No, I haven't had a late career change to folk singing, I've just been on a little road trip to Hokitika for a Spindle Spinning workshop with Angela Daish.
First - the trip!
It's not that far to Hokitika from where I live - and the weather was beautiful as I took off, although it did change once I got to the alps (more later). I took a few photos on the way through from Porter's to Arthur's Pass, just to show my overseas readers what the country around here is like. This one is just coming off down Porter's pass towards Castle Hill.
Rock forms on Flock Hill Station - site of scenes from various movies such as LOTR and the battle scene in Prince Caspian
Very little snow for this time of year - it's been a warm, dry winter.
About ten minutes later I came under a cloud blanket, and photos were pointless as nothing could be seen.
Once over the pass, the road drops steeply after you cross the amazing viaduct. Out of sight below me the road passes under a channelled waterfall and a rock shelter, which is there to prevent you from getting knocked off the road by falling snow and rocks. this place is called Death's Corner, and used to be part of the highway, but is now a lookout much haunted by Kea, one of New Zealand's native parrots...read on!
I was worried about my car, as these guys are famed for their vehicle dismantling abilities.
He eyeballed me and tried to assert his dominance...successfully!
This was not taken with a telephoto lens! I had my camera resting on the roof of the car, as well as my arms. He obviously was staking ownership.
Even when I got in the car, he wasn't going anywhere. He had to come down and have a peek to see what I was up to, though. After about another 5 minutes of tooting the horn, waving, shouting, clapping my hands and yelling, he finally hopped down off the roof and huffily went about two paces from the car. I had to very gingerly watch out for him as I slowly drove away. But he had the last laugh, as he swooped down the hill and across the road, landed right in front of me (luckily it is a very low speed part of the road) and sauntered away slowly while I waited.
You'll be wondering why I didn't just drive off? They will cling for ages and lots of them have been killed when drivers take off at speed. There are so few of these guys now that any one killed could spell the eventual end of their existence in the wild.
Keas are the world's only alpine parrot. They are intelligent, inquisitive and destructive. In the past they've been blamed for killing lambs and this is still controversial as many people believe this. When I was a child there was a talking Kea at the Auckland Zoo.
The actual workshop deserves a blog of its own, I think.
Kate is a semi-retired photographer and craft dyer who lives in Southland, New Zealand.