Monday, 28 March 2011

FSO - April Fools Day

The brief for this week's topic is pretty broad.  There is no assigned theme - it's our choice of "favourite all time" from our Assignment History Page.  I thought that was pretty cool, thinking it meant to just repost your all time favourite shoot out.  Then I read it again and realized it meant to choose your favourite topic, from the 108 past themes and have another go at it.  Mind you, we can combine two topics if we want.  I think I'll have another crack at Old and Weathered as I love old stuff.

I'm preparing this in advance on Sunday night,  as I have a busy week and weekend coming up - my daughter-in-law's 40th birthday celebrations.  Visitors, trips around, party, party, party.

This last shot isn't hereabouts.  It's a couple of hours drive from here at least but hopefully I will be making a repeat visit there this week.

That's it, folks.  Got to get some sleep - work tomorrow!

Friday, 25 March 2011


The colour yellow is the topic for this week's Friday Shoot Out.

I live with my moment of yellow madness.  A few years ago I got a bit down during a bleak winter and the lack of colour around me and decided I simply had to brighten myself somehow.  I’m sure there could have been a lot of solutions – mine was to paint my fridge a bright, sunshiny yellow.  Once upon a time I didn’t keep my fridge covered with invitations, photos, kids art work, etc but I do now to tone down the colour a bit.  

 Not long after I ran amok with the paint, a visitor who was into colour therapy enquired about my health and explained that yellow relates to the solar plexus chakra and listed off problems associated with this area.  One of them was gall stones.  I was pretty stunned – I was having major gall stone problems and waiting for surgery.  Was I more in touch with my body than I realized?

I could have done worse.  This depicts a bit more accurately how I was feeling at the time:

van art

I still think yellow is a bright, happy colour although I will add that it looks better on the beach than it does in the kitchen:

on the beach
 I’ve posted a photo of this moth before but couldn’t go past it’s beautiful soft yellows to illustrate the lovely yellows we find in nature.  GB tells me it is a non-native Slender Burnished Brass (what a wonderful name) which came from West Africa to Australia and arrived here in 1984. It's now common in the north of the country. The caterpillars eat soy-bean plants, potatoes, parsley, carrots and cabbage.

Sandstone rock formation:
rock formation
  It took a craftsman to release the natural colours of this piece of native timber:
wood art
Yellows always look lovely in the garden whether as primary or complimentary colours:


I love the splashes of yellow added to these pieces of Polynesian art that grace the walls of the marae (meeting place) where I work.


We see splashes of yellow around the farm.  Just as a yellow flag is used in car racing to signal caution, we use a yellow plastic handle to grip to take down an electric fence.  Until you get the hang of it caution is recommended. 

elec fence

I read that yellow shines with optimism, enlightenment and happiness.  As in this next shot perhaps?

church window

I really enjoyed this topic.  If you love the colour yellow, pop over here to see the photos of the rest of FSO members.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


Seven year old Georgia came in after school yesterday positively glowing with happiness. 

“Did you know that when a dog dies he becomes another day?” she asked.

I had to confess that no, I didn’t know and enquired how she knew that.

Georgia explained that Miss Phillips (her teacher) has a new puppy that she had taken to school to show the children and the puppy looks just like my old Lewey (who died 3 weeks ago), same colour, except a bit more brown and her name is Loui.  “So it’s just Lewey’s bones that are buried there under that new bush in the garden, really he’s alive and living with Miss Phillips.”   Only one thing about all this puzzled her, how did Lewey get to be a girl after being a boy?  The rest of it was perfectly logical to her it seems.   I wonder if she shared her philosophy with Miss Phillips?  I know it brightened my day.

What brightened my day today was this sight as I drove home from work.   When I first spotted them they were marching steadily towards me down the middle of the road.  I stopped thinking the rest of the flock would be close behind and the farmer would not want me to frighten them into disappearing down off the road.  But no, they were alone and when they saw me they stopped too and looked at me, milled around a bit, uncertain about where to go next.  I don’t give sheep credit for having too many brains (having worked closely with them for a few years) and their uncertainty amused me.  It was like they had busted out and been happy with their outing until this happened.

sheep 2011

I crept past and called in to the house of the sheep farmer just a bit further down the road but there was no-one home.   Hopefully he found them before they ventured much further.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Exit summer

Summer is exiting in a very gentle manner.   I hope that means she will be followed by a gentle winter.  For now, that’s what I choose to believe. 

Three evenings in a row we have had glorious sunsets.  None of the fiery colours of summer, even when these threaten rain there is a softer quality to them. 

18 March 111 
Friday evening

Yesterday evening the sunset wrapped three quarters of the way around my world.



This evening the show was softer.  It’s hard to take the weather bureau forecast of heavy rain tomorrow seriously.
20 Mar 2

Saturday, 19 March 2011

End of summer

Signs that winter is approaching are all around us.  Thankfully the days are still sunny and warm but mornings and evenings are delightfully cool.  Yesterday morning there was a heavy fog.  I don’t like cold weather but I love the mists and fogs of winter.  

I drove through an absolute downpour coming home from work yesterday and later on the evening sky gave a hint of more rain to come.

18 March 2011

It came during the night.  It’s a rare night that I hear rain on the roof.  Not because it’s not there, but it would take more than heavy rain to wake me once I’m asleep.  I belong to the “sound sleeper” camp. 

The last of the rainy mist was lifting from the lower valleys as I looked out the window this morning.

19 Mar 2011
Today was a special occasion for Georgia – her first soccer game.  Unfortunately, she had a tummy bug yesterday and, to her great disappointment, wasn’t as energetic today as she usually is and had to sit out a lot of the games.  

Krystal and Shayde were also playing.  The occasion was an inter-school warm up before the footy season starts.  Our local school is not a ‘sporting’ school and most of the teams were outclassed by their opposition.   The children who want to play weekend sport have to find teams outside the area to join and, of course, this requires lots of extra time and expense for parents travelling to practices, etc.   This year Shayde will be playing netball (in a school team), Krystal will play soccer in a Whangarei team and Georgia will player soccer in a Bream Bay team.   Add to that mix their father coaching an Under 16 rugby team and you have one busy family.  

Most of my photos from today would be good candidates for a “Where’s the Ball” competition.  They remind me of the “Where’s the Ball”  competition in the paper when I was a child and my father marking his entry each week.  He used to tell us to look to where the players were following the ball with their eyes.  That wouldn’t be much help with these shots.  Half the time I don’t think most of the kids had more than a rough idea of where the ball was. 

10 Mar 20112 Krystal looks like she’s giving some helpful tips to Shayde but they are both miles off the play.

19 Mar 2011
Umm.  It must be somewhere on this field!

19 Mar 20111
Anyone?  Any idea?

19 Mar 20114
It went that a-way

19 mar 20115
It was right there!

19 Mar 20113
Ah, there it is!

And, goodness gracious, I have a certain parent in this shot with their mouth closed.   Can you tell by the body language which parent it might be?  You know how there’s always one parent who shouts constant advise to their child?   The poor child would be run ragged if they went everywhere the parent tells them they should be.  (Shut it, Pauline!)

Friday, 18 March 2011

FSO - Saint Patrick’s Day

May your feet never sweat,
your neighbor give you ne're a treat.
When flowers bloom, I hope you'll not sneeze,
and may you always have someone to squeeze!


The above isn’t my work.  It is the logo for a St Paddy’s Day celebration elsewhere.

Whangarei has one irish pub.  It’s to here that the crowds flock on St Patrick’s Day.  I didn’t.  I planned to pop into the pub after I finished work on Thursday but my head was full of other things and I forgot.

I believe over twenty percent of the population of New Zealand claim Irish blood and I’m one of them but the only celebration I know of in my area is an Irish Night being held in the Maungakaramea Hall on Saturday night – a bit late for today’s post.

There’s no procession in Whangarei, as in Auckland where they held their parade last Saturday and no community carnival like there was in Auckland on Sunday.  I saw an ad for the carnival but there was no venue – is that Irish or what?


I’m going very Irish with this shot.  I hoped it was St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Napier but, after checking with the Napier guru, I now know it’s not.  I have visited St Patrick’s, it was modern and very beautiful with a high circular knave.   But I didn’t take any photos as there was a lady sitting in quiet contemplation and I didn’t want to disturb her.  I did fire off one shot when I had a peep inside the confessional but this was all I saw.  Blame that one on my Irish genes!


So that’s it for this week.  Pathetic effort, I know.

To see St Patrick’s Day shots from all over, just pop over here.

May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The littlest visitor

Yesterday 6 week old, Aiden came for his first visit to the farm.  What a wonderful distraction a little baby is!


It’s been 17 years since I had a grandson and I’m as dotty about this one as I was about the first. 

6 weeks3

His big cousins are as besotted as I am:


One thing we know about him already is he loves it when someone reads to him.  He looked at Georgia intently as she read her homework book to him:

6 weeks

He smiled at the bits he obviously thought sounded funny:


And looked at the pictures when Georgia held up the book to show them to him.


And, of course, he loves his granny:


This is the sight that met me when I came out to the living room this morning.

14 Mar 2011

That’s when a house feels like a home.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Beach horses

I was tidying up my photo files this morning and came across a few photos that made me stop and think.   Where did they come from?  I was sure if I’d taken them I would have remembered.  When I looked further it became apparent.  A few weeks ago my granddaughter had brought her father’s camera down to me to download a couple of photos she’d taken and I’d inadvertently downloaded everything on the camera.   Her mother had taken the camera when she went of a horse trek recently.  

The photos are so lovely, I can’t resist showing them.

 Thanks, Heather.

Friday, 11 March 2011


A state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.

I don’t do chaos.  I avoid it at all costs.  And to be honest I think I just don’t see it – life’s easier that way.

So when I went looking for it, I couldn’t find it.  I only got a couple of shots this week.

I was working at the polytech graduation day and thankfully was not assigned to the areas where excited graduates were creating havoc.  Instead, I was given the task of meeting and greeting and pointing people this way and that and of ushering guests to their seats.   At one stage a graduating grandmother (no, not graduating as a grandmother, silly) when she was told her grandchildren couldn’t go with her in the procession through town, said she wouldn’t go either.  Age sometimes has its advantages and I told her in my more senior grandmotherly voice not to be ridiculous, of course she must go and I would care for the children.    When photos were being taken I took the children to watch for a while.  The photographer is just to the left of the little tree but has only managed to get a few of the grads to line up on those steps.   I'm glad it was his job and not mine - looked far too chaotic for me.

grads gather

As we were leaving the reception centre I noticed this sign.   You will probably have to share my sense of humour to appreciate how this could lead to chaos (sorry, Ginger, you are probably not wild at all!)

wild ginger

To see what the rest of the FSO team came up with, just pop over here.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Beginning with….the letter Sf

Thank you, Ginger, for passing on the tip of how to compile a photo stack.

It's been a long hot summer and soon it will be gone.  I give thanks that my sights of summer are not the same as those of the people of Christchurch for whom this summer has brought such heartache.
Friday again and the Shoot out topic is ... Beginning with the letter S.  To see what S things the rest of the team found, just pop over here

As most of you know we live our lives beside a stream.  The above photos were taken along its banks -stones in the bottom, cows resting in shade, strolling beside it, a sign up along the steam on the neighbours property and some seedpods covered in slime fished from the stream.   Over the stream, yet?

A shelf in the bathroom - it's all skin stuff.  I wonder if I will ever use that soap in the pretty wrapper?

Shuffle those cards.

second hand clock

Right, keep an eye on that second hand – it is nearly time for a sleep.

I took this photo of my Lewey last Saturday and thought at the time how old and deaf he was getting, that I was able to walk up and take a photo without waking him.  I didn't know that in under a week he would depart on his eternal sleep.  I'm so glad I have this last peaceful photo of him. My last S word is Sad.