Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Favourite Things

My favorite color of car is yellow
My favorite color of shirt is white
My favorite color of pants is black
My favorite smell is espresso coffee

My favorite flower is freesia
My favorite time is dusk
My favorite small city is Santa Margharita
My favorite big city is Milan, or maybe San Francisco, or Barcelona, or Melbourne (in the summer)

My favorite sport is tennis
My favorite hobby is reading
My favorite thing to do is listen to music
My favorite month is March, or maybe November
My favorite past time is travelling

I pilfered this from Rick's blog at Life 101

It was fun to read his list, and fun to make one of my own.
What are some of your favorite things?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Best Poems Ever

Photographs of Pioneer Women

You can see from their faces
Life was not funny,
The streets, when there were streets,
Tugging at axles,
The settlement ramshackle as a stack of cards.
And where there were no streets, and no houses,
Save their own roof of calico or thatch,
The cows coming morning and afternoon
From the end-of-world swamp,
Udders cemented with mud.

There is nothing to equal pioneering labour
For wrenching a woman out of shape,
Like an old willow, uprooted, thickening.
See their strong arms, their shoulders broadened
By the rhythmical swing of the axe, or humped
Under loads they donkeyed on their backs.
Some of them found time to be photographed,
With bearded husband, and twelve or thirteen children,
Looking shocked, but relentless,
After first starching the frills in their caps.

Ruth Dallas

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thematic Photographic 151: Rough

There had been a 3-day easterly storm , and there were driftwood logs and debris thrown up 
all along our beach.
These kids were enjoying playing amongst the flotsam:

 See other "Rough" entries here.

 I've had a rough day at school today - but I won't mention that....

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sunday Snapshot 5

During my day on the Ligurian coast of Italy, I took another of my "class photos", of which 
I'm starting to have quite a collection.
These little guys were having a lovely time in Vernazza, sitting in the sun and enjoying their gelati.

I wish I was back there now!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A day on the Italian Riviera....

As I may perhaps have mentioned (!) I spent the last 2 weeks of April and the 1st week of May in Italy. 
One of the highlights was a day spent hopping along the villages of the Cinque Terre, on the Ligurian coast, by ferry boat. 

 The day was beautifully sunny, not too hot, a little breezy. And as it was early in the season, not too crowded!
 Early in the morning we caught the boat at the old naval station city of 
La Spezia

not long afterwards, we rounded a cape to stop briefly to change ferries at Porto Venere

Thirty minutes later we were at the first of the Five Villages, Riomaggiore

From there we had the option of getting back on a ferry to the next village, Manarola, or walking along the cliff path to meet the boat there, which I did

  It was a very easy walk and left us some time before catching the ferry to the village, Vernazza 
(the prettiest according to our guide).

Three hours at the last village, Monterosso, meant plenty of time for a leisurely lunch and 
lots of exploring
Finally we got one of the frequent trains to our destination for the next 3 days, Santa Margherita, one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. But that's another post.... 

Please click on photos to enlarge

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sunday Snapshot 4

Two days to go until the shortest day!

our beach, June 21st (midwinter day) 2010
(click to enlarge)

"In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, 
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;"
~ Christina Rossetti

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thematic Photographic 150: Signs

Signs that make you wonder...
I'm coming in on the tail end of this one - it's been a busy week.  I've enjoyed reading other people's strange signs, though. here are some New Zealand signs which have made me wonder....

Little Blue Penguins are endangered,
so please don't run over them when they're
silly enough to cross the road!

Depth of.... what, exactly?
Yes, they are.
The Main highway through the middle
of the North Island runs through a desert,
several volcanoes - and an Army camp
Kiwis are also endangered. I dislike that there are
bullet marks on this sign.
You may need a translation of NZ slang where this one's concerned
For more entertaining signs, go to Carmi's Written Inc.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sunday Snapshot 3

This Māori warrior stands beside the walkway around the pit rim of the open-cast 
goldmine in the small town of Waihi, New Zealand.
I like the calm strength which his sculptor has depicted in his face and limbs.

Please click to enlarge

Sunday, June 5, 2011

An unexpected beauty

 "Look closely. The beautiful may be small."   ~ Immanuel Kant

This morning I came across an article about lichens in the excellent New Zealand Geographic magazine, which included this beautiful 1904 lithograph (Ernst Haeckel Artforms of Nature )

As I am always intrigued and attracted by small and intricate objects, the picture 
sent me to the net, and on a site called The Hidden Forest I found some 
exquisite photos of New Zealand lichens:

Baeomyces heteromorphus, 12mm high; found on exposed soil and road cuttings

Chrysothrix candelaris, 100mm; found on trees and often mistaken for paint!
Cladina confusa, 90mm; found on disturbed ground

Cladonia pityrea, 50mm
Usnea pusilla, 40mm
Placopsis gelida, 40mm in diameter; found on river stones
Cladia retipora, 70mm
Xanthoria parietina, 15mm in diameter; growing on a plum tree
These and so many others - so delicate, so lovely. Red, white, black, green, orange - every shade except blue, and all kinds of different shapes and forms. They made my day!

"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole
life would change"  ~  Buddha

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sunday Snapshot 2

(click to see more detail)

This year during my 3 weeks in Italy, I often found myself in museums 
and such places with masses of school groups. 
(It was the same last year in Greece and Turkey; April/May must be 
a favourite time to acquire culture).

One of our guides always said, "Here come the Barbarians!" 
Often she was right....
They ranged in age from elementary to late teens, and they came from all over 
Western Europe and also from the USA.

I took this photo in the Museum of Naples (Napoli). I just love 
their absorbed, riveted interest.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The first day of winter

Yesterday was the 1st of June - the first day, officially, of our Southern hemisphere winter. 
I had a "personal day" away from school; it was a perfect clear blue-sky day, and I took my 
camera along on a bit of a road trip.

It was very low tide at the inlet where I stopped for a late lunch

boats waited in line for the tide to come in


I stopped near a small bridge. There was colour at the side of the road

and in the sunlight through the trees

but the trees by the river know what season it is

At my final stop the tide was starting to come in, and keen fishermen 
were putting their boats into the water

a shag watched the activity

until I came too close

by now the light was getting low; time for me to head home.

"Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many 
days in the year as you make use of."  ~ Charles Richards