Monthly Archives: May 2013

Views from our two back doors

Celi over here has recently invited her sizeable readership to post photos of the view from their back porches or back doors.

We have two back doors, although one technically is a side door. It is the one that we use all the time to access the back part of the section.
This is a view from this door.

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The other door, the official back door, is very rarely used and looks out on to some pots and my collection of tubs in which I grow a few vegetables and a peep through some deck railings to our Golden Elm tree and Cabbage tree.
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Do go and look at the many and varied views that Celi has collated on her blog. It has proved to be a colourful challenge that many have met with their stunning photos.

Light and shadow

Both light and shadow are the
dance of love.

-Rumi

I have been playing with light more as I go about with my camera and realising that a slightly different angle on an adjacent object can offer up very different results.

Wherever there is light there is also shadow and in these two photos taken last week in warmer autumn sunshine I was surprised to see that a subtle shift of the camera gave me a very different picture with the shadows defined as strongly as the light.

Here is the first photo I made as I enjoyed the light on this highly patterned ice plant.
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And then the subtle shift to this. I love the strong shadows and the quote from Rumi above seemed apt for this revelation.
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Moon lights on the Magnolia

The full moon was beaming down last night as I let Jazz outside into the clear, chilly conditions. Jazz is rather partial to the full moon and its dramatic light. Perhaps all cats are.

My eye was caught by pretty lights on the Magnolia tree. The green, glossy leaves of the white, tulip flowered Magnolia were catching the moonbeams and “decorating” the tree in splashes of white shininess as if someone had strung fairy lights through the tree.

My point and shoot is not a great camera to use in the darkness but you may be able to make out the lights. The effect in real time was bright and beautiful.
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Watching eyes

Earlier in the week I sat in an empty house waiting for a tradesman to come and repair an appliance. The householders had to be at work and this repair was essential The arrival time of the repairer spanned about an hour.

While I waited I took some photos in the garden and watched the light change in a house built with walls made of wood. They are called “Lockwood” homes here and the light certainly plays on and off the walls in a very different manner to the walls here at home.

As I drank my cup of tea I looked more closely at the walls and noticed all these “eyes” watching me….
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Two sides of the same tree

I am playing around with the point and shoot camera a lot at the moment and on this gloomy day earlier in the week I visited the stand of Flowering Cherry Trees which were in various stages of autumn decline.

A few trees were still displaying vibrant and colourful leaves.
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The light was rather cold on this day but here is a photo looking into the light.
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And this shot, with the light behind me is looking at the other side of the tree.
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The differences were surprising and pleasing to me and my growing curiosity with photography.

Magical Monday Afternoon

My suspicions were that we had a Bellbird back in the neighbourhood. The Bellbird or Korimako (such a beautiful Maori name for this bird) has the most delightful song but the clever Tuis can mimic it so a sighting is the only real proof.

Captain Cook, who led explorations to New Zealand, described the song of the Bellbird as sounding “like small bells exquisitely tuned.”

I noted a Bellbird visitor back in February and March 2012 on my blog.

Proof perfect happened yesterday as I got out of my car and heard the most beautiful song coming from the Silver Birch tree above me. Sure enough there was a male Bellbird, olive green but with glimpses of black and iridescent shaded feathers, singing to me before he flew off rapidly across the road to a large Bottle brush tree. As a nectar feeder that tree will be providing good food right now.

Later in the afternoon I sat at an upstairs window and watched him chase and catch an insect and then bully two starlings from another tree. A tree large enough for all three birds with space to spare! He is smaller than a starling too but that was not of any importance it would seem.

Do I have a photo of this very welcome visitor? No, but I will work on that. They are extremely well camouflaged birds and quick in their movements.

In the meantime here is a photo of a Bellbird
bellbird source doc.govt.nz
source doc.govt.nz

and here is website to give you a lot more information about yet another of our wonderful native birds who are returning to our suburbs in increasing numbers.