Saturday, August 6, 2016

Our watchful guardian

While feeding the birds this morning a new visitor flew right by me then banked swiftly into a 360° turn to land in the ponga tree between me and the house.  I couldn't believe it!  Our neighbour had told me a couple of days ago that there was a ruru sitting in the tree below their house so I'll have to assume she's continued to hang out in the area (the ruru that is!).

The other birds were rather vocal about her presence with two making a squawky warning sounds. Not surprisingly as the ruru was likely hunting them. Ruru are usually nocturnal so very unusual to see her out at this time of day (around 7.45am (dawn was 6.52am)).

She sat on the ponga branch for a while and watched the blackbirds eat kiwifruit not even too bothered by my presence and when she looked directly at me I was stoked as, what a look!!  She kindly waited for me to go and get my camera and again looked straight at me for the shot.

Rather special as the ruru (also known as more-pork) is New Zealand's only surviving native owl and although we hear them often this is only the second one I've seen in 11 years here.  I was on a natural high for some time after this wonderful encounter.  Woohoo.

I've named this photo our watchful guardian because In Māori tradition the morepork was seen as a watchful guardian. It belonged to the spirit world as it is a bird of the night. 

Reference: Department of Conservation - ruru

Less cropped version with the hose behind!

Monday, June 27, 2016

No object implies the existence of any other

No object implies the existence of another

By Ian Burn 1967. Synthetic polymer paint on wood, mirror and lettering.
Seen in the Art Gallery of NSW central Sydney. 

I love the view this gave into perhaps another world? 

On my last work trip in Dec last year I managed to steal an afternoon to walk around the Botanical Gardens and the Art Gallery of NSW. I didn't spend as nearly as long there as I would have wanted to. The gallery is pretty awesome but the sun was shining and I was keen for enjoying the Aussie summer warmth.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

One for the eye hurters club

The rather bright result of taking a photo of an old water colour painting and fooling around with the colours in photoshop.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Latitude 41° 36.8’ south Longitude 175° 17.4 East aka Cape Palliser

For Frank's birthday we took a trip to Cape Palliser on the east southern tip of the North Island (New Zealand).  The road to get there is a little mad but the reward is a beautiful rugged coast that is isolated and perfectly refreshing. The steep steps to the lighthouse made for an adventure that required a hand on the rail as gusty winds whipped by.  The ocean roared like a jet aeroplane taking off and blow holes next to the windy road required well timed walk by's!

More information about the Cape Palliser Lighthouse.

Position: Latitude 41° 36.8’ south  Longitude 175° 17.4 East

This light shone for the first time on 27th October 1897.  The lighthouse is notable for the 261 steps it takes to reach it.  When these steps were first built they were greeted enthusiastically as they replaced a slippery narrow path up the rock face that was especially dangerous at night.

The cast iron tower stands 18 metres high and 78 metres above sea level.  The light flashes twice every 20 seconds and can be seen for 26 nautical miles (48 kilometres).

The 1000-watt lamp operates on mains electricity with a diesel generator for standby power.  The light originally burnt oil as a light source and was converted to diesel generated electricity in 1954, and then to mains electricity in 1967.

The light was fully automated in 1986 and the lighthouse keeper was withdrawn.
The operation of the light is now completely automatic and is monitored by a computer and Maritime NZ staff in Wellington.

Monday, May 16, 2016

A lovely day on Oriental Parade beach

This morning I woke up and thought 'I should make a piece of art today' knowing it would make me happy :)  Having recently watched some great instructions on how to create watercolour paintings in Photoshop I did some experimenting. 

The original photo was taken on a lovely autumn afternoon on the Wellington waterfront. Frank was skate boarding while I wandered down on the beach camera in hand.  It was delightful on the beach that day and so lovely to see karoro gulls chilling out, bobbing around gently in the shallow clear water with the famous fountain spraying water far in the air way in the distance.

I liked how this brush combination made lines like a coloured pencil drawing or etching as Al suggested.  Feel free to click on the image as it's best viewed large!

Such fun! I look forward to the next creation.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Storm brewing
Storm brewing; the urban view

These clouds were like a little slice of magic. 
It was a wonderful day of watching them. 
They rolled through menacing
as if they would break
into a thunderstorm any moment.

Masking the sun then giving her back
for a few minutes at a time.
We basked in the semi tropics
enjoying the tepid temptation.
Jumping into the warm salty pool
when the clouds finally broke.

Fat droplets made pretty sploshes
when they hit the rippling surface.
Fun times were had in that Ponsonby pool.
While the clouds pretended to crackle
but only twice broke into thunder.

Not praying mantis

Not praying mantis

This tiny praying mantis was hanging out on the table outside at our friend’s house. To ensure his longevity I decided to move him to a safer place in the trees. When I put my hand out he happily walked on and of course photos had to be taken (which weren't entirely easy with only one hand available!). 

I was blown away with his amazing movements which were also rather entertaining. He started on a walk up my arm, stopping for a quick prayer then some crazy head twisting. I’m pretty sure it turned 180° for cleaning (I think) or maybe he just enjoy contorting his body! In one photo he is barely recognisable as a praying mantis. 

When I went to put him on a tree he wasn't terribly happy to go. After I had encouraged him to get on the plant he stretched out towards me almost like he didn’t want me to go. So I put my hand out again and what do you know he leapt back onto me. I had a new friend! And I found out that praying mantis can jump.

Eventually I had to socialise with humans so found another tree and encouraged him to alight again then wished him a fond farewell.  Feeling uplifted by the experience.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Enjoying this as my desktop background

The wonderful vista looking west from the summit of Takaka hill. 

Yummy recipe

YUM! Thanks Mum :)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sylvie doodle with a dash of Photocandy

Our good friends have a beautiful cat named Sylvie. She has a gorgeous tabby coat with beautiful black eyeliner and the most amazing ear whiskers I've ever seen, they are so long they curl back behind her ears, just one long white whisker in each ear. She's a very sweet and cute cat.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Such a fun night I can't believe it's a year ago already!

That's 3x me playing with pod poi play in the lounge at Jon & Bigi's summer party.  Thanks to Andrew for the photos.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wellington Railway Station

Trusty old Railway Station. Central Wellington.  Such a grand old beauty she is!

Who knows if it's true but it could be :)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Catching up with cousin Tony

Always a good giggle to be had hanging out with Tony, he's a legend. I'm super impressed to snap a pic of him looking normal, this is highly unusual!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Oh that made me jump!

Geez only 4.4 that's tiny, Cantabrian's would scoff at my sensitivity!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Standing on the beach thinking

Standing on the beach thinking

Whangamata beach cropped with a dash of the oil painting filter in photoshop with masking of the people.

Title is an ode to Jane's Addiction as Danny nicely pointed out!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A few reminders of India 8 years ago

What a wonderful adventure generously sprinkled with amazing eye opening moments! Lucky me.

Double exposure exposure!

Just bought Eugene designs double exposure action set. What fun awaits creating and evolving with these new tools. Day one work in progress ...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Funny cause it's true ...

Idiots animation.
So very clever, clean, transfixing and rather amusing.  Great work by BLR

Friday, September 11, 2015

Slim Shady

Two guys on one guitar do a cover of Eminem's The Real Slim Shady
Wow what a great beatbox with an awesome interpretation of the lyrics and all while they seamlessly share a guitar. Such talent and inspiration!  
I couldn't help but move to the beat & have a big smile on my dial. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ligar Bay panorama

Flying headless gull at Ligar Bay
Poor old seagull lost his head flying into the in-camera panorama

Friday, August 28, 2015

White Noise by Seraphine Pick

Cruised down to the Dowse Art Museum for Seraphine Pick's beautifully curated exhibition.  I found the artworks stirred emotions, they are beautiful and so cleverly put together. Below are just a few of the paintings on display although the photos don't do them justice!

Everything old is new again - oil on linen

Torn up Phrases - oil on linen

White Noise - oil on linen

Pocket full of rainbows

Easy living I & II

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Latest artwork on Society 6