Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Itchy Feet

Spring is coming!
Earlier in the year "The Lads" had to postpone their 31st annual trip into the hills due to the earthquake. The earth is slowly but surely settling down and it's time to start thinking of the hills again. Permission has been granted.
The annual trip will be in November, heading into the Rangitata and Arrowsmiths region. One of our nightly refuges is attached here - a place of inevitable merriment at the end of the day!
At the beginning of December I will head off to Mt Cook in the campervan. The Ranunculus lyallii (Mt Cook lily) should be in full bloom up the Hooker Valley - and Sefton biv, Mueller hut, and Mt Wakefield all beckon me enthusiastically.
I'm counting down the days already.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Moving...........moving on!!

Several weeks ago, Chris and I drove over to the West Coast to the LTWS in Hokitika. A great long weekend and a good break from the events in Christchurch.
Movement - these 4 images illustrate it - water, clouds, time.... - but that is not the movement I have in mind this week.
The earth continues to move (we have had enough), the snow falls and moves off the roof, demolishing our spouting, to land in a heap on our front doorstep (what have we done to deserve this?), last Tuesday Chris's Mum is moved with urgency into a full dementia care unit ( a sad day for a wonderful lady), and today she moves on in that inevitable shuffle towards the grave by having a significant TIA ( a further sad moment in the movement of life).
Ho hum!! She was sleeping peacefully when we left her tonight. Sleep deep Eileen. You deserve it.

The movement in the image is the water escaping Lake Kaniere via the outlet.

Dorothy Falls on the Lake Kaniere Road

Sunrise at the Totara River lagoon near Ross, Westland.

Looking north from Greymouth up the West coast towards Punakaiki on a moody evening.

Monday, August 22, 2011

TPE and the Seventh Wave

What is TPE I hear you ask?

The Photographer's Ephemeris.

And what is Ephemeris?

The Oxford Dictionary describes Ephemera as '..things of only short lived use'.

Google TPE and download the software (free) - it's great.

To cut a long story short, it comes up with google maps, click on the the spot you are interested in, then go to the date, and wham - it tells you sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset - times and direction. Great.
So what? Well, according to TPE, last Saturday morning the sun was predicted to rise at 0717 dead off the end of the New Brighton Pier.

And indeed it did - bang on! Three of us were down there in the chilly pre-dawn with our woollies and gumboots on snapping away to our hearts content. Here are a few of my results from the exercise.

And what about that seventh wave?

They always say every seventh wave is a bigger one. Right towards the end of the shoot we were caught out - didn't see it coming at all. Good thing I was holding onto the tripod. Wet up to the crutch and gumboots full of water. Bugger! Got the images though.

It was time for a hearty breakfast - but are there any cafes open over the east (and munted) side of town at 0800 on a Saturday morning? No. But we did find a great wee truckers cafe in Woolston with super cheap prices and a huge mug of coffee too.

All in all, a great morning - and excellent company too.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Best Laid Plans..............

"Hi Katie, my diary tells me you are staying tomorrow night, en route to LA.
Seen the weather forecast? Got a Plan B in mind?"
"Yes Little Brother, I'm coming tomorrow. The weather is great here (Waikawa Bay) - no problem. Gonna drive the wee Mazda down"
"You might want to think about that plan Katie. Call first thing in the morning before you leave"
"Hey Johnny, doesn't sound too good this morning eh. Might have to get Hans to drive me down in the 4WD"
"Katie, SH1 is now closed between Kaikoura and Waipara, so driving is now out of the question"
"But Little Brother, it is still beautiful weather here - what's the problem?"
"Mmmm, thought about Plan C yet?"
(An hour later) "Have booked on the train Johnny - it's running again for the first time today. Arrives at 1835. Can you pick me up and take me direct to the airport. I'll stay there the night rather than risk it at sparrowfart in the morning"
"Ok, no problem Katie"
And so she arrived at 1842, only 7 minutes late - and that was due to the Tranz Alpine train being late. So straight to the airport we drove - carefully in the blizzard conditions.
(This morning - early) "Oh Johnny the airport is closed and my plane can't get in. They have rebooked me for tomorrow morning but I have to be there by 0400. I think I'd rather stay here just in case something comes up"
"OK Katie, hang in there"
And so she does - the waiting continues. It is likely to be a long night. There is more snow predicted for tonight. Hopefully she will begin her journey to LA and not need a Plan D!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Distractions - again!

Three weeks to the day it falls again - this white stuff! Only this time it is deeper and more widespread - right up to Auckland. And the weather forecast predicts more to come for a few days.

Chris is home from school - I could get used to this! Roll on retirement for both of us. But we will fill up the time just as quickly as I did a few years ago!

Exhibitions and talks loom on the horizon so it is perfect weather to sit snug in the study and peck away here in preparations for them, and not feel guilty and want to be outside doing things!

When I feel the need for change, I head out to the workshop to continue the framing, but not before dressing up pretty much as we did up in the High Arctic not so long ago.

In theory spring is only a few weeks away - yeah right!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Stairway to Heaven

I couldn't leave the last post this morning about Lyttelton without an image of the stairs - which of course was what we all went there for the first place!
Heaven - is there such a place? Nirvana perhaps? Or just being a good person whilst we are here with our feet planted firmly on terra firma (in so much as the earthquakes will let us). Whatever - the road - or stairway, on our quest for whatever we want - is never easy as this image depicts.
Hang on tight and tread carefully and purposefully.

Darth Vader in Port?

Amazing what you see when you get your ageing body into some funny positions!!
A week or so ago, I accompanied the Cofishots girls through the tunnel to Lyttelton. The aim of the morning was 'Stairs' which we did, but Lyttelton has so much more to offer - it is my favourite place to spend a few hours with my gear. "Let's go to the haul-out area" they cried. Not being a boatie, I'd never been there - and it was here I met up with Darth Vader. It may not have been Darth Vader - I'm not into science fiction, so it could have been a relative! The others too found some awesome well composed subjects on the various hulls up on their boat frames.
I will be back here to discover more. Lyttelton always beckons, and it is not far away to go with little warning......... and there's a few good cafes enroute!
There never seems to be sufficient time!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ginger Art

Those close to me know of my love for good coffee and anything ginger!
And so it is that quite regularly Chris and I head for Little River ~50kms away on Banks Peninsula, to see the latest art exhibition at the Little River Gallery, where, by chance, their cafe has ginger slice to die for - and their coffee is not too bad either. The gallery shop is a magnet to Chris and also Arna, our granddaughter.
The trip home invariably requires a detour to Birdling's Flat to observe the waves and savour the sea air and sense of isolation before returning to our rumbly city.
And then there is ginger chicken!!
And ginger in the porridge!!

Roll on the next school holidays - and exhibition.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Bevy of Bedfords

Ah, I'm slowly catching up - but to what? Will blame the school holidays, but that is no excuse.
Some of you will know I have a passion for photographing old vehicles, especially old trucks. The more rust, lichen and weathering the better. If you know of any tucked away, please do let me know.
I went out to Leeston two weeks ago with two photographer friends and we spent a few hours lost in the world of yesteryear. Of the 163 images captured that afternoon, this was almost the last of the day just before sunset. So much scope - I will be back there!!
My passion for things old knows no bounds - old vehicles, old gravestones, old buildings, old people. Good grief, what does this say about me I wonder. Careful, I may be able to hear you!!

More anon.