Tuesday, 29 July 2008

A Walk at the River

Friends told me of a way to get to the river - just go to the end of this street and cross the gates and you're there. This sounded promising. I got to the street, asked some neighbours if it was ok and crossed through the gates. It was all great until I saw a group of horses and they saw me. I have a real dread of horses and cows so I hightailed it back to safety on the other side of the fence. Big animals are not my cup of tea.

Then I drove over the bridge and tried one of the offroads. There is a track along a fence. The trick is, though, to cross over the creeks to get to the pebbly beaches in the river. I'm a wimp when it comes to getting wet so I kept to the track looking for ways to get across. I never found one but I did manage to take a few photos. It's such a beautiful river. This is Otautau from the east side of the Aparima River. The big smoke is from the timber mill. Looking at the lay of the land, it's easy to see why the town has had so many floods. Of course many of them were due to the Otautau Stream that runs right through the town. Thankfully, twenty years ago the stream had flood banks built up around it and we've had no problems with flooding since then.

Lots of willows - in fact a real infestation. I saw so many saplings coming up. Thankfully gorse and broom appear under control at least in this spot.

I was delighted to find a few native plants amongst all those willows. This is a very healthy looking harakeke (Phormium tenax). In fact I didn't see any holes in it at all - no moths - perfect for weaving.

Another beautiful native - koromiko (Hebe salicifolia).

Last but not least - spot the piwakawaka (fantail). I saw several of these. In fact, the riverside resounded with bird songs - thrush, waxeyes, goldfinches - you name it, it's at the river.

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