August 2011 – the days are getting longer!

Well, I really need to take Polly out; it is 10.30 on Sunday Evening and I am determined to get an early night but our adorable “on loan” beagle, Polly needs to go out for a walk.  She has been barking at the cats who sit tantalisingly on the fence out of her reach and look down superciliously at her knowing that she can’t get at them!  I am feeling a little ragged round the edges after taking part in the Tough Guy and Gal Challenge at Rotorua yesterday.  I entered months ago when I optimistically thought that my shoulder would be fixed and I would have had time to at least do some training.  Vain hope!  Nevertheless, I decided that I would go and do it anyway; Lachlan was doing the 12km and I only needed to walk and take it easy over the

obstacles – no need to race, after all there would be lots of people in crazy costumes just out there for the hell of it.  But guess what?  Old “Mrs Competitive” here can’t manage to just poddle round, can she?  Once she is in a race, that is it, might as well go for it!  I did walk up the hills – mainly –  and I only used one arm (my good one) on the climby bits but otherwise went for it as much as I could.  Bloody mad, I know!  But I guess that Polly-walking twice a day for the last 5 weeks, even if it has only been 20 – 30  minutes must have done me some good because I did pretty well.  The conditions were a million times better than last year; it didn’t rain for a start, the lake was about a metre lower and the grassy hills were, well – grassy!; not the quagmire they were last year, so that going up you could actually go

forwards on each steps and not two steps backwards, and going down could be done on your feet and not on your backside!  Not so much fun, though I hear you shout, and you would be quite right, but I don’t have a bruised coccyx and am still able to walk!  Shoulder is a tad sore though, but better than I would have thought.

This morning I took the Polly dog round Hamilton Lake whilst Gus had his second trial for Waikato Hockey Hatch squad.  Haven’t been all the way round for a while (except for the Pink Walk which was with about a thousand other women so didn’t really take much notice of the lake itself) and was amazed at the amount of Blue Green algae.  It will hopefully dissipate in time as they believe it is a phenomenon of the high nutrient content and is exacerbated by the warm weather.  It doesn’t seemed to have affected the bird life around the lake though – there are still plenty of ducks, geese, terns, shags and Pukekos and other birds of which I don’t know names. As

I came round a bend I came across some geese all standing in a line, just looking at the water! Lovely shot!  I was also delighted to see some baby Pukeko – they are so cute with their over large feet that they have to lift up quite high to move forwards – very comical!  Couldn’t quite get close enough for a good photo, unfortunately!  As I came back into Gallagher’s Hockey Centre I spotted a flash of blue swoop down from a tree to the grass and pick something up from the ground – when I tracked it back up to the tree I could  see that it was a Kingfisher with a worm in its beak and could also see its pair on a neighbouring branch – beautiful!

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