Friday, 26 April 2013

FSO - Sweet Tooth

I have a few days off work so decided to drive down to Taranaki to see my favourite little guy (and his mother and father, of course).

I took these first few shots last weekend.  My sweet tooth kicks in at breakfast when I drizzle passionfruit jam over my banana and cereal.  You have to give me credit for the cereal and banana.  

And I also deserve points for not wasting the jam which is just a bit more liquid than it should be and not good jam consistency.  But look at that lovely colour and it is soooo yummy!


If I'd had toast for breakfast I would have had honey on it.  Delicious Kaiora honey from Kaitaia.

Just to see it dripping like that makes my mouth water.

Here in my daughter's home in Taranaki, the sweet temptations are many.  Justine has a little cupcake business and it's no surprise her treats are in such high demand.  I was eating with my eyes before she even finished icing these.

This morning  there's mainly crumbs left from last night's lemon merengue pie.

The weather here is lovely.  I look forward to five days in the Naki.  And to checking the rest of the FSO team's contribution here for the topic Sweet Tooth.

Friday, 19 April 2013

FSO - Starburst

Light diffraction, bending light - blows my mind! 

Luckily I went around the farm practising a couple of weeks ago, as earlier this week I was happy to not even see the sun.  Yes, it rained!  And the sun was the last thing I wanted to see.  

I quite liked the starbursts through the trees but whenever I found a tree with a bit of character the sun wasn't behind it. I found it interesting that no two starbursts are the same and, to be honest, think it's a bit of hit and miss and you need a bit of luck to get it right.  Well, I do anyway.

How come this one created circles within itself?

And maybe someone can explain how I got those pretty light in there?

 Crap starburst but I captured a flying saucer!  Don't care how it got there - I like it! 

Yesterday I tried to apply the lesson to structures. You've seen the structures before, should have gone looking for something different but I'm a creature of habit.  I'd tried earlier in the afternoon on other structures but I think the sun was too strong - is that possible?  But by the time we returned from our walk, it had lost some of its sting and I'm happy with this one.

This was intended to be my best shot.  The light between the lights.  As you can see, it didn't quite work but I'll keep trying.

 I must be nuts because I came close to getting stressed about ever getting that right and now that it's done I think it was enjoyable.  Thanks, Rebecca, for the tutorial.  You make learning something new fun!  I know some of our group don't need any lessons but I do and I appreciate them.  

I expect to be humbled by what the rest of the team has for us this week.  But that's another part of the learning process that is FSO for me.

Friday, 12 April 2013

FSO....W is for

Waiotira or Whangarei. The farm where I live is in Waiotira but other than a few other farms, that's all that's here.  Whangarei is where I work, our nearest large town.  Either way, I can't escape the letter W when it comes to the letter my town begins with.  

Water ... we haven't had enough of it this year.  Even the weeds haven't survived.

Except that which grows on the water There's far too much of that.


 With or without rain the farm children continue to grow like weeds:

Yesterday afternoon after work I walked beside the water in the Town Basin with it's colourful watercraft:

the nautical version of window boxes:

and wind generators:

I'll be visiting the rest of the FSO team here.  Wish me luck with the Spotlight photos!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Monday morn

I thought this morning that we must have the switch from Daylight Saving timed just about right now.  First Monday morn after the change and it was most decidedly cool.

I got a bit excited thinking "the fog might be back" and hurried to get on my way to work.  Morning and hurrying don't come naturally to me so, despite my best efforts, I didn't really have time to stop to take photos. 

But when I turned down the road to work I had a few minutes up my sleeve and stopped for just one shot of the fog rising from the hills behind the hospital.

Georgia's little dog came for a couple of walks with me around the farm at the weekend.  The dry weather hasn't kept the possums away, he was bum up digging a few times. 

I don't know if my son has sprayed the blackberry down by the creek so didn't dare sample these.  They did look lovely against the dry weeds.

 It appears there are only two roosters amongst the clutch of chickens.  The dark coloured one is the biggest and bravest of all the chicks, he is always the furtherest away from Henny Penny, leads the way when they leave the coop.  But he's also a bossy little so-and-so and likes to terrorise his sisters.  He could be on borrowed time.

The little grey one is the opposite, always closest to mother's side, so I'm not too sure if he'd be much chop as a rooster.  They are a constant source of entertainment for me.   Yeah, yeah, I know, easily entertained I am.  I swear they grow every day. 

Something has been trying to dig in under the coop lately, which has been causing me some alarm.   There is wire netting on the bottom of their coop so they should be safe but I've spent a lot of time thinking of nasty traps to set for the nocturnal digger.  I just hope whatever it is, it is solely nocturnal and will leave them alone when they are having their free range time each day.  I've become strangely fond of them.  Never thought the day would come when I'd get all clucky over a few chooks, but there ya go, you never know what might happen next when it comes to this ageing business. 

Saturday, 6 April 2013


I realized when I looked at the photos I took as we watched two fishing boats being unloaded at Pukenui, I seem to have been more fascinated with the fishermen than with the boats or what they had caught.

It seemed to me that the men on the mussel boat were more organised and worked more like a well oiled machine than the crew on the other boat.  

When he wasn't busy he was keeping an eye on proceedings:



Friday, 5 April 2013

FSO - Books

I picked up an old bible in lovely little St Joseph's Anglican Church in Awanui.  The church is right beside SH1, was unlocked and sitting on the pulpit were two very old bibles.  I can't believe they weren't behind glass somewhere.  Can you read the date it was presented to the Awanui Maori Church?  May 2nd, 1887.

It opened itself at a marked page.  I haven't the faintest idea what it said, it was written in Maori.

Thanks to my travel companion, GB for taking those photos for me after my battery died.  We found this collection of old books at Mangungu Mission on our annual excursion north last year.

Who doesn't like to snuggle up under a blanket with a book?  Coffee close to hand.   On a cold day.  Or, if you feel like it, even on a warm day.  The day was warm when I found this lady sitting with a book beside the river in town.  Maybe she wasn't well!  To me she depicted the comfort of a book.

I have a feeling the FSO guys (who will be here) are going to have some great shots on this theme.  Glad I'm not doing the Spotlights.  Have fun with that, Peggy.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Soul food

The soul, like the body, lives by what it feeds on.  ~Josiah Gilbert Holland

The food best suited for this particular soul is found in the Far North.   I really must go there at least once a year to feed my spirit.  Or maybe it is not so much to feed it as to release it.  

As I waited at the airport for GB to arrive, a man asked was I meeting someone or going somewhere.  I said I was going somewhere as soon as I met my friend, heading north to Houhora.  "What's at Houhora?" he asked.  I did the goldfish thing, opening and closing my mouth a few times, wondering how could anyone ask such a silly question.  Then blurted out, "Beauty.  Simplicity.  Fresh air."  What he really meant was where do you stay when you go to Houhora, a much more sensible question as places of accommodation this far north are few and far between.  

I'd found a modest little cottage in an absolutely beautiful setting for us to stay.   That's it, the cute little place to the left of the phoenix palm that stood between us and the harbour.

The beautiful Houhora Harbour:

And only 10 minutes from the west coast and 90 Mile Beach - beautiful, unspoiled, isolated.  The day was warm and clear but visibility wasn't good.  Pop back in time to here if you'd like to read some history of the beach and its real length.

The very first time I visited a light truck came out of the long grass beside the road.  This time it was a magnificent black bull.  He eyed us as he marched on past us, he knew where he was going and wasn't about to take a different track because of us intruders.

Some may remember this shot taken last winter from the top of Utea Pa overlooking the beach.

I returned there for my summer equivalent:

A great place to lay in the grass and feel the magic of the north wash over you.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Lessons from GB

I learn a few things every time I spend time photographing with GB

Stop, look up, look down and observe. 

Follow to see where the path leads:

Get down and get close:

Move around to find the best angle:

Do anything for a good shot.  (I won't be trying this one!)