By avilover

Tadorna variegata

12.12.12! Yeah! I love when all the numbers are the same. This won't happen again for one hundred years....how cool is that?!

Would anyone believe me if I said The Hobbit was a crap movie? I hope not, because it was not! It was terrific. I had my doubts, when after the first four hours of the movie the dwarves still hadn't left Bilbo's house to begin the big quest...but it picked up a lot. A pretty amazing film, ya gotta go watch it.

This morning I slept in as much as I could before they kicked me out of the hostel and then I wandered down to the waterfront to take in my last Wellington mochaccino. The ferry ride was easy breezy--no seasickness, as I had fearfully anticipated. The town that the ferry comes into on the South Island is called Picton. It's a sleepy little place with a cute downtown on the water and is surrounded by steep green hills all around. The weather is tremendous, and apparently often so.

This here's a Paradise Shelduck, an endemic species. This is the female. Unusually for birds, she is quite a bit more striking in appearance than the male, whose body is mostly black with some rich color to his wings. Paradise Ducks, as they are more often called these days, mate for life, and are nearly always seen in pairs. This one was not only waddling around the waterfront park with her man, she had three large ducklings in tow as well.

Putangitangi, as the Maori call them, have actually benefitted from European settlement, having grown out of scarcity as the result of so much forest being converted to pastureland, which they prefer over other habitats. This is a rare exception in the overwhelming trend of decline of native species here.

Sign in or get an account to comment.