Creatures Of The Land and Sea

There is something a little different about Ngawi.  In a country as diverse as New Zealand you get used to seeing the oddities of a town.  But in this tiny fishing village on Cape Palliser the difference meets you smack dab at the edge of ‘town’.  Bulldozers.  Dozens of them.  Its a little boys dream, these earth movers pulled up next to the road in a long rusty line.  No there isn’t a housing boom in Ngawi, far from it.  Not even a massive road construction project, still unsealed gravel on the only road in.  Just the Pacific Ocean with no safe harbor for miles.  Enter the bulldozers.  If there is one way to get your gigantic fishing vessel and trailer out of the water and to the safety of the black sand shore it is Caterpiller (or some treaded variant there of).  My only regret; that the fishermen weren’t coming and going so I could watch these dozers haul in their catch.

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For years I held out on a buying a new lens.  There were pictures I wanted and they were just out of my reach.  I was spoiled by the TV zoom.  The old zoom lens for my still rig that I thought was sufficient had been letting me down all summer.  Turns out 105mm wasn’t enough for that black bear in the Tetons.  It was time for a new lens.  But did I really need a longer lens for our travels in New Zealand?  After all this is a country known for its beautiful scenery, my wider lens would do.  Or would it?
I answered my own question when I stumbled, quite literally, onto the seal colony at Cape Palliser.  I read there were fur seals along this part of the Cape and saw tourists standing along the shore gawking, as tourists do, at something out in the water.  But it wasn’t until I walked out onto the rocks to get a better look at these creatures across the way that I realized I had walked right into some of the seals’ dry dock.
My lens had arrived days before we left the country.  I hadn’t had much time play with it, read; figure out what the heck I would do with 250mm of zoom.  Now here I was standing feet from these smelly beasts with a long lens.  I was close (Jill thought too close and so did the large seal that snorted, barked, growled and charged me) and I had more zoom than I was used to.  Sweet as.  While my new piece of equipment won’t stand up to some professional wildlife photographer’s gear it will allow me to get close enough to get a decent picture.  As long as that big seal doesn’t keep lumbering closer to me.

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