Pictures of things other people see, rarely work for me.
That’s not to say I am not grateful for a good tip-off. Mary gave me a call to let me know that there were lots of monarch butterflies at her place of work. I went down there, and the first thing I saw was a camellia in bloom. This held some significance for me. My very first serious camera was an Asahi Pentax SV way back in 1968, in Tokoroa. I got it home, and without reading any manuals, took it into the grounds of the house built for Sir David Henry, founder of the New Zealand Forest Products empire. He was a camellia lover, so my very first exposure, on Kodachrome (ISO 25) was of a camellia. Astonishingly. I had to wait two weeks to find out whether it was any good, since the 36 shots had to be used carefully. Each press of the shutter was expensive, and I could afford to use a roll a week, back then. The exposed film was posted to the Kodak lab in Wellington, and about a week later, the much loved yellow box with 36 slides appeared in the letter box. The image was unmemorable, but the experience and the excitement live on.
Butterflies were what I came for. A few seasons ago, this garden had been the focus of a swarm of monarchs. Yesterday, a few dozen of them were flitting about landing occasionally, but usually as singletons, on one or other of the trees in the garden.
While I always enjoy watching the monarchs, there was nothing spectacular happening so I prepared to leave. A butterfly fluttered past me and I decided to follow it since it looked to be about to land. I saw it heading for a rhododendron flower and lined up to catch it there. My jaw dropped when I realised that there were five other lepidoptera on or around the single flower.
From there I went down to the rail bridge at Moera. I am not sure what I hoped to find, but I found a spot with a relatively uninterrupted view across the bridge. I waited about fifteen minutes and took this shot of a four-car Hyundai-Rotem set on its way to Upper Hutt from Wellington. Looking at the state of the down-line tracks nearest the camera, I now have a much better idea of the hammering noise the trains make as they cross this bridge. Of course, the foreshortening effect of the long lens exaggerates the unevenness but they look to be in serious need of maintenance.
Something different tomorrow