Sunset in January

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Walking in snowshoes,

Through the quiet woods in back;

Just crispy snow sounds.

 

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Sunset at 5 p.m.  Last Wednesday.  My son, Stephen, and I went for a little snowshoe walkabout in our back woods, both of us with our 35 mm cameras in hand. For some snowshoeing fun…..for some creative photography fun…..for some fresh air…..it was a nicer temperature….the snow was still fluffy in parts, crispy in others…and white! 🙂

And as we were making our way back towards the front yard, both of us went crazy on capturing the sunset. This photo I particularly like, because of the equally colourful and layered sunset reflected in the van’s windows (as was painted in the sky). 

Yep. Did that on purpose! Haha!

 

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A few more photos from that walk:

 

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When I look at this birdhouse, there’s always the thought that at any moment a tiny bird will pop its head out to peek at me!

 

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In this one it looks as if there’s an antler coming out of its head.

So, can you see the white dog face in this image? Gazing off to the right….the two eyes and the nose….?

 

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Stephen walking up the hill….

 

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And beside where we were snowshoeing, in a few places we saw some animal tracks.  Here, some deer had passed through…..and also someone’s canine friend?

 

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And…..here I snuck one in, peeking over Stephen’s shoulder as HE was taking a photo!  🙂

 

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A Happy and Healthy Christmas to you, my Friends!

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Inspired by a friend’s idea, I’m sending you a reflected wave with a festive backdrop and in the spirit of the season.

Merry Christmas!

And a Magical and Exciting 2018!

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And nature has been generous with sending lots of the white ‘n fluffy stuff over the past few days.  I took this photo today of the blue spruce in our back yard – it’s roughly 25+ years old – that we planted when we first moved here.

 

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Tall and majestic,

Richly adorned in white snow –

Winter Sentinel

 

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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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“Circles”

This time the photography assignment theme is “Circles.”  Having just returned home from my trip to New Zealand, I decided to still squeeze in four submissions before the deadline last night.

The first photo for this assignment will be familiar to those of you who saw my post – here from November 13, 2017, entitled “The Unfolding Circle.”

 

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Circles #1 – (just over a week ago).
The circular, nautilus-resembling unfurling branches of a large or giant fern (as grows abundantly in New Zealand) – the size of it when it is still tightly curled up, such as this one, is approximately the size of your fist. SO COOL!!

 

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Circles #2 – Nov. 21, 2017 – The back sides of five pieces of New Zealand currency. My online research from the following link gave me additional information regarding the pressed images:

Left to right, top to bottom:

$2 coin – The kotuku (white heron), flying right. The kotuku is one of New Zealand’s rarest birds and is held in particularly high regard in Maori mythology.

$1 coin – The kiwi bird

10 cent coin – A Maori carved head or koruru under the figure “10” with Maori rafter patterns.

20 cent coin – Representation of a well-known Maori “pukaki” carving.

50 cent coin – The barque Endeavour, commanded by Captain Cook, sailing south, with Mt. Taranaki (Egmont) in the distance under the figure “50”.

 

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Circles #3 – Late last night – taken facing straight down onto the game board of Settlers of Catan – a HUGE family favourite game of ours! – showing circular numbered tokens in the various fields as well as the top of the grey figurine (standing in the forest here) known as “the robber.”

 

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Circles #4 – Late last night – The shape of a much-loved, colourful hacky sack – tightly crocheted (I think) – as well as the bright yellow in the middle of the pattern.

 

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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!!  🙂

 

 

Waves at Tauranga Bay

 

Crashing waves in Tauranga Bay, Nov. 11th, 2017

 

Rhythmic sound of waves,

Continuously growing;

then crashing on shore.

 

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The mighty, foaming waves crashing in at Tauranga Bay!!

Such an awesome sight!! ^_^

And the roaring sound!!

I stood there….watching….feeling mesmerized by the beauty and majesty of the ocean in its endless dance.

 

 

 

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.  🙂