Friday, 26 October 2012

FSO - Water in Motion

Water tumbling over rocks was what I asked to be shown when I visited Taranaki earlier this week. I knew my daughter wouldn't have to take me far to find it - Mt Taranaki is the source of over 50 rivers and streams. It was just a matter of crossing a bridge and stopping to take a photo.

Little did I know that one of the bigger streams to flow down out of the mountain is on my daughter's neighbour's property and the lovely friendly family allow her free access. Here we could walk right down to the water's edge.

I admit I handed the camera to Justine and asked her to step out on to the rocks to take this one.  Just as well as the rock moved under her feet and I probably would have lost my balance and been the one tumbling in the stream.

I took dozens and dozens of photos of water, playing with the camera settings so most of them are utter crap but there were a few results that pleased me.  

Although I wish I had pressed the shutter just a fraction of a second quicker with this one:

I wouldn't be a good tourist if I didn't show you a few shots from Pukekura Park, a must see for anyone who visits New Plymouth:

It has a very obliging waterfall, just press the button for the action:

I found that a really fun topic.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's water in motion shots and don't envy Peggy her job of picking the spotlight photos for this week.  

Friday, 19 October 2012

FSO - Steam, Smoke or Fire

I couldn't find the fire.  Couldn't even find the smoke from the fire. No doubt the guys in the fire engine knew where it was. 

 But I knew where to find steam, dived into my archives and fished out a few from down around Rotorua, where thermal springs and mud pools abound.  This one is from Waimangu Thermal Valley, an excellent tourist destination, just south of Rotorua.  When I visited here with my brother and his family we had an 'interesting' time finding the place as I thought my niece had directions and she thought I knew where it was.  We went up and down the same stretch of road so many times a man hitchhiking at the side of the road started to recognise my car and give us a wave as we passed.  

As we walked through one the youngest eco-systems in the world we veiwed a range of geothermal activity, newly forming silica terraces and rare and unusual thermal plants.

 The next two are taken from a boat doing a tour on Lake Rotomahana.  The 1886 Mt Tarawera Eruption changed Lake Rotomahana dramatically, exploding it to 20 times its size. The lake now covers approximately 15 coalescing craters formed during the eruption. Fifteen years after that massive eruption, the lake reached its current height and is now the deepest in New Zealand's North Island. Lake Rotomahana is the newest of all New Zealand’s larger, naturally formed lakes – protected as a wildlife refuge, it's home to large numbers of birds all year round.  Wikipedia

It's a beautiful lake and has its own separate geothermal system, with amazing themal activity that can only be seen from the water.  It is claimed to be one of New Zealand's most beautiful, unspoilt, natural wilderness areas.  I certainly wouldn't argue with that. The lake and surrounding land are protected from development.

 On the same trip with Peter, Jude and Charlotte I took what I thought was a wrong turn and drove up a road beside the Wairakei Power Station, then decided to see where the road went.  We were pleasantly surprised when we came to a look-out where we could look down over the power station where they harness all that geothermal energy. 

I imagine the more creative amongst us will have some great images for this topic.  If you'd like to see them, they will be here.  Or better still, why not join us?

I have a feeling that choosing the Spotlight Photo this week won't be easy.  I really liked how Cheryl had a theme going when she put together her Spotlight photos from last week.  Good luck this week, Danielle. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

FSO - Someplace Yummy

I went looking for someplace yummy!  Found a few, too.  Next time I will go at a meal time.

 It was too late for lunch here:

And too early for dinner here:

or here:

 The right time of day for sitting in the sun with a sweet treat.

When children do the baking,  my favourite someplace yummy is my very own kitchen :

For Aiden there is no place like his very own high chair and his very own spoon.

Summer is coming, soon it will be time for showdays and fairs - and sausage sizzles:

 I love food but this week I will be happy looking at it and other someplace yummies.  They will be here.  Have a look, or better still, join in the fun. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The long way

I've been known to take the long way home on many occasions.  But I never take the long way to work.  Not unless there are policemen standing beside police cars with flashing lights, indicating all traffic turn off the main road and take a back road to town.  The detour added about half an hour to my trip.  I will go that way home from work soon - I saw a neat old barn and an 'interesting' letter box I'd like to photograph. 

I was tempted to take the photos this morning but I had an impatient person in the car behind me and got tooted at when I stopped to take this shot.  See that huge gap I allowed to develop while I raised the camera?  And I don't think that line of traffic was about to take off at speed. 

But I figured the driver was a bit stressed about taking the long way to town.  By the time we reached this point, we would have been in town for about 15-20 minutes had the road not been closed.  Maybe they had a pressing appointment, maybe their boss would not appreciate them being so late arriving at work.  Who knows.  But that horn toot told me I wouldn't be helping their mood if I stopped again, so I played nice.

Anyway, I was still in a good mood from a pleasant experience I had yesterday.  I was filling time before joining colleagues for drinks after work and went for a drive to see if I could get a photo of my favourite restaurant from the far side of the marina.  But there were no stopping places anywhere along the road, except for a bus bay.  So I quickly pulled into it and jumped out of the car as quickly as I could to grab a few shots.  I was just about to get back into the car when the sail shaped roof of the Artisans Market caught my eye, so I took this shot.  

Now the funny bit.

I was about to drive away when I noticed a man running along the marina walkway towards me and I could see he was trying to catch my attention.  I waited and even wound down the car window so he could talk to me.  He asked what had I been taking a photo of but before I could answer said my name and then repeated it with my surname (in case I didn't believe him at first?)  I was taken aback, half way through saying 'the boats' before acknowledging that yes I was me.  I was thinking more along the lines of how the hell does this guy know my name than this guy knows me.  Of course, he quickly said who he was and I couldn't believe that he had recognized me.  He went to school with my children, was in my oldest daughter's class I think and I don't think I've seen him since they left school and that's more than 25 years ago.   

I just had to ask why he wanted to know what I was taking photos of.  And laughed when he said that truck parked on the grass verge in front of me was his and he thought I was a parking inspector taking photos as evidence of his illegal parking. 

So, young Greg, here's the photo and not a truck in sight.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

There's no stopping some people

When the council put out the Road Closed sign beside the driveway to my son's house, they were pretty serious about it.  They wanted that road to stay closed.  

 Others did not agree with them. This guy put the barrier back when he returned back down the road a few minutes later.  Guess he couldn't get through to where he wanted to go.  And, yes, I do know it was a he. 

I took advantage of the road being closed by going for a walk along it.  

Saw a few things I've just glimpsed when I've been driving past- like the neighbours stock yards. 

 One neighbour obviously has never heard of the Farmers' Rule that you do not put your second rate or sick stock in the roadside paddock for everyone to see.   Not only does it look like this ram has had a good dose of fly strike but it looks decidedly evil.  I'm not going to explain what fly strike is.  Yuck. If you are curious, it's explained here.

Friday, 5 October 2012

FSO - Skylines

I was in Auckland last weekend and couldn't resist a few shots of city buildings and the skyline.  I know that is encroaching on Ann's territory and that she regards the Sky Tower as 'hers' but my approach to it is from the north. 

It is also reflected in this building but I wasn't too sure where I was at the time this shot was taken out the car window and didn't notice it there.

 My usual skylines are more rural.  Approaching home after travelling south.  (My header is approaching home from the north.)

The same skyline from near Whangarei airport:

The skyline when travelling from home, heading further to the west:

And a few of our usual skyline from the farm:

Hold on, wait a minute, if I walk a bit further into a paddock, I think I can get buildings on the skyline.  There ya go - a bit different from Auckland but I think buildings add something to skylines, don't you?

Although I still prefer cows:

I look forward to seeing the skylines from the home towns of the rest of the team.  They will be here.  Why not pop over there and have a look.  Or better still, join in the shoot out with photos from your home town.