Saturday, December 22, 2012

Short hop up to Arthurs Pass and back

Saturday, December 22, 2012

At the little Alpine village we stopped and stomped around the local Info center and then decided to taste the local fare.  Most unusal in summer - a group of our NZ Parrot species - the Kea came down from their lofty mountains and decided to give the locas as well as the tourist a thrill.  These cheeky parrots are extremely clever and ingenious. They also know how to work together.  Team-work - something many a scout could learn from. The only way to keep them at bay seems to be to squirt them with water.  Seems almost cruel - but it does work.  One has to see them in action to belive what these little feathered creatures can do and achieve.  The can dismantle any rubber seal from any car - take of your hubcabs and can 'burgle' sealed and locked rubbish bins. They are also a very noisy breed and can squak with an earsplitting volume!  Still very amusing to see them in action. 
 In any case the reason we did the short hop was that it was mentioned about the Carpet of Lupins near Arthurs pass.  I have never seen many there - which is probably due to us not travelling there during flowering season - so we decided to make it a short hop up there - after all it is only 150km there or so!  Amazingly there was indeed a good display.  naturally the Tourist do love that scene.  And while one would agree on the lovely flowering display - this ex austrian is pnly to accutley aware that the lupins are regarded as a introduced weed and really are a pest to New Zealands bio-diversity.  What is amazing in this particular location is the single purple colour and we are miles from any large settlement - so the wind must be doing a good job dispersing the seeds from far away towns. 
<--- This particular spot is near Kondyke corner and is upriver from the Waimakiriri riverbed.  It would be several 100 meter across and who knows how far back to the tree line. The Waimakiriri is a river known for its river braids - lots of shingle and lots of small river channels.  The amzing thing is - when it does pour with rain the water level can raise by as much as 10 meters in the blink of an eye.  Obviouolsy it hasn't for a while!!  The water looked very inviting and I did ask Mammabear if she was brave enough to test the water.  Probably just as well she did not as it is still glacier fed and so is very cold. 

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