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  Tuesday, 30 December 2003

I took a well earned break from painting this evening and went for a kite buggy after tea. In these summer months, on any of Nelsons clear blue sky days, the afternoon sea breeze lasts until the sun goes down. Today that wasn't until about 9.30pm and in the last half hour of light I was treated to a painted sky as the back-drop to my kites while I buggied around Wakapuaka sand-flats. I stopped the buggy out in the middle of the sand-flats near a small grove of stunted cabbge trees and took a few photos of the sunset. I still had enough of a breeze to buggy back to the car and pack up before the light failed completely and the air went still....

10:31:54 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 27 December 2003

10:29:49 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 26 December 2003

Planning to paint the house over the next week or so. Having trouble deciding what colour scheme to go for.  Help me out... opinions welcome!

10:41:02 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 25 December 2003

11:45:26 PM    Comment []

This has been a most satisfying Christmas day. This morning I went for a leisurely kayak around the Cable Bay esturay on a particulary high tide (4.8m).

Then home for a late, light, lunch before packing my kites and buggy in the car for a blast around the sand flats at Wakapuaka. I had to test out my Christmas present to myself; an extra long (1.4m), extra strong, back axle for my buggy. My kite buggy now has a slightly wider wheelbase than my car! This gives me heaps of extra stability at high speeds and gets rid of those speed wobbles.

After buggy testing for an hour or so it was on to my sisters house for Christmas dinner with the whole family and exchanging of gifts. The whirly-gigs and glow-in-the-dark parachute men went down well with my nephews, and the pink/green/orange striped knee-high socks with ten toes and a smiley face stiched on each digit, and glittery stickers books were a hit with the neices, so that kind of made my day :)

I hope you all had as nice a Christmas as I did.

11:29:03 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 24 December 2003

Its Christmas eve already! I invited the whole family (that is my parents, three sisters, their husbands, and of course my seven neices and nephews) to my place for a bar-b-que dinner tonight. It almost looked like raining on us but didn't. Just as well because it would be a tight squeeze to get everyone inside my little house at once if the weather had packed in. We had a big 'pot-luck' dinner, followed by some preliminary gift giving (just some small gifts for the kids to release some pent up excitement).

Four of my seven neices and nephews doing some 'lawn-kayaking' before dinner :)

It was really nice to have a house full of people for a couple of hours.... Merry Christmas everyone.

11:02:40 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 23 December 2003

Its definately kite flying season. With warm weather comes the regular afternoon sea-breezes which are a kite flyers delight. Smooth and steady, it arrives every clear day just after lunch and doesn't stop until the sun goes down.

Every year in Nelson we host an annual kite festival. This year its on Janurary 16 and 17. Kite flyers from all over visit for two days of everything to do with kites and kite flying. As a member of the Nelson Kite Club I'll be helping out again this year, putting on flying displays, buggy rides, etc. Heres a shot I took at last years festival of just one of the incredible creations visiting kite flyers flew here. Every year theres new kites like this everywhere. Can't wait to see what takes to the air this time...

11:49:54 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 22 December 2003

No one beats my dog at tug-o-war. I don't care how big your dog is... she'll grind them down.

The evidence....(video 810k)

ps. About ten minutes later Kaycee (the little one) won this battle. yeah! my dog!

12:22:52 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 21 December 2003

Over a month since the last time we visited the Motueka River and the water level was noticeably lower without the spring run-off to contribute to the flow. This was a good thing in a way because it meant that the rapids were different, some rocks that were covered before now lay in wait to catch a napping kayaker and bounce him out of his seat. New lines had to be found on some rapids and the Motueka, once again, did not fail to please.

Just for a change I'd thought I'd bring you todays pictures in black and white...

At the put-in. We started at McLean's picnic area this time. The total run measured about 13km to Graham's River junction.

Some interesting rock formations near the top of the run.

This is the Peninsula Bridge. An old wooden suspension bridge still in use. Its one lane, weight limits, and the way it intersects the main highway, show its designed for an earlier time when traffic was smaller, slower, and less frequent.

The Peninsula Bridge is a few kilometers past the Graham River take-out. We have decided that next time we will paddle to here making the total length (from McLean's picnic area) almost 17km. Something about this bridge just screamed "shoot me in black and white!".

9:57:32 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 20 December 2003

A strong nor-wester has been blowing here all day. I went to the beach this evening to breifly fly the kites and walk the dog (no buggy today as the tide was to high, so not enough beach). I only had the kites in the air 10 minutes or so when the wind dropped away to nothing as if in respect for nights iminant arrival.

When I turned to face the wind again this was the view. I took this photo thru the lense of my sunglasses.

8:41:34 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 19 December 2003

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  Thursday, 18 December 2003

While picking up milk at the shop today I got a 2-scoop, maple and walnut flavour, icecream in a cone. Yummy... now it really feels like summer. The shop is only 5 minutes drive from home but it was such a hot afternoon that the icecream start running down my knuckles almost immediately. I pulled over to the side of the road and finished it, saving the last inch of the cone (the part with no ice cream) for the dog. Then I got out of the car to snap this shot. Funny how something I drive past everyday can seem photogenic if I just pause long enough to really see it.

Need new wallpaper? 1024x768 version (81k)

10:44:00 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 17 December 2003

There's something about this tree I admire. It grows on a thin strip of dirt between Atawhai drive and the Nelson Haven Inlet. There are several trees of the same variety along this piece of road, many healthier than this specimen, but this tree has always stood out for me. I have ended up with many photos of it over the years. It must be something to do with its defiant stance against wind and sea; the way it sort of leans into the weather and clings to its place in the world. I noticed as I was driving past it today that it has fallen over. Not sure if it was wind, vehicle, or old age that took it, but the tree is dead...

10:13:25 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 16 December 2003

Picture this... steaming hot macaroni cheese fresh from 4mins 30secs in the microwave. I've just peeled back the plastic film. I grab a fork, pick up the plastic tray full of cheesey goodness, looking forward to eating it, and somehow... inexplicably, I loose my grip on it...

After a short juggle, it lands, cheese size down, in the open cutlery draw. What a ****** mess!

I think I'll have microwaved lasagne instead.
7:43:44 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 15 December 2003

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  Sunday, 14 December 2003

As usual, today was the day for kayaking. We returned to the Pelorus River for the third weekend in a row. Devon wanted to try out his snorkeling gear on some of the deeper parts of the river. It was sunny and humid today, with an uncertain nor-wester that moved the odd misty rain cloud briskly across the sun.

We saw a variety of wild life...

  • a large, feed-the-family sized brown trout swam under my kayak near the start of the run.
  • two dear, a doe and a foal, emerged from the bush about 100 meters ahead of us and waded across the river.
  • a family of paradise duck with four chicks
  • we even spotted a young, attractive, human couple, er... 'frolicking' naked on the river bank, who apparently thought they had the whole area to themselves, and were not expecting to encounter a couple of kayakers with goofy grins on their faces quietly paddling by! lol

Unfortunatly Devon was too slow with the binoculars to get a photo of the 'frolicking' couple, but we think he got a couple of shots of the dear which I will hopefully be able to post tommorrow. Here are some pictures I got today...

Devon on a typical Pelorus River rapid.


Snorkeling in one of the deeper parts of the river.

9:15:02 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 13 December 2003

I got this picture of mossy creek-bed rocks this morning while walking the dog. The valley was shrouded in mist which provided some very nice, soft light for photography.

1:18:56 PM    Comment []

Why do supermarkets always put the apple & blackcurrent drink, right next to the apple & blackcurrent juice?

Why do they make the packaging of these products 99% indentical?

Why does apple & blackcurrent drink taste very little like apple & blackcurrent juice?

Why did I buy 3 litres of this shit? blah!

12:04:10 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 11 December 2003

10 things I like about my dog:

  1. Her convienient size (fits most laps).
  2. There is never any doubt that she is genuinely pleased to see me when I get home.
  3. She's got cool ears.
  4. I don't have a problem with rats or mice under my house any more.
  5. She always forgives me... instantly and completly.
  6. She is warm in winter... probably cheaper to run, and definately safer than an electric blanket.
  7. She isn't scared of anything.
  8. She can run behind a kite buggy at 30+ kph for hours.
  9. The way she buries her head in my arm pit when I scratch her back in just the right way.
  10. Her enthusiasim on car rides.

10:59:28 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 10 December 2003

Heres some shots of me on the Pelorus River the other day. They were taken by Devon on his digital binoculars. As you can see the rapids in this river aren't particularly big but they're fun anyway, and the scenery is incredible.

11:07:21 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 9 December 2003

"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it"
Mahatma Gandhi

8:46:38 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 8 December 2003

If you liked this shot of Durville Island, here's the rest of it. Thats me to the left of the picture taking it all in. I took the shot with the tripod and timer.

Click for a larger version (25k)

10:40:17 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 7 December 2003

This afternoon I descended the Pelorus River again, the same route as last weekend. It was a warm afternoon and I took my first swim of the season (on purpose). Knowing the river a little better this week, meant we could pick better lines through the rapids, and didn't bounce of as many rocks this time.

The day in pictures...

Devon follows me across Pelorus Bridge on the way to drop off my car at the takeout.

Along the way we passed this group of kids from the "Outward Bound" school. They were learning to drop in a kayak from this rock. I prefer it when there's actually water running over said rock... whatever. Here's a video (631k) of one of them taking the drop.

A Parting shot...

10:49:54 PM    Comment []

This shot is one from my archive I came across yesterday as I was scanning some old film. It was taken from a bluff over looking Gerville Harbour, on Durville Island which is at the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island. It sits exposed in Cook Straight to some wild weather. I was there a few years ago to do some fishing and photography. It is one of the loneliest places I have ever been and I loved it.
8:25:50 AM    Comment []

  Friday, 5 December 2003

Today was the last day of the school term. No more students at work till the end of Janurary! The teaching staff had drinkies in the library this afternoon, so since I don't really drink, and my workplace was invaded, I took the afternoon off and went kite buggying at Rabbit Island

The light northerly breeze was perfect for my 6.3m C-Quad (which I haven't used nearly enough since buying it). It was good to clock up a few kilometers with it on a warm sea-breeze like todays. Unlike my other kites, the excaliburs, the C-Quad has a harness which gives me one free hand when buggying, so I was able to take a few photos and videos from the buggy seat.

Who wants a kite buggy ride?... Video (781k)

9:48:04 PM    Comment []

I have decided to take on the task of creating digital backups of all my photography on film. I have a whole draw full of negatives in envelopes. I made a rough count last night and found I have several thousand frames to scan with my film-scanner. The film-scanner is not very fast and takes about 2 minutes to preview and scan each frame. I could be here a while...

On the plus side, along the way I'm sure to dig up some classic shots from the past, that I post the best of here. Something to look forward to.

8:17:09 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 4 December 2003

10:48:19 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 3 December 2003

I got asked if I am over 18 today! At the supermarket. I don't think the poor girl had put her contacts in, or something. I've got grey hairs that even a no.1 crew cut cannot hide anymore.

See believed me when I said yes, however, and didn't press to see my drivers license. And the item that warrented this interrogation? Lighter fluid. If I was under 18 I guess I'd have to buy dispoable lighters.

...or maybe they think an under 18yo might drink it? who knows.

7:18:09 PM    Comment []

As the generation of leaves, so is that of men.

(Photo is Lake Rotoiti in spring)

7:00:26 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 2 December 2003

Remember this b&w shot I posted last month? Well heres what that same sunset looked like in colour.

9:30:21 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 1 December 2003

10:54:40 PM    Comment []

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