Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Week 4: Filling the frame

 With colour.
With texture.
With detail.
Nature's clean-up crew
There are so many ways to interpret this week's challenge!
 I tried it first with flowers
and got some interesting results.
 Next up was the furball.
And her beautiful green eyes.
She wasn't the most co-operative subject matter though.
Treats don't work with her.
They used to work well with the hound.
But then that's Labradors for you.
She NEVER minded having her photo taken. 
Recently, just as I was leaving the zoo, I was lucky enough 
to have a close encounter with one of the zoo's resident Moreporks.  
He didn't mind filling the frame for me either.
Reflections have to be one of my favourite ways of filling the frame though.
I love to focus on the reflection itself and to fill the frame with just the reflection.  
It's an abstract style of photography that really appeals.
Ripples in the reflections

Monday, 20 January 2020

Week 3 and we're going 'off the beaten track'

I love exploring.
And I especially love finding new places to ramble.
Despite Auckland being a bustling metropolis we’re blessed to 
have an abundance of green space in and around us.
When considering this week’s challenge I googled where else I could walk in and around the city that 
I hadn’t explored before.  It soon became evident that I walk a lot, and have already explored 
most of the multitude of green space that exists within the circumference of the city that I limit myself to. 
(Fuel costs, time available to walk before work etc.)
So I went back to what’s become one of my favourite haunts since the passing of my Labrador.
She wasn’t allowed in Tahuna Torea as it’s a wildlife reserve.  
Since losing her though, I’ve been able to thoroughly explore and enjoy 
the abundance of trails within the reserve.
Every dark cloud has a silver lining.
 It ticks all the boxes.

An abundance of native bush.
A myriad of bird species.
Fresh and saltwater wetlands.
A sandspit accessible only at low tide.
Certain parts of the beach are also only accessible at low tide unless,
like me, you don’t mind getting your feet wet.
Wet shoes, wet feet, happy heart.
What I particularly love about Tahuna Torea is that it only exists as a reserve due to the efforts of a handful of local residents.  30 odd years ago they founded the Tamaki Estuary Protection Society to prevent the sandspit being turned into a city landfill rubbish site. They’ve worked to restore the area to the natural wetland it once was, and created a wildlife reserve.
It forms part of the Point to Point Walkway so, if you want to extend your walk after exploring all the trails in the reserve, you can continue on to Point England via the Wai-o-taiki nature reserve, or head towards St. Heliers taking in Churchill Park and Glover Park on your way.
It’s rich in Maori history too.  Before European settlement, the spit was valued by local tribes as a vital source of shellfish, fish and birds, and as a strategic stop over for canoes traveling between Manukau and Waitemata Harbours.
I love this little spot.
It’s a tranquil oasis on the edge of a densely built urban and industrial landscape 
but there’s little evidence of human habitation when you walk here.
Spending time here walking, photographing and just ‘watching’ restores balance to a busy world.
 "Happiness lies not in finding what's missing, but in finding what's present." ~ Tara Brach

Monday, 13 January 2020

Week 2: ... and it's all about leaves

Nature's little solar cell.
This week's challenge has given me food for thought.
Never before have I taken quite as much notice of the humble leaf and its abundant proliferation, 
and its ability to be so much for so many. 
Leaves let us breathe!
Leaves are EVERYwhere! 
 AND they're beautiful to boot.
Who knew green had SO many variations in colour.
And that shapes, sizes and textures could be so diverse!
There are even pink leaves.
Leaves feed, provide homes for and protect a myriad of different species
 ... including us.
It was fascinating turning over leaves to see which insects had laid eggs there.
I'm not that clued up on insect eggs though, so couldn't identify any.

Note to self:  Learn a bit about insect eggs.
This is my still life.
A skeleton leaf I found on the beach.
Another one to add to my collection.
The humble little leaf.
really IS a work of art!

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Week 1: Where I stand

 A new blog for a New Year. 
Most apt as we start a new decade 
AND as I start a second decade of living in New Zealand.

This blog is in response to a photo challenge I’ve chosen to participate in. A year long Wildlife and Nature photography challenge.  Those of you who’ve followed my various blogs in the past will be well aware of my penchant for early morning rambles and all things beautiful.  You’ll also be well aware of my predilection for words. 
I love letting a photo tell a story but I also love telling stories myself.

In the words of Mary Oliver
 “Pay attention.  Be astonished.  Tell about it.”
Beautiful view across to the city on a gorgeous summer morning
I’m so blessed to live in this beautiful country where access to beaches and natural spaces is so readily available.  No matter where you live in New Zealand, you’ve never too far from the ocean.  One of my favourite places to be is near water.  Preferably on a beach.  Preferably at low tide.  I’m usually found in the rock pools and mudflats attempting to photograph any feathered or finned creatures I might find. I generally end up getting wet.
 AND muddy.
Looking across to Browns Island from Kohimarama
I choose to walk in the early morning before work, usually just as the sun starts to wake-up, which means at this time of the year that I head out fairly early .... think 5.30ish am. 
Beautiful colours as I head out early morning
It’s never a chore.  I treasure my early morning escapades and the impact they have on my pysche.
Mother Nature IS the very best therapist.
Low tide, reflections and Rangitoto


Sooo, when I started this challenge this year I didn't expect to be playing catch-up quite so frequently. A photo a week isn't onero...