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My New Hobby and a Long Road Trip South

I’m so excited to have finally purchased a new DSLR Canon camera. Then wouldn’t you know it, my cousin has a large 2nd hand zoom lens for me to buy and she offered to teach me to take close up photos of birds with it. First issue was trying to co ordinate a weekend that we were both free and sooner rather than later as the cows are due to start calving on the farm. Not an easy task being, that she lives in Wellington and I, in Hamilton.

Finally a date is confirmed, yeah and then the night before I was due to leave – in came the cold blast and closed off all roads down South. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would have to wait till later in the year. My cousin was fairly persistent due to her calendar being full for the rest of the year and keen for my visit.

Two days later as soon as the roads were opened, I found myself on a bit of a road trip with another friend for company on the long drive. I must say, it was fairly impressive driving through the snow covered fields, watching so many happy people, who had parked randomly on the roads, to let the children have a play in the snow. It must have been a delight for so many. We would stop ourselves for the odd snapshot on our cellphones, we quickly forwarded on the shots to keep people informed of our safe passage.

To top off an eventful day the new expressway had opened just north of Wellington and I was not aware of this fact, so found myself on unfamiliar roads. As darkness fell we found ourselves not really on the road to which I knew as well, oh well,  “its a bit of an adventure” I said as we continued to follow the directions of the GPS which I knew were in the right direction at least. We found ourselves at the top of a very high windy hill road and then just as the roads straightened and widened a little, we saw a car parked on the side of the road. One should always wonder why a car would randomly park themselves tucked up, hidden on the roadside, wonder no longer, the flashing blue and red lights soon answered that question.

I took the $120.00 fine on the chest as, well I may have been exceeding the speed limit just a tad, no point arguing with the officer, who was friendly and chatty, informing me of the 9 speed signs over the course of the hill road. Needless to say we arrived safely in Upper Hutt as the temperature dropped for the evening, in time for dinner which was ready to be served as we walked in the door. We sat to enjoy a tasty hot stew with mashed spud in a house warmed by a log fire. I was fairly tired after that long day and found myself in bed by 8:30 pm.

Next morning, no mucking around, time to get my hands on the new lens, open all the doors to to the deck to expose the nearby trees. Did I mention the frost? No, well socks on, jackets on, as we set up the cameras right on the outer edge of the room. The little silvereyes and sparrows were all happily feeding on the hanging bananas in the trees so it didn’t take much to get excited with the constant movements of the birds. I have to learn everything from scratch, new words for me, ISO F/stop. I didn’t even know how to playback my pictures but as we sat over the next hour, I had plenty of time to practice my shots as I wriggled my toes to keep them from icing up lol.

Anyway enough of the talk, I think I will just show you a few of my first shots.  You can bet there will be more in the future because I have lots of birds to photograph back at Kereta when I get back to the beach.

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