Tag Archives: journal

“Tui – A nest in the Bush” by Meg Lipscombe

Tui - A Nest in the Bush by Meg Lipscombe.

Tui – A Nest in the Bush by Meg Lipscombe.

Regular readers of my blog know of my interest in and love of Tui and other native New Zealand birds. As a child Tuis were very rarely seen but the persistent and devoted action of many people and organisations now sees these birds arriving in my garden and surrounding neighbourhood in increasing numbers. It is a joy.
So I was delighted to spot this newly published book in the Public Library. Meg Lipscombe’s stunning photos of a Tui nest and the breeding cycle have filled in more gaps in my knowledge of these colourful, spirited birds.
Meg lives in a remote part of New Zealand and discovered to her delight that she could photograph a Tui’s nest from her home’s balcony.

Female Tui sitting on two eggs.

Female Tui sitting on two eggs.


What followed was a successful recording over 37 days of newly laid eggs through to an empty nest as the fledglings took those final steps to growing independence.
Tui fledglings almost ready to leave the nest.

Tui fledglings almost ready to leave the nest.


Meg spent time speaking to the adult birds so that they grew accustomed to her respectful presence. For the reader she journalled about her observations.
The book is a first to capture this breeding cycle and it is not surprising to learn that Meg received a Fellowship from the Photographic Society of New Zealand in recognition of the excellence of her photographs.
Rick Thorpe wrote a very full and informative Introduction for the book covering many aspects pertaining to the bird, to its significance to Maori, to the health of our native forests and the critical importance of continued conservation efforts.
Anyone wanting to learn about Tuis will find this book, with its remarkable photos and written information, invaluable. It is a book to share with young children, for older children and adults to read and explore and enjoy.

A year in my life

Between September 2007 and September 2008 I took a photo on our new digital camera every day in order to record a year in my life.   Why did I do this?

I had experienced some life changing and life threatening events in rather close succession and wanted to track my return to “normal” life, whatever shape that took.  At the same time I took the photo and printed it off I would make a few notes about what the photo meant to me on that day.  So I hoped that by describing, recording and reflecting I would gain some sense of who I was following the upheaval and change.

With hindsight more time had to pass for me to process the events but several other benefits flowed from this project.  I felt a real sense of satisfaction in keeping to a daily record of my life; it is a valuable record of that year when we are trying to remember something that happened at that time; I enjoyed developing my visual senses; I became more aware of light and its many qualities and nuances; it kept me in touch with life and a sense that life does move on, no matter what emotions need to be felt and what healing needs to occur; it reminded me of my love of the funny and quirky, of my cats and of nature, my family and friends.

My life feels very ordinary but my interest in family history has taught me time and again that records from the past of ordinary lives can offer huge amounts of valuable information that help us understand how life was years ago and increases our sense of connection to family from the past.

There are many ways that people record their lives.  How do you record yours?