Friday, 31 May 2013

FSO - Vintage


and boats

and planes

I'll be on a plane on Friday, heading to Taranaki for a few days with that delightful little man, Aiden.   Not a vintage plane, thank heavens.

To see what is "vintage" in the lives of the rest of the FSO team, check out here.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Brave little Henny

My little hen, she wasn't flashy or showy, just a little grey bantam.  But she could give lessons on motherhood to the best of us.  When I first let her and her chicks out into the big bad world full of danger, I fussed and watched over her. I was going to say like a hawk but hawks were one of those big bad dangers that we had to be on the look out for.  I grew accustomed to her different "clucks" and knew when to rush out to help her keep her chicks safe.  

One day I heard her distress and rushed out and there was a hawk about a foot over her head, talons spread, about to attack her and she was standing there, out in the open, facing the enemy, fluffing herself out to make herself look a lot bigger, making threatening noises, but at the same time also obviously telling her chicks to stay where they were under the tree.  Not one of those chicks moved. 

As the chicks grew older I let the little family out when I left for work, trusting her to keep them safe.

The little chicks grew and she kept them safe.

 I took this photo just last week, having a chuckle to myself that the chair had been left there for me to sit on and watch them, and noticing that they were all nearly as big as her.  I liked to just sit there and watch how she raised them and taught them.  She was forever alert, always watching out for dangers, clucking to them at the first hint of a dog or a cat - or a hawk.  I loved how the chicks obeyed her with hesitation.

Today was one of those occasions.  I suspect she saw the danger and sent the chicks scurrying to safety and faced the danger head on.  There were a lot of feathers, she put up quite a fight but her little body was savaged, I suspect by a dog.

I hope the chicks will survive without her.  I don't know if they will even miss her.  But I will.

Friday, 24 May 2013

FSO - From the Ground

"There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground" - love that line.  I remember when I first read it and feeling disappointed with the rest of the poem.  I had those words in mind when I went looking for images for this week's topic.  There was rain during the week, most of it heavy but some nice gentle stuff, too but none of my ideas worked.

Here's an image from before the rain, dust rising from the ground, allowing you can trace the vehicle's progress through the pine forest.


 Nature's artwork clinging to the ground:


New life springing from the ground:

Old life, too.

Homes being built from the ground up:

Emerging from a hole in the ground:

And lift off!

That was a neat topic, I bet there will be as many interpretations of it as there are of us.  They will all be here.  Pop over and have a look.  Or, better yet, why not join us? 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Foggy morn

There could have been more fog this morning.  Don't know, I stayed snuggled up in bed arguing with myself about whether I'd get up and go to work or stay right there.   I now work in an open plan environment with three other women, perfect for spreading germs.  My boss is nearly due to have a baby and the last thing she needs is to be kept awake all night coughing.  So, for everyone else's sake I decided to stay at home.  Just me being noble, nothing to do with tiredness or laziness.  

Yesterday I had to stop several times on my way to work.  I do love foggy mornings. Didn't even make it out on to the road before I made the first stop.  The fog was lifting from the mountain but still drifting around the valley.

This is much closer to town.  I pulled over to the wrong side of the road to get the shot out the car window.   

Monday, 20 May 2013

Death by cow

We had a heavy fog on Saturday morning.    I've been resisting taking a photo of the damage the cows did to a tree in my yard a week or so ago when they escaped their paddock during the night.  Of course, this isn't the only tree they attacked but obviously this one had the best taste, they nibbled at some of the others but they had a feast on this one.    I thought in the fog, it didn't look quite so bad.  Time will tell if it will recover.

This morning the skies were wonderfully clear.  Except for this weird cloud.  It went right across the full arc of the sky.   I had left my camera at home on purpose, I was travelling to Rawene for a funeral and thought it best not to have a major distraction like my camera.  Of course, I did slip the little Canon into my handbag - and I'm glad I did.

 The tide was out at Rawene but that harbour, ah that harbour, it always has something to attract. 

Friday, 17 May 2013

FSO - Five Senses

The taste of something new:

The sight of someone old:

A mother's touch:

The sound of a friend's voice:

 The smell of the sea:

The Friday My Town Shoot Out-ers are a diverse group, I expect some very different interpretations of this topic.  They will all be here.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Under a bridge

I bet if I made it my mission to find some real hidden treasure, I wouldn't come within a bull's roar of it.  But put me on the trail of mostly hidden graffiti and I will stumble across it at my first attempt.  When I told the girls with whom I work where I was off to after work, they warned me about the carpark in the vicinity.  It's always been a bad area for break ins and has been particularly bad lately I was told. 

I'm often not good at taking advise but when I got to the carpark and there wasn't another car in sight, I decided caution was the better part of valour and drove away.  OK, I know it should be discretion but caution fits the bill in this case.

But I wasn't going to give in that easily.  I discovered I could park on the roadside not far from the bridge I was heading for, it's a busy road so wouldn't be an easy target for ratbags with nothing better to do than break into cars.  And, as long as I stayed on the bridge and didn't go down to the stream, the car would be in my sight. 

It would have been so easy to miss.  There is no sign of it from the road, and unless you were looking straight down from the pedestrian path on the bridge you wouldn't see it.  I was looking for it and nearly didn't see it.  

I couldn't get a good view but I can go back in summer and climb down the river bank for a better view.

There is some graffiti on either side of the underside of the bridge.  I'd like to have a closer look at this one.

Mind you, my fascination with graffiti will probably be gone by then.  It's a bit weird that it has held my interest for a full week now.  Let's hope I move on to something a little more stimulating.  But at least this has got me back blogging regularly again. 

Monday, 13 May 2013

More graffiti

At work we have a new group of students taking their classes close to our office.   I met them this morning, then happened upon them later just as I was about to leave for the day.  Now why weren't they there last week?  That seems to be how the cookie crumbles sometimes.  I spend a week agonising about a FSO topic, then the following week something related will be right in front of me. 

How this graffiti art relates to their course, I didn't ask.  But I admired how they went about their creations.   And I think they enjoyed my interest.  

I'll be interested to see how this one turns out.  They told me where they will leave their art boards so I can pop over tomorrow and see the finished results.  

They weren't exactly chatty, I'm a bit old for them to feel comfortable communicating.  I speak in whole sentances and have a bit of trouble understanding two and three word responses.   But I discovered there isn't much of their kind of graffiti art around Whangarei, others tag over it as soon as it goes up.  But I was told where I can find some that isn't generally known about.  I will check it out tomorrow but suspect I may have to wait till summer to get a good look as it could involve getting wet.  Can't tell you where it is, I suspect they don't want everyone to know about it. 

Sunday, 12 May 2013


It's been raining.  It was so good to see the puddles, I just had to stop and take a photo through the windscreen.

Georgia must have been happy to see them, too.  She came in after school asking had I noticed all the "fluddles" on the road.  Then, in her patient voice, the one she uses when I'm being a bit dim and don't understand something, said, "Fluddles, Granny.  Flooded puddles."

Friday, 10 May 2013

FSO - Graffiti

Just yesterday, thanks to my manager at work pointing me in the right direction, I discovered some graffiti I actually liked.  

It's bright and bold and doesn't look out of place.  It adorns the skate park.  I recall there was a graffiti painting competition at the park some years ago, maybe that was when the park opened and every inch of the complex is now covered with either graffiti or tagging. I wonder how the graffiti artists feel about the tagging.

But there was very little tagging along this wall.


The council has provided public toilets and adorned them so they blend in with the park.

The other graffiti I found a week or so ago when I was in Taranaki seemed to me to be just wrong.  

I haven't been able to find out anything about the history of this old concrete building.  It sat at the bottom of a cliff with an old road down to it and a derelict slipway for launching boats.   I'll be back in Taranaki at the end of the month and will make enquiries. 

I like how the old wall divides the beautiful from the ugly in this shot.  

That was another topic where I thought "Oh crumbs" when I saw it.  I didn't think "Oh crumbs", that's just me being polite.  But you get the idea.  It turned out to be quite fun.   I think there will be some great images this week.  Just pop over here to see them.

Friday, 3 May 2013

FSO - Machinery

I have a problem.  It's a good one to have.  I have too many machinery photos.  I just went nuts on this topic. 

First of all I had so many choices here on the farm.   So I'm limiting myself to two from the farm, one firmly rooted on the ground, the other above ground.

One from the new bridge construction in town:

A couple just because I like them:

And a tribute to all old machines that in their day served us well.  These were sitting beside a railway siding, waiting to be carried off to their final resting place (or purpose). 

I'm choosing the Spotlight photos this week.  If you spot something you really like in your visits to the rest of the team, pop back and let me know.    They will all be here.