Readers’ wildlife photos

Today’s photos come from the North Island of New Zealand and were taken by Chris Taylor. His captions and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them. In response to your request I’ve been looking through my photos for some you might be able to use.  To start off with, … Continue reading Readers’ wildlife photos

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today’s photos are from New Zealand and taken by Chris Taylor. The captions are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them. In response to your request I’ve been looking through my photos for some you might be able to use.  To start off with, here’s a set of photos from New … Continue reading Readers’ wildlife photos

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have some photos from New Zealand sent by reader Keith Cook, whose comments and IDs are indented. These attachments are a collection of pics from around my home and the local beach. I include some landscapes a la Stephen Bernard, seeing and raising his with a South Pacific sunrise or two… and a moon rise … Continue reading Readers’ wildlife photos

New Zealand: From Picton to Wellington

Yesterday morning (I’m writing this on Thursday), I was driven to Picton, detouring through the famous Marlborough wine region (vineyard below), famous for Sauvignon Blancs. But I also saw some Pinot grapes on the vines. The ferry from South to North Island, and vice versa, goes between only two ports: Picton and Wellington (New Zealand’s … Continue reading New Zealand: From Picton to Wellington

Rotorua and environs, part 2

The city of Rotorua is a hotbed (literally) of geothermal activity in New Zealand. It’s replete with hot springs, geysers, bubbling hot mud pools, and a distinct hint of sulphur in the air. Steam is everywhere in the parks. Here’s a hot-water stream running by an Anglican church in town: The city park is filled with … Continue reading Rotorua and environs, part 2

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have some New Zealand pictures from reader Michael Hannah, whose notes are indented. Hannah is an associate professor of paleontology and evolution at the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. Numbers 1 – 6 were all taken at Pukaha Mt Bruce sanctuary–  I know you visited there on your … Continue reading Readers’ wildlife photos

Wetas, cave wetas, and lagniappe (cat versus weta)

Some of the most unusual endemic insects in New Zealand are the wētā, orthopterans. They’re often referred to as “crickets,” but they’re in the families  Anostostomatidae and Rhaphidophoridae and not the cricket family (Gryllidae). Although Wikipedia says that there are 70 species of wētā (all endemic to this country), there are doubtlessly a lot more, as another guide … Continue reading Wetas, cave wetas, and lagniappe (cat versus weta)

The quest for the elusive kea: staging and preparation

Tomorrow is the day I head up to Arthur’s Pass from Greymouth to look for keas, the world’s only alpine species of parrot. I’m hopeful that I’ll get to see these remarkable birds, because the pass is where they are most easily found. In preparation, today I traveled from Fox Glacier north to Greymouth, took a … Continue reading The quest for the elusive kea: staging and preparation

Around Taumarunui: animals, including glowworms!

My visit to Taumaruni and fellow atheist “blogger” Heather Hastie ends tomorrow when I take a bus to Auckland, where I’ll stay for six days before flying home. Heather was kind enough to take me to several local areas of interest, and I’ll do two posts on the area.  Two days ago, we did a … Continue reading Around Taumarunui: animals, including glowworms!

Rotorua and environs

Here’s a dollop of photos taken around and in Rotorua, where I was magnificently hosted by artist Geoffrey Cox and his wife, radiologist Barbara Hochstein. On the long intercity bus ride from Wellington (7.5 hr), we stopped for lunch at a cafe where, the bus driver said, they had famous “lamburgers”, made from ground lamb. … Continue reading Rotorua and environs