Time slips through the fingers. Before I know it, it’s nine days since my last blog. I must set myself an automated reminder to ensure regular action. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that the decision to abandon the daily commitment was the right one. Before I go on, I should warn those of a timid disposition that my last two images today are of the creepy crawly variety.
Last week, the taller of the remaining transmission masts at Whitireia Park in Titahi bay was demolished. A friend who works for the company doing the job alerted me to this opportunity, so in the early hours of Tuesday morning, I set out to record the event. We had a week of wonderful summer weather, and the forecast was for more of the same. Dressed, therefore, in shorts and a tee-shirt I was shocked to arrive in Titahi Bay in drizzle and a chilly gusting wind. The park had been closed to the public, except for a hillside area reserved for spectators which had been roughly mowed to provide easier access through the long dry summer grass. Of course, it was now wet and slippery.
Having found a suitable position, I wrapped myself and my cameras in the cold nylon groundsheet which was the only thing I had in the car to protect myself from the weather. Then I sat and waited. The low cloud swirled around the mast and there was no sigh of activity. It was a somewhat miserable two hours.
My vision for the event was to capture a sequence of shots as the mast fell. I had practiced and decided that the camera would get enough shots at the slow setting of five frames per second, to cover the entire arc of its fall, before the camera’s buffer filled. I was wrong. Obviously I had not practiced enough. My grand vision was, alas, only partially met and then the camera stopped to think for a while. If I had waited until I saw movement, instead of starting from the explosion that severed the guy wires, I might have got the complete arc. Or if I had selected a slightly lower resolution. This is a composite of 28 images. I am told that the tip of the mast was doing 350 km/h when it hit the ground in a shower of dirt and a formless tangle of rusted steel.
During the days that followed, I found a new lookout spot in an old quarry at the top of Ellice Street near the Western entrance of the Mt Victoria tunnel. I really thought I had found most of the good vantage points in the preceding five years, yet new ones keep emerging.
For the last few days we have had the parents of our Brisbane daughter-in-law as house guests, so we took them to one of our favourite restaurants on Sunday. Cobar in Day’s bay is a rarity that has both a superb view and wonderful food. Usually, you have to choose between view and food quality. I could have done yet another sunset from our table, but chose instead to capture the delightful Mandarin Bavaroise dessert. Recommended.
WARNING: Creepy Crawlies ahead. Avert your eyes now if you are squeamish.
Mary encountered a large spider under the steps into her place of work. I think it is a vagrant spider (Uliodon albopunctatus).
My next guest is a fine male specimen of the Wellington tree weta (Hemideina crassidens). They are nightmarish creatures to look at, and can inflict a nip with those big mandibles, but are generally shy and gentle creatures. Or so I’m told.
See you soon.