Sunshine brings out the blues and greens

Isn't it great when winter finally gives way and the sun comes out? Temperatures start to rise, the thick layers of clothing come off, sketchers get their sketchbooks out and head up the coast to the beach for the long weekend.

Reviewing my sketches a week later I notice they're full of blues and greens. I guess that's to be expected. Whether walking down through the bush to the water with the sunshine lighting up the bush canopy creating lush dapled greens or at the beach looking across the turquiose water to the green countryside and blue skies.

Tutukaka harbour is perfect for paddle boarding and the weather was mint so I was sketching with hands still throbbing from a long paddle each morning. It was a joy to paddle the bays, checking out the batches nestled in the bays, the waka ama teams out training and the boaties frying up their early morning bacon and eggs on the deck of their yachts and launches.

I like tuning in to the surroundings while I sketch. I notice the Tuis full of the joys of spring chase each other in and out of the bush canopy. They get quite stroppy with each other! The fat Keruru that sound like miniature helicopters when they land in a tree next to you. I notice the young bloke with ta moko securely embedding his quarts of Speights beer into the cold wet sand on the waters edge – he wants to make sure they'll be cold enough for his mates to drink when the day really warms up and the thirst builds.

Kids perfect their manu bomb technique from the rocks and I notice the steady line of walkers heading past on their way to the so called 'mermaid pools' over the bluff. I wonder if the pools have made the pages of Lonely Planet this year as many of them are young backpackers and judging by the accents they're from pretty well everywhere.

It's evening now and time for Kokoda and an aptly named 'Paradise pale ale' at Schnapper Rock under a thatched roof, nikau palms and Friedensreich Hundertwasser's concept for a more relevant national flag.