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Architecture Birds Day's Bay flowers harbour Industrial Landscapes Light Lowry Bay Lyall Bay Machinery Paremata Reflections Seasons The Plateau Waves Weather

June 12, 2022 … back to normal

With the road trip behind me, my challenge now is to keep the photographic flame alive. That can be hard while living an everyday life in suburbia. Many times before, I have referred to seeing familiar things in a different way. Some of my photographic friends have the gift of “finding a different place” to stand when making pictures of things that I see every day. What I need to do in my search for something worth photographing is to pause, and to not make the picture until I have considered other ways of looking at it. This might be to go round the other side. It might be to include (or exclude) another element. Perhaps it is looking at the subject through a different lens. The wide angle offers a different picture to that made by the telephoto. Anyway, for now at least, we are at home on the Western Hills of Lower Hutt and Winter has officially begun.

Before I totally forget the road trip, many thanks to all the nice readers who sent kind words and affirmation. Your messages were greatly appreciated.

Fizz

A crranberry flavoured tablet made a spectacular fizz. I tried to catch it in my lightbox. That went OK, but I wondered whether a dark box might give a better image. The illusion of a reflection is createrd by the simple trick of standing the glass on the base of an identical glass inverted.

Receding planes

One trick for seeing a view differently is to make a part of the scene substitute for the whole. Looking from Oriental Parade up the harbour, Wellingtonians are familiar with the view of the hills to the North. I have tried to present that view differently. The dark mass in the foreground is Matiu/Somes Island. Behind that are three folds in the Eastern hills of the Hutt Valley and I suspect the highest visible hill through the haze is Mt Climie behind Upper Hutt. A popular track with runners runs 6km from Tunnel gully to the summit. Masochism at its finest.

Depth charge?

Big swells on the South coast tend to attract the surfing community to Lyall Bay. It also attracts photographers. I am not sure why. Though the surfers may be different, it’s essentially the same picture each time. The only thing that rescues such an image from being the same as last time is the extent to which the light conditions or the waves are different. In this case I think the explosive burst of a big swell on the breakwater at the end of the airport runway makes a difference.

Royal spoonbills

Recently a flock of Royal spoonbills has taken to spending time on the Pauatahanui wetlands. It is often the case that, even when the rest of the inlet has a bit of a chop on the surface, the wetlands are perfectly still. These birds are still not quite the equal of the white heron, but they run a close second.

Morning glory

On Ivey Bay, there is often a variety of shore birds. In this case, a pied shag is proclaiming dominance over the bay. Across the inlet, the hills to the North of Grays Rd tower above the foreshore. I mainly liked the light.

Ivey Bay anchorage

That same morning, the water was perfect and one of the classic older wooden boats in the bay served as a focal point for my image making. I have no idea which boat it was, but as with previous captures, I have a preference for the simple old-fashioned working boats.

Swells in Owhiro Bay

We have been blessed with a relatively mild winter thus far. No deep cold, no sign yet of snow on the Tararuas. The only real symptom of winter has been a few heavy swells from the South. I like to try to catch these big waves, and hope to convey the weight of water behind each one. I am fascinated by their slow ponderous advance. I know conditions will be interesting when the gap between each wave is about ten seconds.

Lodden Lily

In the grounds of St James Church, Lower Hutt, shared by the public library except on Sundays, there is a lot of history and a great deal of horticulture, mostly carried out at the expense of the Lower Hutt City Council. I spotted these little beauties and thought they were some kind of spring flower that got confused. These Loddon lilies, however, are a winter flower so they were perfectly on schedule and it was only me that was confused.

Abandoned

Unilever has been part of Petone’s scenery scenery since 1919. The big factory building with its constantly steaming exhaust stacks came much later, sometime mid-century. At its peak, about 600 people worked there. Automation in the latter years apparently reduced the on-site numbers to about 30. The distinctive glass office block was built in the 1980s. In 2014, pursuant to global restructuring, Unilever transferred its New Zealand operations to Australia and the Petone factory fell silent. Some of the lesser buildings at the Eastern end of the 5 hectare property seem to have been leased or sold to small businesses. The office block remains dark and reflects the equally still factory block.

Wet feet

A long-proposed cross-harbour pipeline will improve resilience of Wellington’s water supply. The present sole pipeline runs alongside the main highway and crosses known seismic fault lines in several places. Construction began on the new line this year and is expected to be complete in 2025. A barge with some heavy machinery has been in Lowry Bay for several months now and has established some piles. I saw these two intrepid workers being lowered on a work platform to inspect one of the piles. I got the impression that they were controlling the crane themselves. If so, they were not afraid to get their feet wet.

So many still days lately

I shouldn’t tempt fate with a caption like that. We have endured some vile weather in recent days. No surprise then, that when conditions are good, I seize the day. This image is from the walkway beside the marina below Pt Howard. You can see traces of the morning mist dissipating over the Western Hills.

May I urge you to click on any image that appeals to you to see a larger version.

I don’t know why I didn’t discover it earlier, but WordPress has a feature that allows its readers to sign up to receive each new edition of a blog by email. Simply enter your email address once in the space below. Once only and not if you are already getting it by email.

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Academic Adventure Arachnids Architecture flowers Food Moon Upper Hutt

June 8, 2021 … winter approaches

Various health issues delayed this edition. Ah well, so be it.

Pikelets

There are many varieties of pancakes and flapjacks around the world. In New Zealand, we call these little things pikelets. They are typically 4″ or 10 cm in diameter and are commonly served with cream and jam. Mary is an expert at making them. It was a drab day in May so I caught some in the process of being made. I caught them even more effectively on a plate later.

Mystery Webmaster

There are gaps in the hedge outside our kitchen window and occasionally the local spiders accept that as a challenge. Here in the Southern hemisphere, North-facing windows catch the morning sun which lights up these amazing structures. Unfortunately the webs bounce vigorously in the lightest of breezes, so I have had to get lucky to capture the silk in focus and not blurred.

different ages

Juxtaposition is an ugly word which simply means placed close together. Usually we use it to suggest that the placement is incongruous … oops … there I go again. St Mary of the Angels on Boulcott St in Wellington sits peacefully across the road from the city’s tallest building, the Majestic Centre. I find each building interesting in its own way, with wildly different textures.

Common Dandelion

“,,, and Heaven in a wild flower” said William Blake. The architects of those two buildings in the preceding image were pretty clever, but in my mind, their designs are not in the same league as the exquisite structure of this simple blossom which we dare to call a weed.

A gift to mother

Mothers’ day came and youngest son delivered a bowl of tulip bulbs with six flowers just starting to break out. Mary (and I) enjoyed watching the flowers emerge into full bloom over the following week or so. Each day they offered a new vision.

Water Lily

When the weather is unkind to photographers, I sometimes revisit the begonia house in the Lady Norwood Rose Garden in Wellington. I especially enjoy the carp pond in the Western room. It has some beautiful water lilies which allow unfettered access with little or no background clutter.

Mood

I wasn’t paying attention, but Mary said come and look at the light out here. Wow! It was spectacular and I am glad she was such a great picture-scout.

Scots College Pipe Band

I was on my way to have lunch with former colleagues from the Dairy Board days and walked past the gates of the law school. Another burst of nostalgia as I saw all the shiny new graduates, several hundred of them in their academic regalia. They were about to set off on the graduation march along Lambton Quay and Willis Street and then to the civic square where speeches would be made prior to the formal graduation ceremonies. Scots College Pipe Band has long provided the music for the march. I participated in those marches at least a dozen times, maybe more.

Lingering

Those Mothers Day tulips lingered on and on and were things of beauty for at least ten days. This image was made on their last day.

Sad site for a beautiful sight

One of the difficulties I occasionally face is persuading people that I rarely “go somewhere to take pictures”. Rather, I travel and hope that my travels put me in a position to see a picture. The picture may be found somewhere on the way or perhaps somewhere off the track. The maps of the two journeys are quite different. One is obviously purposeful and less likely to be productive. The other is obviously random and might or might not produce something useful. I can well understand that being a travel companion on such journeys is not necessarily pleasurable. One such wandering took me to the vicinity of the Remutaka Prison where suddenly, there was an intense rainbow.

Upper Hutt Autumn

There are those who say that Winter begins on 1 June. I work on the theory that the solstice marks mid-Winter and thus winter starts around the 7 May. Whichever appeals to you, the colours of Autumn seem to linger on in Te Haukaretu Park in Upper Hutt. It sits in a corner where the Hutt River swings round to the south at Maoribank, and is sheltered from the wind in all directions.

Winter in Silverstream

Perhaps because it is exposed to the vicious NorWesters off the mountains to the North, Silverstream surrenders to Winter more quickly than that sheltered park in Upper Hutt. These three trees newly bare, caught my attention.

Super Moon just before the eclipse
Super moon half-way through the eclipse

Like almost everyone who owns a camera, I tried for the recent eclipse. I didn’t do well, and to be honest, by reason of distance and parallax, I tend to believe that every moon picture is the same as every other moon picture. The only difference is how well you focus and whether you get the exposure right. After that whatever you get in the foreground makes a difference. I talked myself out of persisting for the remainder of the eclipse, and felt justified by the many thousands of identical moon shots on social media the next day. Bah, humbug! By the way, I know it was a blood moon, but these are full colour images and I chose not to enhance the colour as so many did

The surgery I referred to in the previous edition snow in the past, and the dramatic scars that were with me then are now comparatively faded, and life is almost back to normal. Thanks to those who sent good wishes.

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Academic Art flowers Kaitoke Maritime Rivers Weather Wellington

December 18, 2018 … reaching a seasonal climax

It has been a busy week with various end of year functions with camera club and friends and a graduation ceremony (of which, more later). The week ahead looks no better, so let’s see what happened this week.

Sunrise
Sunrise in the Hutt Valley

 

I woke early one morning and found the sky ablaze  with something that is apparently called sunrise.  Having my camera nearby, I stuck it out my bedroom window to capture this phenomenon in case others might not believe me. Who knew?

Nightfall
Nightfall at the marina

In more familiar territory, at the end of the same day, I went down to the marina at Seaview where the last light of day had just left. I like the stillness, and despite the long exposure, the boats stayed still for me.

Lori
Still tied up but ready to go

In one of the following days I found myself at Oriental Bay and noticed the two Centreport tugs, Tiaki and Tapuhi positioning themselves to assist the container vessel Lori to leave port. I went down onto the beach and positioned the camera at sea level. and had to make sure that incoming wavelets did not splash the lens.

Rock pool
Rock pool, Lyall Bay

 

In the Western side of Lyall Bay,  there are some rock pools full of interesting life and lots of Neptune’s necklace (seaweed). Every part of the this coast has a  picture to offer if only I can see how to extract it.

Daisy
African daisy

Just above the rock pool, the shore is covered with white daisy-like flowers which I believe to be the semi-succulent African daisy (Osteospermum fruticosum). It seems to be quite invasive and covers a lot of the shoreline above the beach.

Rashidah
My friend Rashidah is second from Left, front row. She has earned that smile

And then there was the day of graduation.  When I retired from the university way back in 2011, I was forced to hand over the supervision of my very last PhD student to my colleagues. Hailing from Sarawak where she is the chief executive of that state’s library system, my friend Rashidah was studying how institutions such as museums libraries and galleries should acquire and display the intangible cultural assets  of indigenous peoples. Things that were regarded as secret and sacred needed to be treated respectfully and in accordance with the wishes of the people to whom they belonged. It was a joy for me to be allowed to attend the graduation ceremony and to wear my academic costume for the very last time.  I took the picture from my position on stage with my smuggled camera, of the moment when the chancellor declares the graduands to be graduates and thus able to wear the headgear appropriate to the degree. Well done Rashidah., and congratulations to my colleagues who brought their supervision to a successful conclusion.

Thunderstorm
Thunderstorm in the distance

Weather has featured in my consciousness this week, and it even included a brief thunderstorm which is relatively rare in Wellington. I rather liked this image taken from a hilltop site in Kelson on the Western hills of a heavy cloud formation. The storm never quite reached Wellington.

Mangaroa
Mangaroa River

Just a little north of Upper Hutt, the Mangaroa river comes in from the East to join the Hutt River . It’s not a big river but fast flowing and popular with people who come bouncing down through its many rapids on various inflatable devices.

Nativity
The reason for the season

Mary and I don’t do much in the way of Christmas decorations at home, but one constant feature over the last twenty years or so has been this elegantly simple nativity scene. The figures are made of artfully folded fabrics by a gifted artist from Blenheim.

Lilies
Lilies

My daughter-in-law, Sarah has a garden which as a few spectacular opportunities such as these spectacular lilies

Daisy?
Flower of uncertain identity

In the same garden, I found this, As far as I can tell, it is a close relative of the white African daisy above … I think it is Osteospermum ecklonis.

That’s all this week. See you round.

Categories
Academic Children Day's Bay Evans Bay flowers Landscapes Light mountains Petone Seasons Upper Hutt Weather Wellington

August 17, 2018 … nor any drop to drink*

Though I am not an ancient mariner, I seem to find water, water everywhere*.

Hutt River
Hutt River rounds the bend

My first image this week is of the bend in the Hutt River near Totara Park, Upper Hutt. Apart from the patch of white water, the river looked clean and blue.

School
Children of Owhiro Bay Primary School listening to their teacher

A day or two later, I spotted what we used to refer to as “a crocodile” … a column of primary school kids walking in an orderly fashion down Happy Valley Road towards Owhiro Bay. A while after that I saw them again, all sitting on the beach listening to the senior teacher. Being nosy I asked what school they were from and what they were doing.

Seal
One eye open – NZ Fur Seal at Owhiro Bay

They were from Owhiro Bay School and were there because, while walking to work earlier, their principal had spotted a New Zealand Fur Seal  sleeping among the rocks on the shore. So I tagged along and when they had finished looking and then moved on to explore other aspects of the local environment, I got a close look. You can see that the lower eye is open, watching that I don’t get too close.

Sunset
Sunset in Normandale

No water in this image, just a rather nice sunset as seen from our back door.

Petone
Magic morning at Petone

Then we had one of those days. I have mentioned them  often enough, the kind where the great expanse of the harbour is flat calm. From Petone Beach to the Miramar Peninsular just right of centre is eight kilometres, and apart from the few ripples close to the beach, there is nothing to disturb the surface.

Yacht
Sailing in light airs

I drove round to the city and then to Evans Bay and looked back the other way. The solitary yacht was just ghosting along in a nearly non-existent breeze.

Red Yacht
Red yacht in Evans Bay

Further round Evans Bay at Hataitai Beach, the red yacht emphasised the utter stillness of the harbour.

Daphne
Daphne

Then the weather changed, so I played around again with my new light-box and a sprig of daphne provided by our kind neighbour.

Yanker
Tanker in the rain

Did I mention that the weather changed? To avoid cabin fever, I went out anyway and from Lowry Bay looked back to the tanker “Ocean Mars” looming though the rain at the Seaview oil terminal.

Leaving
Leaving port

My last image this week is the departure of the container ship “ANL Walwa” assisted by Centreport’s two tugs.

  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner  by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

A personal request now:

For readers not resident in New Zealand, family or friends. Though it is now six years since I retired I still like to assist students struggling to gather data for their post-graduate thesis. In this case, the student is Marlini Bakri who is exploring the influence of photographic images on friends and relatives who might decide to visit New Zealand. I provided a number of images to Marlini and said I would ask some friends and family if they would be kind enough to complete the associated survey.  I would be most grateful if you would consider participation.

The survey which can be completed on a computer or a mobile device, can  be found at http://vuw.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3OWArxbrb8teeAB

Here is her Participant Information Letter:

My name is Marlini Bakri and I am a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidate in Marketing at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). Your friend/relative Brian has expressed interest to participate in my study, titled “More than words: Decoding the influence of user-generated images on VFR (visiting friends & relatives) travel”. They have provided your contact as a prospective participant for my study. The study would involve you completing a simple survey. The objective of this research is to understand if photographs shared online can communicate information about a destination to overseas friends and relatives.
You can access the survey on desktop computers and mobile devices (e.g. tablets and mobile phones). The survey should not take more than 30 minutes, and can be terminated at any time. The survey platform saves your answers automatically, allowing you to return to the form, using the same device, at different times. All information you provide is completely confidential, and only the researcher and her supervisor will have access to the information. The data will be destroyed three years after the completion of the thesis (estimated June 2021).
To participate click here: http://vuw.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3OWArxbrb8teeAB

Should you require further information about the study, please contact:

Human Ethics Committee information
If you have any concerns about the ethical conduct of the research you may contact the Victoria University HEC Central Convenor: Dr Judith Loveridge. Email hec@vuw.ac.nz or telephone +64-4-463 9451.

PhD Candidate:
Marlini Bakri
PhD Candidate
School of Marketing and International Business
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600 Wellington
6140 New Zealand
marlini.bakri@vuw.ac.nz

Supervisor:
Dr Jayne Krisjanous
Senior Lecturer
School of Marketing and International Business
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600 Wellington
6140 New Zealand
+64 4 4636023
jayne.krisjanous@vuw.ac.nz

Supervisor:
Dr James E. Richard
Senior Lecturer
School of Marketing and International Business
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600 Wellington
6140 New Zealand
+64 4 463 5415
james.richard@vuw.ac.nz

 

Categories
Adventure Architecture Art Festivals and fairs flowers harbour Lakes Landscapes Light Plant life Reflections Rivers Upper Hutt Weather Wellington

June 1, 2018 … challenging every shot

It may be an illusion, but I seem to be making progress. Whether or not that is so, I continue to enjoy the process.

Lily
Stamens and pistil of a lovely lily

This edition begins with a macro shot to fill in a wet and stormy day. Mary had a lovely arrangement of flowers including a large lily, so I got up close and personal to its working bits.

Lagoon
A stairway in the lagoon at Frank Kitts Park

When the weather relented I went to town and enjoyed the stillness on the Whairepo lagoon in Frank Kitts Park. As with the lily, I seem to have decided that sometimes, a part tells more than the whole.

Waterfront
To the left of Victoria University’s School of Business is the classical facade of the parliamentary library. Above and behind that to the left is the front of the Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral.

Wellington’s urban architecture is varied. It ranges from the brutal utilitarian to the classic. No matter how it is classified, I find it makes a pleasing contrast with the harbour and the hills.

Lux
Robotic butterflies for the Lux festival.

Recently the city enjoyed a festival of light. I didn’t manage to visit it during the hours of darkness but enjoyed seeing the various components during the day. The stained-glass butterflies apparently flapped their wings when they were turned on.

Apparitions
Apparitions

I am unsure whether this screen which is part of the festival was actually one of the illuminated exhibits or merely an advertisement for the festival itself. In any event, I liked the ghostly translucence and the ordinary things in the background.

Titahi Bay
Titahi Bay boat sheds

Now and then I get out to the Western areas. In this case, the boat sheds at Titahi Bay make a bold statement.

Jonquils
Jonquils out of season

Today, June 1, is officially the beginning of our Winter. How then does it come about that I am seeing a lot of jonquils, the traditional harbinger of spring? Whatever the reason, they are a joy to behold.

QEII
Patterns at QEII park, but no birds

I went to Queen Elizabeth II Park in Paekakariki in the hope of seeing water fowl on the wetlands. Not a thing. No swans, ducks, dabchicks or geese. Not even a swallow. It was necessary to make do with the background.

Dam
On Birchville Dam

After a few days of persistent rain, Mary and I went up to Upper Hutt, well wrapped, and with my camera in its storm jacket, and walked up the Cannon’s Point walkway to the Birchville Dam. I got lucky and the rain stopped just before I got to the dam. Perfect stillness reflected the beauty of the bush.

Bridge
Kaitoke Swing Bridge

A day or two later, still in conditions of cold damp drizzle, I went to the Kaitoke Waterworks Reserve, and made my way around the Swingbridge Loop. This hour-long walk begins with a wobbly crossing across the Hutt River. I have referred before to my dislike of heights, and I can add to that, the lack of rigidity. Gritting my teeth, I set up the tripod, and waited for the oscillations to stop.

More next time.

Categories
Adventure Animals Art Aviation Bees Birds Boggy Pond Children Cook Strait Festivals and fairs insects Lakes Landscapes Light Maritime Martinborough Masterton Masterton Rimutaka Forest park Rivers Sunset Upper Hutt Wairarapa Wellington

December 31, 2017 … closing the curtains on another year

I hope the year has been kind to you, as it mostly has for Mary and me.

Lagoon
From the lagoon – Wellington offers interesting views even n grey days

Since I last wrote, photographic opportunities have been variable, and there have been times when I have had to make my own luck. I prefer it if any water in the picture is not too ruffled. On this occasion the day was a bit drab so I went under the edge of the walkway bridge at the edge of the lagoon at Frank Kitts Park.

Demolition
Defense HQ Demolition

Later in the day I had a coffee with our younger daughter Lena (long time readers will remember her as Helen) . Across the road from her place of work, the headquarters building for the Ministry of Defence is being demolished. It was supposedly strong enough to withstand a hit from a cruise missile. A Wellington earthquake was stronger so now, a year later, it is being reduced to rubble.

Dry
On Dry Creek Road – near Martinborough

Then there were days of such perfection that a road trip was needed. Over the Rimutaka Hill near Martinborough, conditions were very dry.

Spoonbills
Royal spoonbills in mating plumage – Wairio Wetlands

A little further down the road from there, are the Wairio wetlands on the Eastern shore of Lake Wairarapa. There were a lot of Royal spoonbills browsing the ponds and they were wearing their breeding plumage.

Pohutukawa
Feliz navidad – the national flower of Christmas – the pohutukawa

Early in December, someone threw the switch that initiated the pohutukawa flowering season. Almost overnight, there were crimson blooms everywhere. I tried for a different take.

ferries
Ferries crossing – mid-strait

Another lovely evening with a golden sunset prompted me to go to Moa Point above the airport. The ferries Aratere and Kaitaki passed each other in the middle of the Cook Strait, and the Kaikoura ranges can be seen in the haze at the rear.

Grass
Hare’s Tail grass

Sometimes the simple things appeal. Backlit hare’s tail grass always catches my eye.

Christmas
Unto us a child is born

Then it was Christmas. Mary and I like to attend the children’s Mass on Christmas eve, and this image is of our parish priest, Fr Michael carrying the statue of the Christ child to be installed in the crib. The sculptor was obviously unfamiliar with the actual dimensions and character of a newborn.

memorial
Memorial

Passing through the city I caught a glimpse of the newly revealed  sculpture in the Pukeahu National War memorial. It is a gift from the people of Britain to the people of New Zealand, and is intended to represent the shelter formed as the royal oak and pohutukawa intertwine. It has had a mixed reception from the artistic community, but I quite like it.

River
Hutt River

And then another fine day in that lost period between Christmas and New Year. The Hutt River has a few interesting spots. This one is just on the corner near Totara Park in Upper Hutt.

slow and easy
Gladstone rush-hour

From there I went back over the hill to Gladstone, to begin with, where I encountered rush-hour traffic. This image is taken through the windscreen of my car which needed a clean.

Grain
Ripe Grain

I went from Gladstone via the back road to Masterton and was again attracted to a dry-looking field of ripe grain.

Sir Peter
BE-2C taking care not to run over the boss, Sir Peter Jackson – Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit … love the bare feet

As I was setting up my tripod for the grain, I saw some biplanes overhead and instantly knew that there was activity at the Vintage Aviator Limited, on Hood Aerodrome, Masterton. I drove there in all cautious haste and managed to wheedle my way onto the apron outside their hangar. It was apparently a private event for “friends of friends” so I was fortunate to be allowed inside the barriers. I got some shots I liked. This one captured the spirit of the event. A BE-2c taxiing slowly behind the boss, Sir Peter Jackson. He is the ultimate aviation nut and those of us who live near enough are grateful for the opportunities to see the magnificent work done by the Vintage Aviator Limited (TVAL).

Wairarapa
Lake Wairarapa in a rare calm moment

From there I drove south via Boggy Pond and across the East-West link and then back up the Western Lake road where I caught this panorama of Te Moana Wairarapa (Lake Wairarapa). It was a stunning day.

bee
Everything here has a sharp point … bee and thistle both

My last image for 2017 was captured at the Catchpool Valley in the Rimutaka Forest Park. We had to vacate the house while our real estate agent showed a potential buyer through. We think an offer may follow. Meanwhile, I saw a honey bee enjoying a Scotch Thistle.

And so the year is ended. Thanks to all who follow my somewhat self-indulgent rambling. Thanks to everyone who has offered supportive comments. Thanks for your company. Warmest wishes for a safe and happy new year in 2018. May it be your best year yet.

 

 

Categories
adversity Airport Aviation Children Cook Strait Festivals and fairs flowers hobbies Landscapes Light Military night Upper Hutt Weather Wellington

October 27, 2017 … creeps in this petty pace from day to day*

Once you commit to shifting house, nothing is the same again. Though we have yet to sell, or to place a bid in our hoped-for new home, we have begun packing. And now the silly decisions of 37 years and 27 days of hoarding come back to bite me. How often have I said, I won’t throw that away, I might need it?

Wave
Wild water at Rongotai

Anyway, suffice it to say that I have had little time to get out and make images recently, even on those few days that have been conducive to it. Rarely in recent weeks have we had both clear sky and no wind. This image was made on a sunny day with the wind howling in from the North  and ripping the crest off the big swells on the breakwater beside the airport.

Bahá'í
Bahá’í children wishing peace to the world

A friend who is a member of the Bahá’í  faith asked me to record part of the children’s celebration of the 200th birthday of the founder, Bahá’u’lláh. The wind was dying away as night fell and the youngsters launched candle-lit “lotus blossoms” across the lake at a local golf club.

Fireworks
Carnival of Lights in Lower Hutt as seen from our lounge window. The fireworks are launched from the roof of the library.

In Lower Hutt, last weekend, there was a “Carnival of Lights”, coinciding with, but apparently not connected with the Hindu festival of Diwali. It concluded on each of its three nights with a modest display of fireworks. On each night, the wind was cold and vicious. Nevertheless the fireworks seem to go straight up.

Archery
Randwick Archery Club members at the range … note the flying arrow

This week was camera club, but because our real estate agent was holding an open home at our place, I set out early. As I was driving somewhat aimlessly, I spotted the Randwick Archery club at play. With their permission, and while they went down range to retrieve their previously shot arrows, I set up my camera on its tripod, in front of their firing line, then retreated behind the line  to trigger the camera remotely and safely as they shot again. I was delighted that at least one of the hundred or so images caught an arrow in flight.

Black Falcons
The Black Falcons against a dramatically dark sky

My last shot this week is of a rare appearance in Wellington of the RNZAF’s aerobatic display team, the Black Falcons. A flight of five Beechcraft T6 Texan II trainers was supposed to fly down over various Wairarapa towns and then from Featherston to the Royal Wellington Golf Club’s course at Heretaunga. With a friend, I waited on yet another chilly open space for them to appear over the hills in the East. They came in from the North. Due to extreme upper-air turbulence in the Wairarapa, the came due South from their base at Ohakea. What’s more, due to a last minute illness, there were just four aircraft in the flight.

Back to the packing.

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Categories
Architecture flowers Kaitoke Maritime Weather Wellington

November 9, 2016 … staying close to home

I decided not to mention the (expletive deleted) meteorological circumstances, so moving right along …

Architecture
The Eastern facade of the former Whitcoulls building

A walk on Lambton Quay gives views of some rather nice old buildings, though for now it is difficult to evade the trolley wires. Happily (from my perspective), the trolleybuses are soon to be replaced by hybrid buses and the wires which have been an eyesore for so long will be removed.

Mist
Into the mist at Kaitoke

Rain in copious quantities turned the skies grey and the bush wet. I wandered up towards Kaitoke, the city’s water catchment area at the foot of the Tararua ranges. I like misty landscapes but so far have not achieved the level of impact that I would like.

River
Hutt River just downstream from the waterworks at Kaitoke

Under the dripping canopy of the bush, I got to look out on the upper waters of the Hutt River sliding by. The rattle of pebbles was almost drowned out by the hiss of rain on the water and on the leaves above.

Peony
Peony

At the riverside market on Saturday, Mary bought a few peonies and mentioned to the vendor that the image being used to advertise them was one of mine. The lady gave her a couple of extras by way of thanks. I was happy for the opportunity to spend more time with these magnificent blooms.

Peonies
Peonies

They are very sensitive to temperature and if not kept cool will open up prematurely and get droopy. In their prime, they are magnificent.

Warrior
Model of HMS Warrior by Mr Graham Beeson

My last shot this week is of a model displayed in a local gallery as the centrepiece of a naval-themed exhibition. Built by Mr Graham Beeson, the ship is representative of the Royal Navy’s Warrior class of armoured cruiser, 1905. It is painted in the then novel “dazzle” scheme on the starboard side, and naval grey on the port.

See you next week.

Categories
Birds Family Light Maritime Weather Whiteman's Valley

June 17, 2016 … well seasoned

In this part of the world, we are just four days from the shortest day. Then follows the long climb back to warmer seasons. By the calendar we are firmly in Winter (June through August). Nevertheless, the unusually warm year has delivered a lingering tinge of Autumn.

Maple
Maple’s last defiant show of the season

In our front yard, a Japanese maple has been flaunting its stunning colour as if powered by batteries.

Leaves
And then there were two

A bout of heavy rain and strong wind caused a sudden dumping of its remaining leaves and in the space of two days its branches are suddenly bare.

Paint
Fresh paint job

I am not sure if I have mentioned that I have a project in mind by which to submit a portfolio in pursuit of the Photographic Society of New Zealand’s associateship qualification. I don’t intend to reveal the specifics until I have a portfolio to submit, but in the mean time I have been prowling various places looking for images that match my vision. In Lyall Bay I found these garage doors on either side of a letterbox.

Colonnade
Civic colonnade

 

In the city, the colonnade outside the city council’s office provided a nice view.

George
Welcome back, George. I am not sure why a dear skull is part of this scene

Yesterday the wandering continued, and to my great delight, I found that my old friend “George” was back at the Hutt River estuary. At first I couldn’t see him, but he eventually peered over the cockpit coaming of his favourite boat. Soon he resumed his measured pacing around its deck.

Colour
Whiteman’s valley colour

Whiteman’s Valley is another place where autumn colours linger long after their allotted time.

Marina
Seaview Sunset

My photographic day ended when I had to drop my granddaughter Maggie at the gym where her cheerleaders squad practise. From there it is a short drive to the Seaview marina where the last light of the day continued to deliver autumnal shades.

 

Categories
Adventure adversity Birds Cars Cook Strait Haywards Hill Kaitoke Landscapes Light Maritime Pauatahanui Vehicles Wairarapa Waves Weather

June 8, 2016 … through the lower middle

True to my word, I have returned more quickly than last time.

Sandra II
Sandra II now seems to be a permanent resident at Hikoikoi

We have had an astonishing spell of fine weather in the last week, not only sunny, but for the most part, flat calm. Those who have been with me for a while know that if there is calm, I will be near the harbour. Down at Hikoikoi, a newcomer has joined the J.Vee thus doubling the number of working boats moored there. She is the Sandra II.

Web
Nature – the master jeweller

With further fine weather in view, Mary and I chose to go to Dannevirke on Friday. This was a “just because” trip with no other purpose than to enjoy the journey, and perhaps to make an image or two on the way. It was a crispy day to begin with, and just North of Upper Hutt, there was mist wreathed around the hills and gullies, and many of the roadside fences were decorated with dew-coated spider webs.

Woodville
Pastoral landscape near Woodville

I had hopes of capturing the turbines spinning above the Manawatu Gorge near Woodville. I do love flat calm, but of course, that spins no turbines. Accordingly, I zoomed back out and settled for a landscape from just South of Woodville.

Wreck 1
Inside the old wrecker’s yard at Dannevirke

We got to Dannevirke, and enjoyed a very nice lunch at the Vault Cafe. Then to lend some semblance of purpose to our journey, we bought some splendid beef sausages from “The Meat Company”, a butcher shop just near the vault. They are the best beef sausages I have found so far. And then I finally managed to make contact with the owner of the old car-wrecker’s yard I saw last time I was in the area. He generously granted permission  for me to climb the fence and wander through the property.

Cars
Vehicles from almost all eras are being swallowed. The Ford Transit van, the Vauxhall Velox from the mid fifties and a real oddity on the right, the Utility model of the Hillman Imp were all intriguing.

I spent over an hour there, and saw perhaps five percent of the property. It is a truly post-apocalyptic scene, withe a large proportion of the old vehicles almost entirely engulfed in brambles or the pest variant of the clematis, “Old Man’s Beard” . Few surfaces are not covered with lichen ans the place was a photographer’s delight.

Waihi Falls
Waihi Falls in the late afternoon

Choosing the scenic route home, we passed through Waihi falls where the water was putting on a fine display. From there we went down through Mauriceville and Alfredton and suffered a blow-out at some 90 km/h on a patch of gravel road. After laboriously emptying the back of the car to reach the spare, and then jacking up the car to swap the wheel, we were soon on our way again, through Masterton and down through the Southern Wairarapa. It was nerve-wracking to drive over the Rimutaka hill with no spare, but we made it home without further incident.

Yacht
The yacht made speedy progress across the horizon near Red Rocks

On Sunday, we went to the South Coast and while Mary explored the seal colony at Sinclair Head, I made images near Red Rocks.

Stilts
Pied stilts at Pauatahanui

On Tuesday, the clam conditions were still lingering, so I went over to Pauatahanui. I have heard of houses on stilts, but here, reflected in the pond, are some stilts on houses.

Herons
White-faced herons are wary

Further around the inlet, a handsome pair of white-faced herons paused in their preening to keep an eye on me as I attempted to get close.

Inlet
Reflections on the inlet near Ration Point

It was a morning of breathtaking beauty and undisturbed reflections .

SH2
Near Haywards Hill on SH2

Remarkably, the fine weather persisted until today (Wednesday) and so I went North to Silverstream where a friend had predicted spectacular landscape opportunities on a frosty morning.

Silverstream
Misty morning at Silverstream

My friend was right, the mist on the frosty grass was just delightful. See you next time.