Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Friday haiku

 I love the work of Japanese poets, especially Ikkyu

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Five things I can totally live without

1. Sir(!) Cliff Richard
 Seriously. Is this not just one of those margarine carvings? 
AND: 'Summer Holiday' has to be the second-worst song of all time. *

2. Winter
I did a Google image search for winter pictures. Yep, there they all were - snowy, pretty, chocolate-boxy-Christmas-cardy pics of snow. And ice. And snow and ice.
Well, we don't have winters like that where I live. We have dankness,
cold, darkness, rain, wind - with the occasional crisp frost followed
by a sunny yet bitingly-cold day.
Winter makes me miserable and depressed; that's why I chose the illustration above. Ban Winter, I say!

3. Flies
I know, I know - they do a useful job of getting rid of
decomposing stuff etc etc.
I don't need them in my house, or anywhere in my vicinity. Thank you.

4. Unnecessary packaging

Need I say more?

5. Vileness
Who taught him to do this, I wonder?

* The position of first-worst is still open... suggestions are welcome

Thursday, March 24, 2011

An amazing bird

I had planned to get out and take some autumn pictures today, but it's been raining on and off all day. So here's a little dissertation on one of my favourite birds, the gorgeous kakapo (kah-kah-po). Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide...) described it as  
"a sort of big, fat, soft, fluffy, lugubrious bird."

There are 6 billion people on earth, but there are only 120 kakapo. Strigops habroptila is native to New Zealand, and is one of the rarest parrots in the world. It's flightless, it's nocturnal; it's the world's heaviest parrot.

It's possibly the longest living bird, and it has a subsonic mating boom that can travel several kilometres.

By 1995 there were only 50 known birds, surviving on several small island sanctuaries. Even today there are so few birds that each is named individually.Thanks to a campaign by the Department of Conservation and the work of dedicated people, the species has been brought back from the brink.
As you can see, they're herbivorous:

You can read about the recovery programme here.

 Richard Henry was the ‘elder statesman’ of the kakapo population,
and a lynchpin to the future of the species.

He was discovered in Fiordland in 1975, living more than 3500 feet above sea level, and was managed on islands for the remainder of his life. He  was thought to be around 80 years old when he died in December 2010. He had a crucial role to play in ensuring genetic diversity in the population. and his sons Sinbad and Gulliver have been important in fathering a number of birds who now make up the current
young adult population.

Douglas Adams again: the kakapo is "affectionate as a dog, playful as a kitten. It can inflate itself with air to become the size and shape of a football; it has a song like an unreleased collection of Pink Floyd studio out-takes; it smells like a musty clarinet case. The kakapo has had things its own way for so long, that it simply became -- eccentric."

I have never been lucky enough to see one of these fabulous
creatures, but I am determined to do so one day.


Monday, March 21, 2011


Thematic Photographic's theme this time is "Transitions". You can see some great takes on this theme here.

Here are some transitions that have meant a lot to me.

This is my daughter and son-in-law, after their beach wedding in Rarotonga

My grandson:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Rainy Monday

Here are some spring pictures for my northern-hemisphere friends. We won't see tulips here until October :(

Botanical Gardens,Wellington, New Zealand.

Have a sunny day where you are!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Haiku for my Japanese friend

I send this lovely haiku by the scandalous poet Ikkyu
to you
with my heart

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thematic Photographic 137: Late

Late in the evening....

The low light of the setting sun reflects off St James' Anglican church in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

And from the Kemp Mission House, the oldest surviving European building in this young country

I love the warm glow of the walls of the Old Stone Store:

Down by the water, it's getting darker

Dusk - my favourite time of day.

Go here for more posts on this Theme.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lifting the gloom

I don't usually post family photos, but these make me happy. My granddaughter turned 2 last weekend.

This was the cake:

Here she is having the first taste:

Yum, tastes good:


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pushing it uphill


This is me at the moment - I feel just like Sisyphus the ancient king.

It seems I am just pushing uphill a huge weight of duties, responsibilities, exhaustion, 
family stuff, work and stress.
And the worst is, I just know that if I EVER manage to shift it just a little way, 
it's just going to roll right back down on top of me.

Be back in a while, I hope.....