Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Road Trip to the Wild West (Part 2)

In the first post (see here), I talked about a trip to see a lighthouse on a cloudy summer day.


Later I met these guys, holding a meeting:





And this bunch:





These two had other fish to fry:





What I am interested in with birds, just as I am with spiders or monkeys, is what they do and why they do it.
~ David Attenborough

Thursday, February 19, 2015

This Country: #3

Last Friday I travelled to Waiheke Island, 40 minutes by ferry from the Auckland CBD, 
to walk the sculpture trail along the headland of the island.

The track was about 2.5 kilometres, and was dotted with 31 sculptures. 
My favourite was the one on the top left; it was made up of a number of thin mirrored 
vertical slabs which created myriads of interesting collages.



It was an EXTREMELY hot day, and a long one - from where I live 
it's a 2 hour drive to Auckland. 
It was also quite crowded, as it was one of the last few days of the 
exhibition - but it was well worth the effort.


Here's a shot across the harbour looking back to the city:


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Thematic Photographic 325 (plus royalty)

Carmi Levy, at Written.Inc, has suggested Rubbery as this week's theme for TP 325

I live near the town which boasts this country's only open-cast mine, so I went to visit two of the giant decommissioned mine vehicles which are on display near the pit.










Both the dump truck and digger have enormous amounts of rubber in their tyres!



When I got home found that two monarchs had emerged from their
chrysalises (there are about 30 still to hatch).

One was under the window-ledge:



And one in a lavender plant:


The first one gradually dried out -


then crawled down into the sunshine -



onto the grass -

and eventually flew away. 


Meanwhile, this bumblebee was enjoying the marigolds:



Manu wasn't terribly excited about the whole business -


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Road Trip to the Wild West

On Wednesday I drove for a couple of hours over to the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand, to an area I'd never been before called the Awhitu Peninsula.
It was a cloudy grey day, warm and muggy, but still a great day out!

One reason for going was to visit the lighthouse at Manukau Heads, where the 
Manukau Harbour opens into the Tasman Sea. I love lighthouses. 

Sadly this one is a replica of the real one, taken from the original drawings and plans.
It's also at a different spot (the old position was too dangerous), 
but the bonus is that you can actually climb up inside, and walk around 
the outside balcony, where the keepers would have walked.






This is looking down at the heads - you can see the beginnings of the notorious Manukau Bar, where many ships and small boats have come to grief; it was the site of our worst maritime disaster in 1863, when HMS Orpheus ran aground on the Manukau Bar and sank with the loss of 189 lives.




Looking the other way, you can see the road in to the lighthouse, with evidence 
of our hot, dry summer:



I enjoyed my day out immensely!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Edible? Yes!

For Thematic Photographic 324*,  Carmi wants us to post for an 'Edible' theme.

Here is the frittata I made for dinner last night. 
It has capsicum, potatoes, red onion, garlic and zucchini in it, and Parmesan on top:



Sorry about the dishbrush which is visible in the picture - the pan was cooling on the benchtop!

Visit Written.Inc for other edibles...


* (I know, I've missed a few. More than a few.)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A very strange game...

Cricket. 

If you weren't born in a country which was once, or is still, part of the British Commonwealth, 
you won't get it. Trust me.



The World Cup is about to be played in Australia and New Zealand - we're sharing the running of the tournament...
We're not going to share winning it, though! It's all ours.

There are about 12 days to go before the teams from 14 countries begin the competition, 
which will take a month to complete.




I love cricket, especially the one-day form of it, which is what these games will be. Mr A was a pretty mean spin bowler in his day - he played Minor County cricket in England, quite a few years ago now, and then played 1st class cricket in Sydney and New Zealand - so he'll be pretty much glued to the television.



For the last few weeks, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have both been visiting for practice games:


We've been doing pretty well.

Did I mention that I love summer?