Bushy bliss (Part 1)

While I was in New Zealand recently, I took advantage of an opportunity to visit some dear friends in a different part of the country.  Both of our daughters (Squiddy and Batty) live in the Auckland area, two-thirds of the way up the North Island.  Partly to give them a break from having to share so much of their time with visiting parental units, I took four days and flew to Wanganui, in the southwestern part of the North Island.  My friends are as fond as I am of getting outdoors and into the undeveloped wild areas, and on my second day with them, they suggested an outing to a forest reserve that bears the remarkably clever and inventive name of Bushy Park.  It’s located about 25 km northwest of Wanganui and it features 250 acres (100 hectares) of virgin rainforest.  There are several well- maintained walking paths, none of which are very daunting or strenuous to follow.

Bushy Park 8825In 2004-5, a three-mile-long pest-exclusion fence was built around the park and all pests (mainly rats and mice) were subsequently eliminated from within its perimeter.

Bushy Park 8716Bushy Park is also a native bird sanctuary.  We heard many more birds than we were able to see, but one that I was very pleased to see come within range of my lens was this saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatu); its native Maori name is tieke.

NZ Saddleback 8743I will be devoting several posts to this wonderful patch of restored and preserved wilderness.  I hope you enjoy them.  If you’d like to see more detail, please click on an individual photo for a higher-resolution image.




About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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6 Responses to Bushy bliss (Part 1)

  1. Vicki says:

    Sounds like you were in your element in this area, Gary.
    There’s nothing like spending time with kindred spirits.
    Lovely sharp image of the Saddleback. What aperture did you use for making it, please?

    • krikitarts says:

      Hi, Vicki, due to low-light conditions I pushed my ISO up to 6400 and made this shot hand-held at 1/15 second and f/13 (-1/3 EV) with my 70-300mm VR zoom set at 230 mm. I’m happy that you like it!

  2. Adrian Lewis says:

    That’s a beautiful central picture you’ve got there, Gary – glorious lighting. And the bird is wonderfully caught too, what a beautiful creature. It reminds me a little of a mynah, and I wonder if the sturnus in its generic name hints at some relationship to starlings? Good pictures! Adrian

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m particularly fond of that second image, too; a single ray of sunsine came through the dense canopy and lit up that branch like a programmed spotlight. The saddleback is one of two extant members of New Zealand’s Callaeidae (wattlebird) family, the other being the (endangered) kokako. There was a third, the huia, but it’s now extinct.

  3. Great pictures as always, but I agree with Adrian re the second one – it’s breathtaking! The light is perfect, I love the the strands of spider web and the details of the moss and lichen make it look almost like a miniature forest.

    • krikitarts says:

      A recurring fantasy of mine is to imagine myself much (much!) smaller than I really am and to be able to explore the minute jungles that I find on an equal scale with the wonders that I see. For this reason, I loved the movies “The Incredible Shrinking Man”) and Isaac Asimov’s “Fantastic Voyage,” both of which may well have been before your time. Be that as it may, I would so love to be able to shrink myself to be oh, say, a quarter of an inch tall, but with all of my favorite camera equipment reduced to appropriate size and with an able assistant (maybe an ant with saddlebag) and sally forth…want to come along?

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