All posts tagged: Wellington

Sunset at Lyall Bay

Recently I had reason to drive around the back coast of Wellington from Island Bay to Lyall Bay just at sunset.  The glow on the hills was so striking I had to stop and capture the moment. I stayed a while to watch airplanes take off from the airport, and to see seagulls squabble over the choicest seats on the rock.

Weta on a Wet Day

Last week it was raining, and I was hurrying off to give a lecture on textiles.  As I dodged raindrops down the sidewalk, heading for my car, I almost stepped on a peculiar New Zealand native, the weta. What is a weta?  It’s kind of like an awesome, freaky, spiney, scary grasshopper. Oh, and some of them are 4″ long, and that isn’t counting their legs or antennae.  With those they are almost a foot long.  And they can weigh as much as a sparrow.  And the males hiss and bite when threatened. Luckily, the weta I found was a more common, garden variety female Wellington tree weta (I think – my weta identification skills are pretty rudimentary), but even the garden variety weta need protection, so I reached down to pick up the weta so it wouldn’t get squashed on the sidewalk. Unfortunately for me, my weta decided it liked my leather gloves, and didn’t want to let go. What was I going to do?  I had a weta on my glove that I …

Marine minutiae

A friend and I took a walk along the seashore.  At first we looked beautiful scenery, the rocks and rippling waves, the swirl of clouds in the sky. Then we looked down, and found a world of life, tiny and vibrant, hidden amongst the scenery. It started with a crab, no bigger than my thumbnail: I saw him run across a rock, and we picked him up to marvel at his tiny eyes, the curling antennae, the olive-black carapace both smooth and bumpy at the same time. There were more crabs on the rocks, glistening in the late afternoon sun, trying to blend their greens and blues to the golden rocks, and running sideways for safety when they felt they had been spotted. There was other life on the rocks, also practicing camouflage, but unlike the crabs unable to flee, so protected by their hard shells. I don’t know what the prehistoric looking armoured thingees with little snakes wrapped around their edges are.  Oddly enough googling “rehistoric looking armoured thingees with little snakes wrapped around …