Archive for the ‘Taking a Walk’ Category

Charlesworth Wetland Reserve was where Christine and I chose to walk this morning. At the entrance in Charlesworth Street, Ferrymead, there are pamphlets available including one which details a self-guided quiz trail. This is supposed to take thirty minutes, but we dawdled and took longer. There are twenty points of interest on the trail, but some of the numbered markers have either disappeared or are not obvious. At one point there was a signpost with a map although it was not very helpful.

Map on signpost was not clear

The Reserve is home to a number of birds, but the only ones we saw were Mallard ducks and Scaupe.

Ducks on pond

The Reserve is owned and managed by the Christchurch City Council and most of the planting is done by volunteers who work there every Sunday. Many of the trees are still small, but these ones dominate the skyline.

Large trees

Unfortunately convolvulus can be seen in some areas. This weed is a nuisance everywhere. The seeds can survive over thirty years in the soil, which makes it difficult to eradicate.


This was a lovely walk, with the shade especially welcome on a sunny day. There are a couple of spots with seats where you can sit and look out over the wetlands. It’s great to have this reserve so close to the city.

We walked along the Charlesworth trail
all flat, no uphill or down dale

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Yesterday’s weather was perfect for the beach. Many families were out, splashing in the shallows, building sand castles, or walking their dogs.

Sunday on Waimairi Beach

A large bird had been washed up on the beach and we wondered what it was.

Bird corpse

My digitally deft companion sent a photo to iNaturalist where it was identified as a Giant Petrel. It had obviously been in the sea for some time as it was entwined with kelp. The traditional seafarers’ name for this bird is stinkpot because they have an intense foul smell like rotting flesh. Luckily any smell had been washed away before this corpse came to shore.

Giant Petrels are scavengers who eat penguin, albatross, seal and whale carrion, and kelp, as well as fish and squid. Adult birds can walk strongly on land where they aggressively compete for carrion and prey, being the only petrels that will feed while on land.

Alive this is a bird to fear
and you might not want to be near

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Developing rain was forecast, but Christine and I set out towards Linwood, planning to walk beside the canal and Humphreys Drive. Now the cycle path is well established there’s no parking in that part of Linwood Avenue, so we turned down Ti Rakau Drive and parked there. Opposite the canal we saw just a few pukeko.

Lone Pukeko

Next we headed for Windsurf Reserve where there was one swan, a good view of the estuary, and seats provided for a morning tea stop. Coming back we explored the Charlesworth Wetland Reserve.

Charlesworth Reserve

By now the rain had set in and I was glad I’d brought my umbrella.

“Just walking in the rain . . .”

The weather was still warm and the knees of my trousers dried out once we were back in the car. We were a little disappointed to have seen so few birds, and may explore further in this direction another time.

There’s lots to see out Linwood way
we’ll go again another day

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The Jubilee Walk, constructed for the 125th Jubilee of New Brighton in 1985, was where Christine and I walked this week. We started beside the river near Bower Avenue at the spot where New Brighton was named in 1860. A plaque was erected there by the North New Brighton community in 1985.

We saw several bird families on the river:

Swans with cygnets
Canada Geese with goslings

Our morning tea spot was the reserve which commemorates Jack Hinton. He was awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII for the courage he showed in a battle with German troops in April 1941 at Kalamata in southern Greece. After being hospitalised with injuries from the battle, he was taken to a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany. He escaped twice, but was recaptured both times and was imprisoned until the end of the war. In his later years, Jack and his wife retired to Bexley and regularly walked the banks of the Avon/Ōtākaro River, next to the reserve.

Jack Hinton Reserve

The stone above the plaque was donated by the Mayor of Kalamata in recognition of the heroic contribution of Jack Hinton and his fellow soldiers, and olive trees have been planted around the reserve.

Further on we came across this stump which looked like an animal.

Animal-like stump

The weather was mild, and this was a most enjoyable jaunt.

To walk beside the river is
a pleasure that is simply wiz

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Flotsam on the beach this morning was thicker than we’ve seen before.

Flotsam with ships on the horizon

Two horse riders were taking advantage of the firm sand, and keeping clear of loose dogs.

Horses on beach

The wind was strong and cold, and we admired a kite flying overhead, then realised the man controlling it had a kind of bicycle which was being pulled along by wind power.

Kite rider

So many different sights to see
they gave our walk fresh novelty

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The calm cloudy morning was ideal for another exploration along the Ōtākaro/Avon River. Christine and I parked in Brooker Avenue by the site of the Barkery, a dog adoption café, which has now sadly closed.

The Barkery

We crossed on the new Avondale Bridge. The ground looked almost as though it was covered in snow, but this was actually a weed mat protecting new plants.

Avondale Bridge

In Orrick Crescent there’s a community garden with beehives and scarecrows. A sign identified it as the Peter Roben Memorial Garden, a project of the Church of Latter Day Saints.

Scarecrow on bicycle with face obscured by apple blossom

On the other bank we were glad to find a swan on her nest, where we could just see there was one egg. We wondered where her mate was as they are usually very protective.

Swan on nest

The path under the Anzac Drive Bridge was flooded, so we walked beside the road, and were frustrated to be told by workmen that we must make a detour rather than just walk around the corner. This seemed absurd, as the workmen were chatting and there was no sign of any productive activity.

Detour ordered

On the way home we visited the Dallington Op Shop in Gayhurst Road, always an interesting place to browse, and I bought another jigsaw for my collection.

A morning stroll by riverside
gave exercise that satisfied

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Snell Place Bridge, which opened in May this year, was where Christine and I decided to start this morning’s walk. Of course we found that roads on my pre-earthquake map are no longer open, but after a short detour we found the bridge. It’s painted an attractive green with wooden arches.

Snell Place Bridge

A number of whitebaiters were trying their luck along the river. I did wonder about pollution.


We were delighted to meet a family of ducklings, so new they still had yolk on their faces.


Many swans inhabit this part of the river. A couple were elegantly posed behind a clump of daffodils, but of course one hid as soon as I turned on my camera.

Daffodils and swans

It was a lovely calm morning, and a pleasure to see so many birds. We crossed the river at New Brighton Road and returned along Locksley Avenue, now devoid of houses.

We just walked slowly at our leisure
where trees and ducklings gave us pleasure

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Christine and I set out this morning with some trepidation as the forecast was for rain. We bundled up warmly and drove to Dallington, north-east of the central city. We’d planned to start our walk from the newly opened Dallington Landing, which we understood was at the corner of Gayhurst and River Roads. However, that location was not easily found and we eventually parked by the recently rebuilt Medway Footbridge, the third bridge on that site.

Medway Footbridge

The previous Medway Bridge was completely destroyed in the 2011 earthquakes, and part of it now forms a memorial.

Munted Medway Bridge

We followed the river back to Gayhurst Road where we discovered the Dallington Landing. This area is attractively planted, and all funded by the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust.

Dallington Landing

We’d met only one brief shower of rain, and were pleased to sit in a dry shelter to have our morning snack. On the way back we saw several swans and a few traffic cones that had been dumped in the river.

Swans and cones

We popped in to check out the Dallington Craft Shop at the corner of McBratney’s Road, where they offer free books, magazines, and jigsaws. I couldn’t resist adopting a couple of jigsaws to add to my collection. Round the corner the Dallington op shop was also open, so we browsed there. For just one dollar I bought a hole punch to replace my old one which is inclined to leak small bits of paper. All in all, a satisfying expedition.

After a walk it’s good to stop
and browse an interesting shop

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Rain was pelting down early on Sunday morning and the weather was definitely not suitable for beach walking. By 10am the rain was clearing so we decided to walk through the Botanic Gardens. The river had overflowed, and ducks were enjoying new places to swim.

Ducks on the river overflow

At the Central Art Gallery in the Arts Centre we found an exhibition by Hannah Kidd. I’ve enjoyed her work before, and was keen to see these new pieces. Seven of them are sculptures of dogs, made from steel and corrugated iron, all extremely lifelike and very attractive.

Hannah has also painted and glazed a number of pots on different themes. An attendant kindly lifted the lids on these to demonstrate how each has an appropriate aroma inside. I had to take a photo of the one which showed a flamingo:

Friday Night Drinks

Another depicting Putin did not appeal:

Putin is Hot Pot

The delicate one with cats is inspired by a blog the artist follows called 12catslady. One of the paw-traits looked like Ziggy:

12catslady Pot

Bunsen Cafe was handy for a morning snack, with sparrows perched inside waiting for crumbs.

Expectant sparrows

A large raspberry and chocolate muffin meant I didn’t need lunch when I got home.

A stimulating way to spend
a dull day on a wet weekend

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Christine and I were delighted that the heavy rain two days ago had cleared and the sun was shining as we drove to Horseshoe Lake, intending to go in the opposite direction to that we’d taken last month.

There were a number of people in the dog park, but they seemed more interested in chatting than in exercising their dogs who all bounded over to the fence to see whether we wanted to play.

We started along the grassy track but soon found it was too waterlogged to be pleasant, so we retraced our steps and took to the road instead. By the Shirley Golf Course we had a fine view of snowy alps.

Snowy Alps

A convenient seat on Broomfield Terrace was the ideal spot for our morning snack.

Morning tea time

On the way back we discovered the Horseshoe Lake Reserve which has a lookout, but no track. There are shelters with interesting roofs, which have local birdlife depicted on them.

Shelter roof

We saw no birds today. They must all be busy elsewhere.

It was too wet to walk on grass
and so we gave that track a pass

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