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  Monday, 28 February 2005

Last night, on the Kaikoura Coast road on my way home...

I couldn't resist a few 'adjustments' with this last one (above). I wanted to bring out the rays in the sky. I haven't added any colours though, only 'burnt' in what was there. Reminds me of a paua shell.

9:56:37 PM    Comment []

I'm home from my journey south. Nothing went to plan... or maybe everything did? More photos and stories to come, i have hundreds to off-load. For now here is the final scene from the sunset last night along the Kaikoura Coast. It made me decide to stay another night.

(Click for 1024x768 desktop wallpaper)

12:13:37 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 25 February 2005

I'm about to head off for a weekend in my campervan. I'm going down to Christchurch to hopefully do some kite buggying. I'll be meeting up with a handful of other keen kite buggy pilots to attempt to buggy Pegasus Bay on Sunday. Saturday is reserved for scouting out the terrain and planning (probably a bit of kite flying besides).

Tonight I will drive part way there. On trips like this I never plan to rigidly. I don't know where I'll be sleeping tonight but I'll just drive until somewhere takes my fancy. In the morning I don't need to be in Christchurch until 11am so there will be no real rush. I'm hoping tonight to find a good spot for some night photos. I'm talking about loooonnnnng exposures on a tripod, to attempt to produce something like the shots I have been seeing on No Traces lately (eg this one, or this one). Not sure what I'll be able to achieve with the gear I have but if I experiment enough, I'm sure I'll find something.

Anyway, I won't be going out of my way to get connected to the Internet, so no blogging, or emailing, or messaging, for two whole days. That will feel strange.

4:35:44 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 24 February 2005

I stopped at Neale Park on my way home this afternoon for a kite buggy blast. I was going to head out to Rabbit Island but the wind was looking changeable, and thats a long way to go for no wind. The wind was perfect for my 6.3m C-quad. Unfortunately the last time I used that kite, I removed the lines and put it away with what I'm pretty sure was a tangled bridle. This means that next time I get it out of its bag I'm probably in for ten minutes of cursing while I try and untangle them again. A little reluctant to use the 6.3 C-quad, I got out the 'snot-rag' instead.

I got about half an hours worth of good buggying with the little green kite, before the wind began to drop away. The snot-rag got to be too much work as I began working it up and down the wind to get more power. Ten minutes of that is worth a gym membership any day, and soon I put the kite down for a rest. Now I was faced with a decision. Get out the 6.3m C-quad and untangle its bridles (this would have been the safest choice), or tell myself I'm an experienced power-kite flier who can handle a big kite, and drag out the 8.5m C-Quad, effectively doubling my kite power in one kite change. "They're only little gusts after all", I told myself, puffed out my chest and began setting up the 8.5, the biggest kite I own.

I managed to get the thing in the air and sitting straight above me 'parked'. Between the kite leaving the grass and reaching its zenith, I moved about 100 meters down the park, in a very controlled and experienced looking way. There was a 'little' more power there than I had anticipated, but I still thought it might be OK. I tried a couple of little jumps to test the wind and to see just how 'little' those gusts were. The little jumps became what I've heard other kite fliers refer to as 'floaty' jumps. A floaty jump has a moment where the kite has picked up your full weight of the ground, quite suddenly, but then, at the apex of the jump, just when it should start lowering you down again, it 'floats'. The kite holds you there for a moment,like it could either, put you down, or boost you another 10 feet, but the gust hasn't quite decided yet.

At this point I decided that this could get painful in a hurry and I shouldn't push my luck.

A few minutes later as I was knelling on the grass packing away the big scary C-quad a golfer arrived at the park for some practise. As he wandered past me he looked at the huge kite I was stuffing into a not very huge bag, "not enough wind for you today eh?", he said wisely.
Yeah... something like that mate.

10:09:15 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 22 February 2005

"Dreamers can find their way by moonlight and their only punishment is that they see the dawn before the rest of the world"
Osacr Wilde

10:09:49 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 21 February 2005

I went for a walk on the Boulder Bank last night. Out along the long naturaly formed breakwater that protects Nelson haven, I kept walking toward the disappearing sun until it was gone, behind the Western Ranges on the other side of Golden Bay. Then I turned and walked back in the light of a rising 3/4 moon. I took (kept) 78 photos. Here are seven...

9:49:12 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 20 February 2005

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5:08:33 PM    Comment []

This picture is a crop of a much larger one. Just for fun guess (in the comments if you like) what it is, before clicking here to see the larger picture (113k).

12:02:40 PM    Comment []

we all feel a need to explore the world around us
to experience the diverse
for most this will mean travelling
a life time, country to country
around the globe. a life of discovery
hardship, sacrifice, the more the better
enriches the experience

for a moment imagine you have one acre.
thats it. the world.
thats were you will live your life
everything you need comes from it
and everything you don't need goes back to it
would you not still explore?
discovering... every day of your life?

10:18:56 AM    Comment []

  Saturday, 19 February 2005

This morning I climbed out of bed, checked email (geek), made coffee, grabbed camera, and sat on a deckchair on my porch in the Saturday morning sun. Wall to wall blue sky. I put my 75-300mm zoom lens on the camera and just sat there, clicking. The last half of my coffee went cold, and I was still taking photos. Its mornings like this that makes it hard to beleive there are other days when I find it hard to find a photo....

(click for 1024x768 desktop wallpaper)

2:23:19 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 17 February 2005

Kaycee has been stung in the radar-dish ear by an insect of some sort. I noticed a few minutes into our walk this evening that she was lagging behind. Not like her. I also noticed her left ear was drooping. Usually they both stand upright, all the time, the only exception being when she has just woken up and is still groggy from sleep. A few minutes later she just stopped on the roadside and sat down in the long grass, like she was about to take a nap. Thats when I looked inside her ear and found a sting from some sort of wasp I think, on the inside of her earlobe. She was looking a little disorientated so we headed home. I had to carry her the last 100 meters.  An hour later she seems better. She has eaten her dinner, and drank plenty of water, although her ear is still floppy.

6:31:45 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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This week a break from photography. This image was generated from scratch with Terragen (back in 2002). Terragen is cool. If you haven't tinkered with terragen, you're missing out. Make sure you have a few hours up your sleve though :)

8:47:31 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 13 February 2005

11:23:49 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 12 February 2005

My garden has been absolutly resonating with the sound of about a million and a half cicadas all day. They are clinging to every branch, all singing the same song, loud to an organic beat.

Kaycee finds them very nutrious. I remember when I was a kid we had another great use for cicadas:

Step 1. Capture a large specimen by sneaking up behind it and grabbing its wings between thumb and forefinger. The trick here is to bring your hand in quickly from directly behind the cicada so he does not see it coming.

Step 2. Cup the cicada in your hand carefully. It will calm down in the darkness until the right moment.

Step 3. Sneak up behind your brother/sister/friend and shove it down their back.

Step 4. Run.

4:31:02 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 11 February 2005

"Imagination is the pontoon bridge making way for the timid feet of reason."

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8:51:07 PM    Comment []

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it
easier to live in the world they have been given, than to explore the
power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact, it's an
opinion. Impossible is not a declaration, it's a dare. Impossible is
potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.
8:02:46 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 10 February 2005

Remember those strawberries flowers from just a few weeks ago? Well look at what I just ate...

...and theres plenty more on the way. hmmmm. Also underway in the garden are, chinese cabbage, peas (2 varieties), broad beans, silver beet (well established), yams (everywhere), and soon, if the seeds ever sprout, lettuce and red beet. I have also managed to geminate two grapefruit seeds, from a store bought fruit, which I hope will become trees on the river bank, to replace the old dying plum tree.

9:46:09 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 9 February 2005

I headed straight for the Beach after work today. Rabbit Island was almost deserted at low tide, around four-thirty. John 'the sparky', the guy who bought my car, and fellow kite buggy pilot, joined me. Unfortunatly there was only the slightest of breezes. Between us we only had one kite that would develop enough power to buggy. My 8.5m C-Quad.

I did a run to the end of the beach and back. The West end of Rabbit Island Beach is changing. Near the end its almost all stone and shells now, where there used to be sand. Its a little different every time I buggy it.

Then I gave Jon a go at flying a big C-Quad; something he has never flown before. I took some photos as he got used to the freight train feel of 8.5m of brute force. Then we switched places and I showed off for the camera for a while. I must have been having too much fun, because I flipped my buggy and did a long chin slide that Briggsy would have been proud of (with the buggy on top of me). Luckily Jon caught it on film so you can all have a laugh at my expense.

I'm still well in control at this point...

...a little worried...

...whoops! I'm not wearing my seatbelt so how I ended up with the buggy on top of me like that, I don't know.

Still smiling after being dragged several meters while my jeans fills up with sand.

Your photographer, Jon, doing the two-wheel thing.

10:18:42 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 8 February 2005

"There's a certain orchid that looks exactly like a certain insect,
so that the insect is drawn to this flower, its double, its soul-mate...
and wants nothing more than to make love to it.
After the insect flies off, it spots another 'soul-mate' flower
and makes love to it, thus pollinating it.
And neither the flower, or the insect,
will ever understand the significance of their lovemaking.
How could they know, because of their little dance, the world lives?
And it does.
By simply doing what they are designed to do,
something large and magnificent happens.
In this sense they show us how to live;
how the only barometer you have is your heart;
how when you spot your flower,
you can't let anything get in your way."

(quickly jotted down from the movie Adaptation)

10:30:50 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 7 February 2005

At the front border of my place (a few paces from the house) runs the Wakapuaka River. I was having a cuppa on the river bank as the sun was going down this evening and decided to get the tripod out and take a few 'blurry-water shots'. While I was doing so I spotted 3 different eels cruising around in the nearby pool. I tried to get a shot of the largest one (about 2 foot long) but unfortunatly when the light is right for good blurry-water shots, you also get blurry-eel shots.

10:40:30 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 6 February 2005

I recruited Mark this afternoon at Rabbit Island Beach to get some photos of my new (second-hand) kite, that I bought a few weeks ago. I have dubbed it  'the snot-rag' because of its colour and age. Also at the beach was Marty and Dave. I had several good races with them, particularly Marty, who was flying his 15m Phantom. My little 6.3m 'snot-rag' Arc was a good match, in fact it was all they could do to stay with me. A couple of times we raced to the end of the beach, about 5km away. We would leave at the same time, race full speed for 5km, arrive within twenty seconds of each other at the far end...close racing indeed, but he just couldn't get past me. 

"No more head-starts for you", was Marty's only official comment.

In this picture of the "snot-rag" flying, it looks like Marty has had enough of a beating, and is packing up his blue Phantom in the background :)

10:29:35 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 5 February 2005

It was a very hot day here. The perfect weather for paddling around in rivers. Mark and Pamela came to visit and we relaxed in the shade by the river. In a fit of inspiration, and out of need for a reason to splash around in the river, we embarked on a project to build a bridge (we means Mark and I, while Pamela, the jigsaw expert, advised).

There is a small creek that cuts across the back of the section just a few meters from the back door of the house. It joins the Wakapuaka River a few feet below at the front of the property. To match the river-stone drywall I built behind the garden, this bridge was built from stones carried up the river bank one by one. It crosses the creek to an area of trees along the riverbank. The creek flows underneath the bridge through three 6-inch plastic pipes buried under the rocks.

In the mid-afternoon heat a project like this, in the shade, and up to our knees in cool water, was just the distraction we needed.

So without further ado, I give you the new Teal Valley Harbour Bridge!

10:10:09 PM    Comment []

My brain is stuck in neutral. I want to blog but keep drawing a blank. I'm hoping that by just posting something (anything) I'll jump start my brain again.  ...any questions?

8:57:48 AM    Comment []

  Thursday, 3 February 2005

6:47:16 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 2 February 2005

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"Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate."
Chuang Tzu

9:41:36 PM    Comment []

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