Monthly Archives: May 2013

Monday musings

I needed this sentence from a blog post I read this morning:

“Just because you are following a different path doesn’t mean you are lost!”

http://aphotographicsage.blogspot.co.nz/
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It reminded me how powerful some thought patterns can be and to release the impulse to judge and control.

Tui Tucker

commons.wikimedia.org

commons.wikimedia.org

Part of the successful resurgence in the Tui population can be attributed to their preparedness to eat food that is not part of the native smorgasbord on offer.
At the moment a neighbour’s spreading Protea tree (Proteas are South African natives but which can grow very well in New Zealand) is a fine dining table for the Tuis.
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The flowers begin as cones.
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Once open they are very fluffy looking inside
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And each part of the flower has a slightly fluffy quality to it.
I have been watching the Tuis feed in this tree and it appears that they pop their curved beak in between the sides of these flowers rather than supping from the open top.
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Somewhere beneath the fluffy interior must be sweet nectar. The pickings must be very good as they dine there everyday, visiting many times in the day and they sing and whistle endlessly giving thanks for their splendid meals.

Slow, gentle autumn

Our incredible summer has given way to a slow, gentle and warm autumn with the occasional storm and chilly snap.

No matter the calmness and mild temperatures because the light is decreasing noticeably now and the shortest day is only a month or so away.
Lowering light levels and the cold of last weekend has seen leaf colour turn and the leaves beginning to fall in large numbers now.

On a short walk yesterday before the rain set in I captured these photos.

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Catch me! Catch me!……if you can!

I am persisting in my attempts to achieve a great shot of the fantails (Piwakawaka) who are constantly visiting the garden at the moment. They are playful, cheeky, wee birds who can fly temptingly close to humans at times. They are not still for more than a second or two and all the while they chirrup and tweet in a very happy manner. As insect eaters they dive in and out amongst the leaves on trees to find food which also means a clear view is almost impossible. But I am not deterred and it is a joy to watch them flit about.

Here are some of my recent attempts…..

Found me in the maple tree!
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Now I’m on the creeper on the trellis…can you see me?
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Clear shot! Got me….mostly
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I’m off again
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Hey! Over here I am on the fence now….
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But I’m off! See you later…..
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Tweet, tweet, I’m back again, quick!!!!
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A surprising sunset

As dusk began to come down and the predicted clouds began to roll in the sun and sky responded in some unusual displays.

The last of sun was disappearing behind a hill as I went out into the gloomy garden.

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It was very surprising to notice some minutes later that the sky had lightened again and these lovely crepuscular rays were brightening the garden. Out I went again with my camera.

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This light display was very short-lived giving way to the darkness almost within seconds.

Bamboo reflections

On my recent jaunt about the garden searching out the native plants to share with you in my blog I came across the stand of Bamboo that grows amongst the trees in the tall tree corner.

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It must be a small, clumping variety of Bamboo because it has not spread in the twenty four years we have lived here.

The children liked to cut lengths to play with or to make things with when they were young and I think we have used a length or two for short garden stakes. But mostly it simply grows surrounded by native trees and agapanthas.

I decided to cut some branches and play with the warm light of the autumn afternoon.
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The breeze stirred the reflections in some very interesting ways outdoors.
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Indoors the effects were quite different but pleasing.
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As I played with this lovely plant, taking photos and moving about with it I considered how like fingers the leaves are, their grouping like hands, reaching out to help and support from the supple, bending branches that could be arms. Each branch has multiple joints( tiny on this variety) which allow great flexibility and least resistance. Bamboo suggested to me that it was strong and resilient through its bend, bow and balance.
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I knew very little about Bamboo before I took the photos but since then I have searched about to find out more and discovered this Chinese Proverb

The taller the bamboo grows, the lower it bends.

This Zen parable

Be like a bamboo
A Zen Master was walking through the forest with one of his students down a narrow trail, along a steep incline. The student lost his footing and slipped, just as he began falling down the hill the student reached out and grabbed a small bamboo tree. The bamboo bent nearly all the way over as the student continued to hold on tightly. He pulled himself up and brushed himself off with the Zen Masters help.
“Did you notice that when you fell, you grabbed a hold of the bamboo and it bent nearly all the way over and still supported you.” The Zen Master asked.
“Yes,” the student replied. The Zen Master gripped the bamboo and pulled the bamboo over.
“Be like the bamboo,” The Zen Master said as he let go of the bamboo and it sprang back to its up-right position. “It is pushed around by the wind and yet it always bounces back and grows upward, toward the sun, enlightenment. Have you ever felt as though you were going to snap. Have you ever felt as though you were at your breaking point, emotionally?”
“Yes,” the student replied.
“Then bend, do not break, such is the way with bamboo. It endures the stress and finds a way to bounce back!” The Zen Master stated. “This is called resilience.”

And this explanation of Bamboo as a symbol:

Bamboo is a Chinese symbol for longevity because of its durability, strength, flexibility and resilience. It survives in the harshest conditions, and seems to endure through all the brutalities mother nature can dish out – still standing tall, and staying green year-round. Its flexibility and adaptability are a lesson to us all that the secret of a long happy life is to go with the flow. Feng Shui practitioners recommend putting bamboo plants in the front of your home to assure long life for all those who dwell there.

By using the contemplative practice of “noticing” and bringing more attention to this plant that is hidden in the garden I have been reminded that so much of what is around us in nature is also within us.

The calm before the storm

Late on Sunday afternoon we headed to the other side of the Pauatahanui Inlet for some much needed rest from garden work and studying.

The day had been glorious and the light perfect for taking photographs
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but as we neared our parking spot the predicted change in the weather began to really show itself.
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We have noted a dramatic increase in birdlife both on and above the Inlet in the past few weeks. However they are shy and like to scurry or fly away at our advances and without posh camera equipment it is difficult to capture much more than blobs.

The clouds told of the approaching front as it came in from the north
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and edged a little in from the eastern flanks as well.
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We got back to the car just as the first large raindrops plopped to the ground but not before we had spotted two Kingfishers and had heard the Canadian geese calling off in the distance.

Come for a walk around the native plants in my garden

It is a really miserable day here with a howling cold southerly blowing and showers sweeping over at regular intervals. Winter is showing its hand.

But on a beautiful, warm late autumn afternoon over the weekend I wandered about my garden to photograph examples of the native trees or plants I enjoy. Some of the specimens were planted by the previous owner of the house who was a passionate gardener. Some have been planted by us and even more have been the result of birds dropping seeds into the garden and the natives have taken root and flourished.

I have attempted to find the identifying names for the plants but please let me know if I have named one incorrectly.

I hope you enjoy the stroll too.

Taupata Coprosma Repens

Taupata
Coprosma Repens

Native hebe

Native hebe


Kowhai "Dragon's gold" Sophora microphylla

Kowhai “Dragon’s gold”
Sophora microphylla

Whiteywood.  Mahoe Melicytus ramiflorus

Whiteywood. Mahoe
Melicytus ramiflorus

Cabbage tree. Te Kouka. Cordyline Australis

Cabbage tree. Te Kouka.
Cordyline Australis

5 fingers.  Pseudopanax laetus

5 fingers. Pseudopanax laetus

5 fingers

5 fingers

Lancewood. Pseudopanax crassifolius

Lancewood. Pseudopanax crassifolius

Griselinia littoralis "variegata"

Griselinia littoralis “variegata”

Puka Puka.  Meryta sinclairii

Puka Puka. Meryta sincalairii

puka puka seeds

puka puka seeds