Today has been my 'sabbath' (something I usually take on a Monday), where I take the whole day to rest, relax and 'be'. My only 'have-to' on such days is generally to take a time of reflection, and ideally I also do something fun.
For reflection, today I took myself, my Bible (aka my phone with a Bible app) and my journal down to Oakley Creek. As well as reading and praying, I spent some time wandering around on the grass barefoot, noticing what was around me. There was a strong smell of onionweed and also, puzzlingly, a salty smell like the sea. I heard two kereru flying high overhead, various song birds I couldn't identify and, I think, a riroriro. I nibbled on the leaves of some kind of radishy weed. And here is some of what I saw.
A clump of some kind of mushrooms. I took a couple home to see if I could figure out what they were (and if they were edible!), but still have no idea what they are.
The tree where the mushrooms were. No idea what it is. There were heaps of pine needles under it, but they came from pines on the other side of the creek. The leaves look a little like olive leaves, but not quite the right colour, and the tree as a whole doesn't really seem the right shape for an olive.
Looking up through the trees.
But the best bit was watching eels - including this absolutely enormous one (honestly close to 2m, I reckon) that kept on swimming out into the open water between the bank and the oxygen weed. You might need to click the 'view full screen' button in the bottom right of the video window to see it properly.
It's quite a degraded area really (although Friends of Oakley Creek are working hard to change that!) but there's still so much life and beauty in it :-)