Sunday, 31 March 2013

Through glass supplement

Murphy's law at work.  You schedule a post knowing you don't have many photos on the topic and in no time at all come across a perfect shot for the topic.  Actually, that's not quite true.  I didn't know I had a good shot until I got back home Friday evening.

We were wandering around the old Subritsky homestead at Houhora. 

Taking photos through the windows.  As there was no furniture inside, there wasn't much to see.

 Clicking away at the old outbuildings:

 I decided to try to get a reflection of the old building in the side window.  How it turned out like this I don't know.  But the next one was practically the same.

Who cool is that?

Friday, 29 March 2013

FSO - Through glass

I will be up north on Friday so will have to prepare this in advance, with only having given the topic thought for half the morning this morning.    And that was here on the farm, not the best place for glass.  

I told myself I'd just resort to my archives and went to take photos of the maize crop being harvested.  But wait, tractors have windows.  I'm stretching it a bit to say glass windows, they must be some sort of tough perspex.  And they tend to be very dirty windows, too.

I decided the trick was to get up close but stay out of the way because the last thing that young driver needed to worry about was me.

Same thing with my son who was rolling the maize as it was tipped on the stack.  But I've been around long enough to know what's good for me, I stay clear.


So I'll just publish one shot from my archives.  Although modern museums do their best to give children a hands-on experience, having things behind glass at museums just has to be done sometimes.   No parent would want their child's fingers anywhere near the huge crayfish that was on the other side of this glass.  Don't you love how fascinated the children are?

I won't be back to visit everyone until the weekend.  I will then vist here to see what others have found "through glass".

Monday, 25 March 2013

Harvest time

According to the calendar today was the precisely correct day for harvesting the maize.  Unfortunately, the weather has a huge impact on the health of crops and today was actually about three weeks too late.  The maize was well past its best, about three weeks past.  

But the harvesting guys couldn't come until today - farmers have to roll with the punches.

You can see how the maize dries off from the bottom of the plant.  But there was still a little green left in this crop.  Which is surprising when you see the paddock next to it.

The second paddock cut is at the back of my house and I've been watching it go more brown each day.  I'm glad it's now all harvested.

But the thrid paddock to be cut was worse.

There's not much green in that stack, is there?  It was light and fluffy and watching Danny rolling it gave me the heeby jeebys.

About the only thing that seemed the same as any other year were the tyres, standing around waiting to be called to duty to hold the cover on the stack.

Friday, 22 March 2013

FSO - Childhood Pleasures

 I don't usually have this problem when it comes to Friday My Town Shoot Outs - I simply had too many photos.  I would have had plenty even if I hadn't visited a playground in town during the week.  Children are one of my favourite subjects.  I love watching them spin and bounce, climb and slide.

Then, on Wednesday, I was enjoying a quiet cup of coffee in town and idly watching two little girls.  They were running here and there on the grassed area outside the cafe, obviously looking for something to play with.  The water fountain just dribbles a little water over its edge but the minute the girls spotted it they made a beeline for it.  The mothers saw where they were headed and warned them not to get wet, or they would have to stay that way all day.  (I felt like telling the littlies it was hot, if they got wet, they'd be dry in no time.) 

All the little people in my family take delight in being active.  I forget, sometimes, that they enjoy quiet, simple pleasures, too.

I'm sure there will be some great shots this week of childhood pleasures.

Monday, 18 March 2013

All promise outruns performance

Ralph Waldo Emerson lived to ripe old age so I guess he saw a storm or two that were all promise and no performance.

A few very light showers came in over the mountain but none lingered for longer than a few minutes.

I think it started in the early hours of the morning, was quite promising around 7 am but fizzled to a drizzle, just wet enough to put on a coat but not wet enough to deter young Japanese visitors from trying their first ever horse ride. 


The visitors weren't remotely interested in the weather, probably thought we were all barking mad with our preoccupation with it, if they understood what we were talking about, that is.  

They were enchanted with the animals around the place. Sammy fell in love.  That cat waiting her turn in that lap, is a proper nut case.  It follows the kids around like a puppy, followed the girls home after they'd visitied. 

It's followed me when I've gone for a walk in the past but usually doesn't go past the cow shed.  On Saturday, though, it came with us when we went for a walk down to the creek.  There wasn't much water but there is still a trickle coming down out of the mountain.

First time I've ever seen a cat drinking water from a creek:

This morning it followed the girls down to the road where they catch the school bus.  Don't know if it went home in the meantime but it was there again waiting with Sammy when the bus returned this afternoon. 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

It's happening!

It's looking like today will be the day!  I hope I'm not being overly optimistic.  

We really need rain.  Not just us, the whole of the North Island has been declared a drought area. 

I think it doesn't look too bad around here, I know it's worse in some other places.  The trees and bush at least offer us something green to look at. 


Those who visit here often will be familiar with the paddock beside my house.  You will never have seen it like this before.

I'm no expert on predicting the weather from looking at the sky, I find watching ants more reliable, but there is one cloud formation I'm positive I know the meaning of.  That streaky look to the clouds tells of strong winds up high in the atmosphere.  Those clouds came out of the east about half an hour ago.  I put some laundry on the line to welcome them.  

They have gone already, replaced by lots of cloud, darker in some some places but they are moving quickly across the sky.  If I knew how I'd do a rain dance, beg them to stay, please stay. 

Oh bugger it, there's no-one around, I'm going to do it anyway.

Friday, 15 March 2013

FSO - I remember when .....

Funny the things that spring to mind when you sit and purposely say "I remember...." 

I immediately saw, in my mind's eye, a scene from 40 years ago. My two oldest children when they were aged five and six running, laughing and competing noisily as they raced over the hill in the foreground below.  They were returning to where we were staying in a house beside the beach under the brown of that hill.  It was their first day at school in New Zealand, and in Leone's case her first ever day at school.  Times sure have changed.  I'd taken them to the school in the morning and they came home in the school bus then ran the rest of the way from where the school bus run ended.   All those houses weren't there then, there were a few residents, retired people and a couple of holiday houses.    

 A few years ago we had a Back to Pouto weekend.  My youngest was born after we had left and had never been there.  We had a wonderful time with Danny and Leone sharing with their children the activities they delighted in when we lived there.

Making more memories.

Which reminded me that some of my very best memories are associated with the Kaipara Harbour.  I returned to the banks of the Kaipara many years after we left Pouto and lived at Tapora on the opposite peninsula.   

Once again I was lucky to live at the end of the road down a harbour peninsula.  It seems to me that the strongest communities live in such places.  

And now I feel a nostalgic urge to revisit both places soon.

I wonder what the other FSO guys have remembered this week?  I'll be visiting them here to find out

Saturday, 2 March 2013

FSO - Happy Anniversary

Happy 4th Anniversary to FMTSO.  I hoped to make a special effort this week but it hasn't been the best week for me.  I've had no internet connection at home for days and yesterday I had minor surgery which has left me a little  worse for wear.
I'm now at my daughter's home in Auckland and just want to quickly say thank you, FMTSO for the fun I've had since I joined in June or July (can't remember which) 2009. Thanks to those who have encouraged me in my efforts to improve my photography and for the tutorials.
I appreciate that this forum has allowed me to share a little of what it is like to live in a rural community in New Zealand.

Happy Anniversary!