All Around My Life

By TMLHereAndThere

The fairy waterfall OR Nelson’s old water supply

Friday means lunch with Gill and S., so I went off to that while the DB took himself for another back-cracking session. It seems to be working; he can almost walk normally again now. I, on the other hand – but that’s a story for later. S. wanted to discuss what she termed “the big news of the week” and, knowing her, I guessed correctly. It was the Bill and Melinda Gates divorce. I had no idea that Monsieur Gates has a long-term lover, a woman apparently now aged in her 80s, and that the pre-nup stated that he would still be allowed to see her every week.  S. says she thinks he married Melinda because he thought she’d be ‘a more suitable wife’.  Not that it’s any business of ours, of course. Sounded a bit like the Charles-Diana-Camilla situation.
 
So that was my celeb gossip update for the week. For me, the more exciting news is China’s out-of-control Long March 5B booster rocket segment, hurtling back to Earth and due to land somewhere this weekend. The news here in NZ has been full of the fact that it could well land ‘near Wellington’. Well, in the grand scheme of things, Nelson is very ‘near Wellington.’  However, this afternoon, the host of a radio show from California that I listen to was talking about this, and he was saying that it was looking increasingly likely that it would land in the US, possibly ‘between Chicago and New York.’ It seems that the whole of the USA (apart from Alaska), South America, most of Africa and Western Europe are all potential splashdown sites. Canada, Russia, China (well Asia, basically) and Australasia are believed to be in the clear.  My prediction, given that much of our planet is covered in water, is that it will land in the ocean. Watch this space.
 
Seeing Gill reminded me that I’ve been meaning to go for a walk up the Brook valley for quite a few weeks now. Being a fully fenced conservation area/sanctuary for native plants and birds, it’s only open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so I have to remember on the right day! Our current run of good weather is due to come to an end, so I put my camera and mini tripod in my backpack and off I went. I wanted to photograph the waterfalls again. They’ve been blipped before, and I’m always hoping to get the perfect, long exposure ‘silky’ water shot.
 
I’m shocked to see that it’s almost two years since I last did that. But then, I forget that 2020 was The Lost Year. Even after lockdown, I’m not sure that the sanctuary was open for a while.  Today, I arrived at the lower waterfall at the same time as two mothers with a gaggle of four or five little girls, and one little boy. The children ran about shrieking and hurling stones into the water; their mothers kept telling them to ‘keep away from the lady’s camera’ but I assured them that it was fine; I used to have little girls of my own, and wouldn’t mind splashy pics. The little boy – one of the youngest – came over and asked what I was doing, so I showed him. Of course the long exposure meant that most of the children’s movement made them come out looking like ghosts, but there were a couple of images where they obviously stood still long enough (see extras).
 
There was much discussion in the comments on my very first blip of the upper waterfall (shown here) in March 2013 as to how to get the perfect shot. Today, I had a tripod so have nailed the water better, but the sun had gone by then, so the light was flatter. I think the 2013 shot is more atmospheric.
 
I made it back to the reception area at 3.55pm, with five minutes to spare before closing time. It was lucky that I’d forgotten to bring a spare battery for my camera, as otherwise I may have completely forgotten the time and been late. Just after my battery died at the top pools, a slightly worried-looking German man appeared from the far side, asking if we had enough time to get down the track by four o‘clock. I let him go first, as he seemed to be a fast walker and he chose to return by the west bank path, whereas I continued on the east bank. We arrived back at exactly the same time!
 
After all that clambering about over rocks, negotiating narrow and, in places, steep and muddy trails successfully, it was rather alarming to put my back out this evening. How did I do it? I simply lifted the roof hatch on Ted’s hutch!! It must weigh all of about 3kg. Maybe I twisted as I did it, but as soon as it happened, I knew. I’ve done this before…. feels like Sciatic nerve pain. So the DB had to come out and help me put the bunny away for the night. I’m creeping about like a 90-year-old. What a pair!

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