Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter dear readers!

Last weekend I posted about my son's first formal. I suspect since then Wanaka users of FaceBook have kept the servers busy.

However this little set of photos was on the front of the school's newsletter for the week. That's Dougal in the centre of the group on the left...

My week has been quite eventful: 3 significant yoga practice evenings and I enjoyed the luxury of another reflexology session on Wed. evening. Thurs. evening saw me at the opening of the Wanaka Art Society Easter Exhibition.

I entered a print on canvas that I made in 2007 of a hoar frost in the Cardrona valley. The judge told me I came close to the honours or whatever [that gets you up on the stage for $50 prize], but as I expected my mounting of the image let it down - I should have framed it instead of putting it on a board, as the wrap around edges effectively cropped it too severely. However if it sells in the next few days I'll be delighted...

Lately for bedtime reading I've been becoming inspired yet again by Tom Longstaff's classic [This My Voyage] on mountain exploration in the period late 1800s through to the mid 1900s. I note he was invited to go south by Scott, and I've been pondering how, if he had accepted rather than doing yet another epic exploration in the big big mountains of Asia, how the outcome for Robert Falcon would have probably been quite different, for Tom it seems was the consummate explorer and full of insightful wisdom.

Speaking of wisdom fellow blogging friend Robb is just back from a solo trip, and has posted some great photos and writing yet again. I'm amazed at the number and quality of comments he gets, and this is testament to his skills.

I was meant to be tramping for the Easter break, but sickness in the party precluded this. However as my cousin Michael is camping at Kidds Bush up near the head of nearby Lake Hawea, after a big pre winter spring clean of the house [that neat cloth on my office/lounge ceiling gather's dust something wicked], yesterday I went visiting. This saw me doing yet another ascent of the Sawyer Burn hut track. Solo this time [Michael was away up the Hunter valley that feeds the lake].

I can never resist making an image of this view of Lake Hawea upon breaking clear of the bush...

OK, so I've photographed that scene to death almost, but this time the bush held many surprises - it seems to be a ripper season on the bush edge...



This lovely little fluffy alpine took my eye at my turn around point...

It was sharing it's neighborhood with this colourful little plant. Can you see a calf's face in the white background?...

I've always found this section of high alpine bush quite magical, the way the light filters through...

And lower down I decided to do something I've never done before: really look at that icon of our country, the humble fern, and decide to make a photograph of same, a bit differently to what my preconceived notions have dictated in the past. The fact that every frond in this shot belongs to the same plant may have helped...

Blog of the week, on aid work in Africa, is by my old friend Amy. We used to work together and did some tramping too. It's new and a very thought provoking read! Amy's Adventures in Africa

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Blogger Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
A very handsome lad indeed! Your prints looks awesome and I am sure it will land in a fine home.
I will have to add the book by Longstaff to my reading list. I just finished "On my own two feet", the story of Norm Hardie. There are so many great Kiwi mountaineers and adventurers beneath that shadow cast by Hillary
and so many great stories.
Cheers for your kind words. It was a unique and special trip as they all are. I find that thoughtful comments spark real interesting connections beyond a particular post and I enjoy that very much.
Your photos are fantastic and I will have to get some advice from you. I am getting very interested in the more micro world, such as your photos of the plants and mushrooms. I need to invest in a better, more functional digital camera I guess. There is something very magical about the upper alpine forest - pulsating with energy when that sunlight filters through. On my way up the spur from Makaroro on one side it was grey and raining and on the other the sun was shining with a brilliant rainbow. I could not get into a postion to get a photo, but that scene is implanted in my mind forever.
I was interested to read about your doing yoga, wondering if it might be something useful for my hip? A couple days out of the mountains and I am hobbling still. The price we pay eh! Have a great Easter holiday Donald.

April 12, 2009 at 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog last year when looking for a central otago weather forecast on line, have enjoyed the photos and the thoughts since then.

Im not at all sure but I wonder if another blog I like touching base with might interest you too. Its

April 13, 2009 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Donald said...

Well Robb the print ended up back in my home so there was truth in your prediction!

On the topic of Norm one day years ago I helped push his stuck car in the Mt Hutt ski area. Since then one of my closest friends has been tramping with him a few times and speaks very highly of him. It's a small world eh!?

With regards to stimulating posts what I've learnt from you is the value of replying to comments, and thus getting a semi public dialogue going. This had escaped me somewhat, so thanks for the insights, which I'll quietly start adopting elsewhere.

The magical quality of ridge top travel sometimes strikes me hard when, like in your photos, I see a little enchanted path winding through the gardens, symbolic in the sense it rises and floats above the difficulties. I love them!

I currently use a Kodak V160 which has been awesome in it's lightness and compactness, however sooner rather than later I intend getting a Panasonic Lumix LX3. Its the 16:9 aspect ratio, RAW images and the ability in low light, plus of course the small size. My theory is if it's small I'll always have it when those rainbow moments occur for a few minutes. Mind you it's easy to quip when asked about making good images: f8 and be there, or in my case 50 years of making pictures and be there. But it's true - it seems unimportant what the hardware is, and they all have their limitations compared to how our brain "sees" anyway. The trick is to isolate a factor, and make the image of it in such a context or way as to evoke an emotion in the viewer.

btw I forgot to mention how amazed I was to read of your blue duck watching. They seem to simply not hang about where people frequent, so it's so important we keep our wild places intact - which means we respect what they need and have it dawn on us that we benefit too.

Yoga: best thing I've encountered for my body. It's raised awareness... been learning to walk differently too so as to even out use of [used/overused] muscle groups and this in turn affects the tilt of the pelvis, which in turn gives the spine a better posture and some lower backs pains have subsequently vanished. But perhaps it's real benefit comes as it teaches us [in a demanding pose] that we can detach and just observe the breathe, feelings and perspective, and that there is no need to control everything in our lives. I was amazed a few years back to note, while getting stiff on the traverse of an airy bluff, that I could detach. I now wonder how this would feel should I find myself hurtling down to my demise!

However I don't think yoga benefits come quickly, and in the case of hips, along with a teacher skilled in the aspects of yoga as it relates to injuries etc. [to keep us safe while practising], I'd need to know things that may only be known from the likes of scans [not so useful on backs apparently]

btw 2 thanks heaps for drawing my attention back to the Ansell Adam's quotes. I'd forgotten about them, and they are so beautiful in how he uses simple words such as granite. Apt for all occasions, and I find for where I'm at right now.



April 13, 2009 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
Thank you for your well considered response, particularly on the cameras and yoga.
Yes those places on upper ridges are sheer bliss. I have always meant to stop in a striking spot and simply spend the night, but I have not done so yet. I think it would be very interesting to settle in and let the high forest envelope me.
The whio does represent pristine and remote places, and I guess I took it for granted I would always see them, so when I hadn't in the past few years, in spite of returning to places I knew they were it left a somewhat empty feeling inside. To find them again was a real joy. Have a great day Donald - home today with my boys during the school holidays!

April 15, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
Thanks for the advice on the cameras. Gives me a good point to start looking from. Also about the yoga which I will look into. I had been doing acupuncture with helped with the pain factor and may do some tai chi as well. Anything beyond the western advice of pain pills and help replacement right now is good.
It is a small world indeed, meeting Bob Mckerrow and through him Ed Cotter, as well as a few other people, has really shown me how this medium can be used in very positive way.
Hope you have a great weekend.

April 18, 2009 at 5:13 PM  

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