Tet, the Vietnamese new year is round the corner. Colours of tet as well as an air of gaiety fill the streets and even the river!
The sight of this boat filled with vibrant flowers, gliding through Saigon River filled me with joy in the morning! Marigolds and chrysanthemums are as significant as yellow apricot and pink peach flowers during Tet festivities.
The city is all set for Tet. Hoping that the year of the Pig brings Peace and Happiness to all!
“I’ll tell you how the Sun rose
A Ribbon at a time.”
May Peace prevail on Earth! Merry Christmas!
Clicked at Christ the King’s Cathedral, Nha Trang, Vietnam
A forty minute long pleasant drive from Albany, through scenic farmlands and small vineyards on both sides, takes you to Muriwai beach with its black sand dunes, wind sculpted tall trees, flat rocks and cliffs lined with flax plants. Muriwai beach is one of the few places in the world where gannets nest on the mainland.
A smooth trail up the flattened rocks would take less than fifteen minutes walk and as you reach the raucous gannet colony, the viewing platforms help you get close view of the birds. Gannets are native to New Zealand. I find the Maori names for the native birds quite interesting as I feel that the names sound like the bird calls! There are Kereru (pigeon), korora( penguins), kaka, kea(mountain parrots), pukeko (swamp hen) and so on. Gannets are called ‘Takapu’ in Maori.
There are flat rocks and a flattened cliff below, where hundreds of gannets nest. Like most of the native birds, gannets too are fearless in human presence. The gannets look elegant while flying yet there is something comical about their gait. Is that a smile or a frown? Those clearly outlined beaks leave you baffled! Nevertheless the gannet in flight is magnificent, spreading their two metre wingspan, they glide and swoop wth grace.
A magnificent gannet in flight
It is pretty fascinating to know that gannet pairs bond for life. The female lays one egg, both male and female take turns in hatching the egg; they warm the eggs using their webbed feet. Gannets co-parent the young ones. When they are about four months, the young birds take off to Australia crossing the Tasman sea and after four years return to New Zealand to breed and never to go back!
The birds have binocular vision and have air sacs in their face and chest, under their skin, which help them while diving deep into the sea to catch fish. Their excessive eating habits led to the slang ‘gannet’ for a gluttonous person!
In the golden light of the setting sun the sight of hundreds of nesting gannets of Muriwai Beach was a splendid experience!
The Poets light but Lamps –
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate
If vital Light
Inhere as do the Suns —
Each age a Lens
Today is Emily Dickinson’s 188th birthday. Her poem says it all. Years and centuries have passed, the lamps that Emily has lighted are shining bright providing warmth and joy to many of us. Happy birthday Emily Dickinson! You are immortal!
Chanced upon this beautiful and delightful poem by George Cooper. While visiting New Zealand I was overjoyed to see these brightly coloured trees against deep blue skies; a rare sight back home! I could not take my eyes off the trees, plants, flowers, grass and weeds. This is an October full of splendour!
”October gave a party;
The leaves in hundreds came
The Chestnuts, Oaks and Maples
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread the carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.
Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,
The party at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly “hands around”.
Thank you October, as you’re waving hands bidding adieu, for all the bright and joyful memories you gave me. Good bye until we meet next year! Let me get ready to welcome a November to remember.
September evenings staged some perfect shadow plays in my living room. Golden light fills the room every September, soon after the September equinox…The setting sun starts his journey back, southwards. For a few months from now I will be able to view the vibrant sunsets every evening and I love basking in that celestial light!
This one reminds me of an old rhyme
“Where are you going to my pretty maid?”
“Am going a-milking sir”, she said…
“The road uphill and the road downhill are one and the same”
Goodbye September, till we meet next year!