The Sound of an 18-string Guitar!

Here is a video clip that I discovered last week.

 

 

A talented musician – sitting in a picturesque forested area – playing this beautiful sounding 18-string guitar, and the song is an old classic from Simon and Garfunkel, “The Sound of Silence.”

Click here to watch and listen.

 

 

 

 

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Preserved in Snow

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Warm spells in winter

Cause icy snow to retreat;

Surprises revealed!

 

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Last week, for about a day and a half, the temperatures in our area moved up high enough that a good deal of the layers of snow and ice melted down.  As I was walking along the pathway toward the front door of our house on that warm afternoon, I noticed this still greenish oak leaf lightly embraced by retreating snow – but not withered and dry.  Still somewhat soft and pliable due to the preserving affect of the ice and snowy layers during the cold period.

 

 

 

 

Seven in Black and White

A different kind of photography assignment this time.

No people.  Just objects or views or animals.

I randomly picked seven that seemed intriguing.

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1) There was some car trouble en route with one of the cars, so we had to stop along the roadside to check things out.  While the mechanically inclined looked under the hood, I did some looking around and was immediately drawn to this line of a tall “wall” of trees in the Wairau Valley, South Island, New Zealand.

 

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2) I was enthralled with watching all the water fowl, hanging out at a huge pond, nearby an historic N.Z. building….geese and ducklings….and even a rooster, too!  It had rained for a while, and this goose was taking sips of water as she walked alongside this curb.

 

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3) There was a flock of seagulls around the picnic area at the Pancake Rocks in the South Island, New Zealand.  I followed a couple of them around with my camera in hand, always hoping for good close-ups and also in-mid-flight moments.

 

Seagull in N.Z. from DCIM, Nov. 2017

 

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4) One from the archives of my current drumkit.

 

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5) We’ve had some snow already in November, but it has melted away again each time.  On Dec. 1st, I happened to see this lake with a thin layer of ice as far as I could see – large chunks of this thin ice lying on the water’s surface – with ice shards accumulated at the shore.

 

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6) Also from the archives….from last winter.  I had gone out one night to capture images of icicles in the front yard, illuminated by the house light.

 

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7) My latest hand drum, an African djembe, newly strung with goatskin on top, and I especially like the carvings in the drum’s body.

 

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A Duckling’s Curiosity

Baby duckling near the Stone House, Nov. 15, 2017

 

With Mama Duck near,

Duckling is curious and

Comes to check me out.

 

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Such a cutie!!

This little duckling….foraging for food and sipping water in the puddles, along with its sibling and mama duck.

At one point it saw me with my camera and decided to come on over to say hi.

MADE MY DAY!! Hahaha! Wish I’d had something to feed it.

Ah well. I said hi.

There were some other water fowl in this nature reserve, which is a park area with a good-sized pond and being part of the grounds of an old historic building – called The Stone House – in this part of New Zealand.

 

 

 

The Weka – one of New Zealand’s flightless bird species

Weka at Tauranga Bay seal colony area, Nov. 11, 2017

 

Curious weka!

Busily foraging and

Unperturbed by me.

 

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The weka!

This pretty, brown mottled and modest bird.

Roaming freely….in this area of native flora and man-made walkways that leads visitors to the look-out points to observe the seals of this seal colony at Tauranga Bay.

I was looking at the information plaque regarding the penguins and other animals living in this ecosystem, when I suddenly realized that there was this friendly feathered friend walking about. Before it disappeared again into some brush. Saw it again later on the walk back to the car. It seems quite comfortable having people coming through.

My first time seeing one…..especially in its natural habitat! COOL!!  🙂

 

 

A Study in Lines and Colours

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While waiting for our luggage to arrive on the conveyor belts of the baggage claim area following our domestic flight back to Auckland, since it was still early in the morning, all these carts stood there in silent readiness for the day’s “work.”

I was enthralled with the effect of the lines and colours all these neatly arranged carts created.

🙂

 

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A slightly different effect from a slightly different perspective….

 

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From above and slightly off the side (above)….

 

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…to straight on and down the middle of the bars (below).

 

 

An unfolding Circle

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Long green curled-up arm,

Rounded green fingers clasping

Little brown circles.

 

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This is the curled up tip of a large/giant fern, which is the approximate size of your fist.

I have been seeing many of these on my visit to New Zealand again, this being my first time to go in their spring time.

Every time I look at these “heads,” I am constantly amazed at the intricate detail of the fern leaves that will grow to their much larger size as the stem uncurls over time. They all look like wondrous works of art – with tiny nautilus shapes!

SO COOL!!

A friend asked me, as he was wondering, whether these unfurled fern heads are edible, similar to the MUCH smaller fiddleheads that are harvested in parts of Canada during our spring time and are considered a tasty dish.  My kiwi friend explained that yes indeed, these giant-sized fernheads can be steamed and eaten.

And here they are called pungers, which sounds like “pungas.”

 

Wait…what? Look closer…

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So….my first reaction was….Spelling Mistake!!  🙂

I noticed this sign in passing a couple of times out along on Wolf Grove Road…..and always uppermost my thought was why would someone create such a visible sign with such a glaring error?

Well, finally, last Wednesday, as I was coming towards home, I saw – and this time REALLY took notice – of this sign. I decided to stop and look at it more closely. Driving by I tended to only REALLY read the “Erace Violence” part.

As you can see now up close, perhaps there’s more than initially meets the eye?

Hmm….the Middleville Museum hosted this event….on Sept. 10th, and it was the 13th when I stood in front of it.  Aside from that though, you can see what looks like various forms of…..racing?  Walking, running, and biking.  Aha!  My mind registers now….perhaps not so much a mistake but as a way to add double meaning to the word ERACE ie. ERASE.  The object is to raise awareness about violence and erasing it and using a RACING event to get people involved in a positive way.

I’m going with that last interpretation.  🙂

 

 

Six Word Story #17

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Boldly colourful painting welcomes store visitors.

 

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Outside of a quick, casual glance at the ground as I hurried into the store yesterday – it was raining at the time! – I didn’t pay THAT close attention to the painting.

However, as I was leaving the store with my two purchases from The Granary, which sells bulk items and vitamins and various natural soaps among other things, I couldn’t help but then properly notice the pretty sidewalk painting at my feet.

Naturally, I had to go back inside.  I paid my compliments to Christa who was then working in the store.  She told me it was another employee, Jane, who had done that painting, as well as all the other like creatively drawn smaller signs dotted in and around the store.  I asked her to please pass along my compliments to her for such a beautiful and cheerful greeting!

 

 

 

A high-flying sunset

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Mesmerizing sight;

From the wing of an airplane,

Just as beautiful!

 

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A couple of photos that I re-discovered from July of 2007 on a flight from Blenheim to Auckland on the first stretch of my journey back home from New Zealand to Canada.

In a small propeller plane where every passenger has a window seat – a single row of 10 seats on both sides of the plane’s cabin – I felt lucky that I had one of them facing west where I could watch this unexpected and breath-taking view.

I have seen sunsets over oceans and lakes and over hills and valleys.  A sunset with its burst of orange colour and accompanied by fluffy clouds is pretty wherever you see them.

 

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So spectacular in design….and one feels embraced in warmth.

 

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I had zoomed in a little more with my camera to see what lay beyond those clouds, and it looks like a whole other kind of world over there.