if to say ‘it’s one of them things again”. 
Have you ever taken a dog for a walk? If they meet up with another dog, have you wondered what do they say to each other? 
Dog One:  “Haven’t I smelt you somewhere before?” 
Dog Two:  “Could be. I recognise you from  that letterbox back there.” 
Dog One: “Well, I’ve done all the ones in this street. You can smell for yourself!”
Dog Two: “Thanks, I’ll piddle on some bushes from now.”
Dog One:  (Sniffing) “Smell you next time then?”
Dog Two:  (Sniff, sniff)
Rainfall at our place for September was 29mm. A lot less than our September average of 109mm. 

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