Despite the long gaps, I am not being totally idle.
Images are being made, selected, worked on or discarded. Sometimes they arise by chance, and sometimes I set out with determined intent. Mary and I went to a local outdoor art show which has, in the past had some good work. The best thing I saw this time was the light on the leaves of the trees in the grounds.
There had been some butterfly chrysalises on a fence that I had decided to keep an eye on. Of course, I missed them. On the other hand, Mary spotted one of the newly minted monarchs risking its life and its scarcely dry wings in some flax plants in the garden. I say this because there was a near gale, and the bush in which it took shelter was lashing around and the butterfly was in constant danger of being crushed. I was happy to get a shot before the perfect symmetry of its wings was destroyed.
Yesterday, a friend alerted me to the presence of some dabchicks with chicks in the wetlands of Queen Elizabeth Park to the North of Paekakariki. He gave me directions which I, of course got wrong, so I walked the 45 minute loop through a delightful forest remnant where the song of the cicadas was deafening.
Further along the winding trail, there was a spot where there must have been eight or ten fantails flitting about. Fantails are a joy and a nightmare to photograph. Getting them still is relatively easy. Catching them in flight is a challenge that I failed completely this time.
And then I came to the pond. Sure enough there were the dabchicks. One parent was acting as an aircraft carrier for the chicks, allowing them to nestle in his or her own feathers while its partner went diving for whatever it is that dabchicks eat. Every now and then the chicks would disembark and the parent would be free to accompany its mate in the constant search for foods, while the two little chicks were blown across the surface of the pond like tumbleweed in a desert. These chicks must be at the extreme limit of size for being carried around. Their markings are extraordinary.
Yes, I am having a lot of fun.
* How doth the little bee by Isaac Watts
** Trees by Joyce Kilmer