The light shining through this Strelitzia or Bird of Paradise makes the flower glow - I couldn`t resist this photo. With the soil being volcanic, everything grows here. Where I live it is pretty good also, but it does not get as humid here so there is less disease. The further south you go in NZ, the better plants like roses, rhodos, camellias and other cool climate plants grow . Ali`s hostas are magnificant, with hardly a blemish or snail bit on them - I feel so much more energised with the cool days.
These seagulls were drinking from a fresh water stream that runs through the city and out into the ocean. There are many rivers and streams that run down off the mountain, through bush and farm land and out to sea. NP city has a number that they look after really well with planting of native plants, nothing nasty running into them, walkways along the edges and generally encourage people to use them - they all come out into the sea at some point.
The early town planners of NP had the great sense to leave pockets of native bush all through the city, hence there are lots of native birds here. Compared to home it is stunning, with Keraru, native pigeon, Tui, kingfisher, bellbirds and others all abundant and hanging out in backyards - I am very envious ..