‘Gathered, We Are’
‘Just A Little Wild’
…but not too much, you understand?…
‘A Profusion Of Protrusions’
The striking effect of massed mangrove aerial roots sticking up through the mud at low tide on the Tamaki River.
‘To Keep Out The Sea’
A new seawall on Auckland’s Tamaki River, filled with rock and brave intentions.
Nature wore down its predecessor.
Peak autumn on the Tamaki River at low tide; the clear blue sky is reflected in the water lying atop the mudflats at low tide. Plenty of time right now for me to likewise do a bit of reflection in the suspended state that is lockdown, whilst out walking.
The perfect mini soundtrack to this all comes from American new age/neo-classical pianist George Winston:
This is the last in sequence of seven posts featuring boats and boatyards, all taken on a wet and dreary afternoon on Auckland’s Tamaki River a couple of days ago.
Not that I am any sort of boatie or seafarer. Far from it, but I do like the look of small vessels and the idea of travel across water in them.
There is just something in the idea of the intrepid voyage that captivates and inspires me.
However, in the photo, the yachts are at their moorings. In the other pictures there are boats up on the hard, on cradles for storage or maintenance, or tied by ropes to a wharf.
Going nowhere fast.
Boats are for sailing, but they can’t do that without repair, repainting and a general overhaul from time to time.
It is necessary, as much part of sailing or boating as getting out on the water.
When the vessels are at rest, it is also time for their owners and skippers to chart new courses and dream of great excursions.
And, thus prepared, adventures await…
A view of the ever changing tidescape on the Tamaki, laid out in muddy, shelly, watery strata.
It is my awa(river).
I have lived my entire life within minutes of it.
It calls me to sit with it, to observe its gentle happenings.
There is no sudden jarring event; it has a continuous and relentless rhythm of its own.
If the mudflats at low tide have a certain bleakness to them, they are broken up by a cavalcade of feeding and resting seabirds: gulls, terns, shags, oyster catchers and herons.
The shallows harbour cockles, oysters, crabs, eels, and flounder.
Life teems forth at the awa, but in a subtle way, revealing its many layers in all the time you can spare it…
Mangrove aerial roots (pneumatophores) protrude from the mud and tidal shallows of the Tamaki.
That’s how you breathe when you live in anaerobic sludge and partly submerged in salty water.
At any rate, the massed roots make for an impressive, if slightly surreal, display.
All together – breathe!
‘New Day Rising II’
First light on the Tamaki River yesterday – another day, another beginning, another version…
And a previous blog version is to be found here: New Day Rising .Last time around I shone the light, so to speak, on the album cover of Husker Du’s ‘New Day Rising’. This time you can check out the title track below.
Unlike the serenity of the photo, this is one of the most ferocious slices of rock and roll ever committed to tape, so you stand warned.
But I am happy to start the day either way, really…
Dusk on the Tamaki River’s shore at low tide.
The day is fading; the water is receding.
Life is a succession of little endings.
The passing of one thing gives way to the coming of the new.
For there is no beginning without an end, as I am reminded by this gorgeous scene.
Boat shed on the Tamaki in late afternoon sunlight.
Just a box on stilts?
Or, a place to launch watery journeys and dreams from?
Down through the enveloping branches, directly to a sharp point in the sea.
It’s a learnt skill for sure.
To pierce through the surrounding issues, to cut the crap, as it were, and get to the point.
To clearly see what those caught in the middle of a situation cannot.
But you can’t have that ability without having had a few branch scratches and involuntary swallows of sea water along the way yourself !
OK, point made then…I’ll just leave you to enjoy the photo from one of my favourite walking routes along Auckland’s Tamaki River.
Back home from my travels to the UK and Spain,and back to the estuary in Auckland, the Tamaki, that provides much tidal inspiration to me.
As I have never lived more than a few minutes from it, to sit by the river the day after my return,with its sunstruck sheen, is to know that I am home.
And, if it lacks the renown or glamour of some of the places I saw in Europe, home is always shiny special.
A small rockpool on the Tamaki River at low tide.
Seawater trapped in a sandstone circle. The next tide will free it.
Meanwhile, there’s maybe just enough space and water to bathe a baby…or to reflect your face… or to throw a coin in, and wish…
I adore small perfectly formed things ,and today I wish for them to come my way, and yours!
One of those mornings where the view on the foggy Tamaki mirrors my headspace.
Tide out, no real clarity of view and I have the emotional responsiveness of the rocks pictured! Serene enough though…
As usual, I make hopeful assumptions about tides,wind and sun that mean the view can only be a temporary one….
Wooden groyne at a small beach on Auckland’s Tamaki River.
Groynes are structures that are supposed to prevent shoreline erosion by trapping sand and sediment moved by sea tides.
Pretty evidently,this specimen has seen better days.
Years of protecting the shore against wind and waves have taken a toll. Bits of the structure are gone but it still protects the coast.
Parallel with humans exist – worn down,carers and protectors amongst us can eventually suffer from “compassion fatigue” ,and worse.
If that sounds like you, please remember to shore up your own timbers before fighting the tide -take care of yourself as a priority!