Regular Random: five minutes of caterpillar feeding frenzy

Thanks entirely to the Big T’s efforts at butterfly husbandry (more on that to come), our swan plants are positively heaving with Monarch caterpillars.

Most of them are huge and are rapidly chrysalising (if that’s a word) — which is fortunate because at the rate they eat, they are in danger of running out of food.

So this week’s five minutes of random was spent watching swan plant foliage disappear before my eyes.

Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

All photos ©Su Leslie, 2017

Both sides, now

Storm clouds over a field of grazing cows. Seen from the roadside, State Highway 16 Kaipara, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

Storm clouds gathering. Seen from the roadside, State Highway 16 Kaipara, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

You know that thing, where you’re traveling along and in one direction the weather is all clear blue skies, but on the other it looks like a storm coming?

The Big T and I found that driving back from Atiu Creek at the weekend. Off to the west, the Kairpara Harbour was fair glistening in the sun. At the same time, huge dark clouds were lowering over the east.

Storm clouds approaching over hillside and mangroves. State Highway 16, Kaipara, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

Storm clouds approaching. State Highway 16, Kaipara, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

The contrast in light was breathtaking. Grass in the slightly parched fields seemed to glow golden, and foliage shimmer, against the matte chalkboard sky.

Just a few miles further south, and the clouds were behind us.

Since I’ve pinched a Joni Mitchell song title for this post, here is the song to enjoy.

Written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally. This week the theme is black and white.

DP Photo Challenge: atop

View of Kaipara Harbour, from Atiu Creek Regional Park, Tapora, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

View of the Oruawharo River and Kaipara Harbour from Atiu Creek Regional Park, Tapora, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

There is a hint of autumn in the air. Auckland’s oppressive humidity has disappeared and I feel invigorated enough for long walks.

View of the Kaipara Harbour from Atiu Creek Regional Park, Tapora, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The Tauhoa River, Kaipara. Seen from Atiu Creek Regional Park, Tapora, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The Atiu Creek Regional Park covers over 800 hectares of bush, farm and wetlands north of Auckland with walking, cycling and horse-trekking trails criss crossing the landscape.

The park was gifted to Auckland in 2006 by owners Pierre and Jackie Chatelanat, who wanted to protect it from development and allow people to enjoy its beauty.

Views from atop the parks many hills are panoramic and stunning.

Daily Post Photo Challenge | atop