10 May 2013

Things I'm Loving - The Land Before Time

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

This week's Loving post comes to you from one of my favourite places in the world right now, Zealandia.

Last weekend, when most of the country above and beneath us was being lashed with torrential rain and flooding, Wellington was bathed in warmth and sunshine the entire weekend. Go figure, that never happens. Well we were bathed in good weather until 5pm Sunday when the rain finally came, but who's quibbling? Not me.

The annual passes we bought for Zealandia ($100 for a family for the year) have already paid off - this was our 3rd visit this year, and one trip alone for a family would usually be $70!

The boys were excited to see the little electric boat humming along the reservoir and were desperate for the chance to have a turn on the way back. We promised to try - if it was still running by then.

The sunny afternoon meant there was plenty of wildlife on offer - the birdsong was incredible, and along tuatara alley there were a few tuatara out of their nests proving easy to spot, and surprisingly I was even happy to take a photo of these big beauties happily ferreting around their wooden home - happy to get close because of the safety of glass between them and me.

I must make a mental note for next year that mid-autumn sunlight is insanely good for sunflare and light dancing on water shots. Seriously.

The walk up to the dam at the top of the valley is more than worth the uphill slog to get there.

Nestled right between two valleys, we might as well be in Gondwanaland or Jurassic Park country it really does feel so ancient here. Apart from the man-made dam of course....pfft but we can ignore that for the sake of a good story though can't we!

On the journey back down the valley, you also walk over an impressive suspension bridge which simply hangs in midair as if connecting the ancient and modern worlds.

After walking across it, with just the right amount of bounce to get the whole bridge swinging a little, the trail winds back underneath, and looking up to see just how high up we've been is a little mind-blowing.

The dappled light filtering through the trees turns funghi into heavenly lampshades.

And then, the piece de resistance of the afternoon - hey the boat Mum, the boat, the boat is here. Can we ride back on it? Please, please can we, can we? It's actually the first time this year that the boat has been ready and waiting at the dock on our way past and of course there was only one response needed.

It's a short wee trip from here to the little turret you can see in the distance, but along the way you do get up close and personal with the colony of shags otherwise known as a 'shaggery' - hey if it can be a rookery, surely a shaggery is also not out of the question?!

The return to civilisation is swift and yet it will always seem so out of place to be among houses again while you are yet to leave these borders. It is almost unimaginable to be still in the middle of the city and yet also here, where time has somehow rewound a few thousand years. .

There is often much to complain about with with the weather extremes we experience here - no-one I know welcomes the roaring southerlies and the horizontal rain that come with the crazy wind. But really, truly all we need is a day like this spent here now and again and the rest is immediately forgiven.

This place, this protected piece of paradise holds the key.

How about you? What is there to love about where you live? Do you go exploring locally and do you truly appreciate all there is to love right on your own doorstep?

It's so easy to see a photo of a deserted tropical island or the hustle and bustle of a great world city and wistfully wish to transport ourselves elsewhere, far away from here.

But really, there is as much beauty to offer in our own backyards.

If we would only have eyes to see it.

I'm also loving that despite my DSLR having to go in for repair for a few weeks, I could still embrace the gorgeous afternoon and capture beauty with my old pocket camera!

Here's how you can join in this week:

Link up below with your blog post telling us what you're loving, and grab the Things I'm Loving button below for your post too. Don't forget to share the love by visiting all the other lovelies who have joined in - the linky is open till same time next week!

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