Monday, December 29, 2008

A little trout fishing for Christmas good cheer

I've bought a license this fishing season, so now there is no excuse to not get out into the outdoors and get supper!

On Christmas Eve while taking Dougal to his grand parents in Oamaru we stopped off and camped for the night at the Hakataramea river near where it flows into the Waitaki and within a few casts I had this magnificent 5 ld rainbow, that took about 30 mins. to land in the swift water...

So far the cost has been over a hundred dollars, but it's supplied one meal so far. It may have been "sea run", despite being about 60 Kms from the ocean, as the flavour was more tasty as opposed to a fish that lives all it's life in fresh water...

As the evening wore on and dusk settled we also watched some silver belly eels for sometime by headlamp. Again they're more associated with sea water. They were smaller than I expected, and more lively and beautiful than the usual mud eels I've played with before as a kid in this area.

Anyway with the recent fishing successes of late I'm keen to catch some more, in the New Year!


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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pre Christmas tramping and cheerful landscape photography

We've had some pretty wild weather lately and at last this Sunday the sun came out to reveal snow on the mountains. So off Dougal and I went on a fitness trip up Touhys gully in the Cardrona valley. But it became more: a veritable smogesboard of images and light to satisfy my penchant for Wanaka landscape photography. So in the spirit of the season this blog has quite a few images!

Without some unrealistic editing in PhotoShop to place decorations this shot appealed to my sense of Christmas: bright and cheerful...

Looking down valley slightly towards Wanaka's Roys Pk...

Dougal: a great companion as he has lots of patience with me while I stop to take photos of the ever changing landscape I love so much...

The low light was perfect...

Foxgloves enjoying the sun after days of rain and sleet...

I love doing landscape photography in winter conditions, but in this [today = early mid summer] shot, I note you never see these sort of contrasts and cloud shadows in winter...

There was a sense of magic in the air...


So as we head through the stressful pre Santa Claus days I'm mindful that with a break coming up I can chill and let my mind wander... but until then: Merry Xmas all

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

In the zone

In the last few weeks I've perceived I'm entering a phase concerning decisions to be pondered, and I know lightness will help - sometimes known as being "in the zone". So as writing often helps me [self affirmation!] I thought I'd go over some of the factors - the theories and what I know that works:

There is more than one zone involved here. OK I've changed and so has the universe, but other factors still rule such as gravity and altitude, and neither seem a burden when you're there "in the zone" [Franz Josef Glacier in South Westland]...

Although I've done it often in good conditions, when I'm challenged in the mountains I find I don't talk much as I "go there". Why? Because intuitively I know that focusing on breathing and that alone, will put me in a state of very high awareness, and matching the breath with my movements.

There are other techniques too, and here I draw as well on ideas written by others:

Take your mind to one of the most beautiful places, or times you've experienced, on the "in" breath, by imagining your own personal energy field goes there and further.

On the "out" breathe bring all your energy centers into consciousness and feel them opening.

Be an observer knowing that whatever is happening has a purpose in life

Imagine yourself surrounded by a halo of pure light

Monitor yourself to see if love is a background emotion

Look for beauty everywhere - with vibrant colours glowing

Feel lightness and energy

Recall how it was when you experienced this in the past

If you "loose it" make stopping and regaining it a priority

The goal is to feel alive as in "existence", and jump straight away on any negativity or anxieties as they occur. For myself waking between 2 and 5 am can be a challenging time, but rewarding time also should I succeed, to work on what has to become a lifetime's habit!

I've often found the writings of the DalaI Lama very useful as he's written much about meditation and it's importance. More recently I've subscribed to the RSS feed on his web site, and note, in the throes of an amazing visit to Europe he's just made a very valid point about our moral responsibilities towards China:

World Must Bring China Into Democratic Fold: Dalai Lama

Warsaw, Poland, 11 December 2008 (AFP) - Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama called on the world community to bring China into the democratic mainstream, in a speech to Polish deputies Thursday.

"The free world has moral responsibility to bring China into the mainstream of world democracy. That is very essential, very important," the Dalai Lama told members of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee.... more>>

And to finish on a lighter note: Dougal my son turns 16 in a few days. We all say "where has the time gone - it all happens so fast?", and I'm no exception!

I'm reminded that kids live "in the zone", so we must learn from them! Here is Dougal on the right attending to the barbecuing of a snow chicken with our friend Riley who also has his birthday at this time. They're age 12 in this photo, and yes, that barbe is on and hot - it was a cold night, so "cooking " took awhile...

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

The closer Christmas gets the faster life passes

Lately I've been doing yoga each Tuesday night out at Hawea, and I quite like the 20 min. drive as it's like a wee holiday, and the sunsets from out there are always inspiring on the drive back. But that was just the beginning of a very busy week with John's funeral on Wed. [he died on Aspiring the week before], and of course like all funerals I met many old friends.

Thursday evening it was a NZ Mountain Safety Council Xmas "do", and Friday evening prize giving at Dougal's college where the seats are hard, but the music superb. Not content with this I was out to Hawea Flat on Saturday night to celebrate a young lad's 21st and his mum's 60th., and got a bit of dancing done in the woolshed, and today, well... I'm just back from an art exhibition opening in Alexandra. It was so hot on the return we drove up to Duffer's Saddle behind Bannockburn [which takes you into the Nevis valley], and at about a 1000 meters up it was nice and cool.

An unusual view of the Remarkables from Duffer's Saddle [this is the side opposite to the one commonly seen from Queenstown]...

Of interest during the week was the saga concerning two Japanese climber's trapped near the summit of Mt Cook. I was amazed at the beauty evident in the golden dawn.. more>>

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