Friday, 22 May 2020

Week 20: Advocacy

Occasionally on my day off I head down to Westhaven Marina early morning to watch
the sun rise over the city, and walk the empty streets before the
hustle and bustle of the morning commute begins.
On one of these mornings last year, as I walked around the small craft harbour in the viaduct,
a small flock of seagulls were dementedly dive-bombing something in the water.
Curiosity picqued, I headed over to see what they’d found.
They scattered on my arrival and, at first,
I couldn’t see anything to indicate a cause for their distress. 
There were ripples in the water but nothing obvious.
Then I saw her.
Owha the Leopard Seal.
I'd heard she’d been spotted at Westhaven Marina but had never expected
to find her quite so up close and personal  in the small craft harbour.
She was up to her usual tricks.
Dismantling and demolishing the polystyrene fenders from the moorings.
Somehow she manages to work the polystyrene out of it’s plastic casing and then it’s
game on as she systematically destroys the polystyrene. Marina management
have to wait for her to move on before they can clean up the debris she leaves behind.
I’d never seen a Leopard Seal up close before and was shocked at how large she is - and how powerful.
I understand now why she’s classified as an apex predator.
I contacted Leopard Seals NZ as I’d seen posts on Facebook asking
people to contact them if they had sightings of Ohwa.
They were delighted to have my photographs as they’re trying to keep track of her
movements and also educate the public and boaties about her behaviour.
Boaties understandably aren’t happy about the destruction she causes in and
around the marina so Leopard Seals NZ are trying to come up with solutions.
Enrichment objects such as toys are being considered, in order to minimise her affinity
for dinghies and fenders. Records of damage are being kept and also
records of Owha’s general use of the marina.
It’s hoped that all these activities will help in some way to create a harmonious co-existence
between the people who use the marina and Leopard Seals like Owha.
"In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous." 
~ Aristotle

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Week 19: Personality

So many options.
From grumpy fantails, because I’ve interrupted their ablutions,
to water-logged Sparrows savouring the delights of the birdbath
to laid-back goats who climb fences to eat those out-of-reach leaves

I could go on and on and on.
But the words in this week’s challenge gave me pause for thought.
How do you show the personality of an inanimate object?
So I went out and photographed what’s been catching my attention over the last few weeks.
Autumn leaves, and their last hoorah before winter sets in.
I tried to see their soul.
If a leaf has a soul, that is.
Trees speak to our souls.
With their deep roots they carry significant grounding energy.
We naturally feel at peace when we walk amongst them.
So why shouldn’t the leaves they produce speak to us too?
I’ve photographed leaves turned gold by the cooler weather.
Leaves holding on as they wait for their time to fall.
Red leaves.
Green leaves.
Withered, dry, brown leaves.
All beautiful.
All wonderful.
Every leaf showcasing it’s glorious autumn plumage.
I don’t see death.
I see life.
I see possibilities.
I see hope.
“The idea behind a kaleidoscope is that it’s a structure filled with broken bits and pieces
and, that if you can somehow look through them, you’ll still see something beautiful.”
~ Sara Bareilles

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Week 18: Symmetry

As a pattern seeking individual, symmetry has always fascinated me.
Regular repeating patterns are pleasing, well-proportioned and balanced
They're an important geometrical concept often seen in nature
and used in just about every aspect of our lives..
They invite further inspection and, particularly in nature,
make something simple look incredibly attractive.
Whilst reading up on symmetry and how far-reaching it is, I discovered so many interesting things.
Sunflowers for example.
They have radial symmetry and an interesting type of numerical symmetry too,
known as the Fibonacci sequence.  Mathematicians will know what this is.
If we took the time to count the number of seed spirals in a sunflower,
we’d find it adds up to a Fibonacci number.
Apparently the same can be said for pine cones, pineapples and artichokes.
Owls are one of the few creatures that are not bilaterally symmetrical.
Nonsense you might say.  Everything about an owl is symmetrical.
But you’d be wrong.
Whilst an owl might appear to be symmetrical,  it’s hearing isn’t.
One ear is higher than the other so that sound can be channeled differently to each ear.
And the reason for this?
It allows owls to locate the source of a sound in three-dimensional space.
A fascinating, but irrelevant to this week’s challenge, fact.
This photo's from the archives.
Peacocks are relevant to this weeks challenge however as they take symmetry to the next level.
I also actively seek out reflections and, sometimes without choosing to,
see them everywhere, even in puddles. Symmetry in another form.
Again, it’s the balance, the harmonious cohesion and the lines that appeal.
The mathematics behind symmetry permeates everything around us.
Without realising it we’re all drawn to it in one way or another.
Mathematics is the science of patterns,
and nature exploits just about every pattern that there is.”
~ Ian Stewart.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Week 17: Dark and Moody

A different point of view.

And not my more usual slant in photography
but enjoyable none-the-less.

Foggy mornings always create atmosphere.

Thunderstorms, especially when I've been fortunate to be on the beach 
after a yacht's been washed ashore overnight.

Night time lights in a cloud-filled sky.
and this week's moody early morning sunrise.
So much fun trying to create a dark and moody image in camera.
I used the camera's historgram to photograph the mushrooms.

It was an interesting experiment and the histogram changed 
depending on which direction I was shooting in.

Finding the BEAUTIFUL in the ordinary. 


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...