Rangitoto Island, as seen from Devonport, appeared above the sea due to volcanic action a short while ago (800 years) in geologic time. It is the youngest volcanically formed area on earth and probably well worth a visit. Unfortunately, they were busily poisoning rats (a terrible predator to New Zealand's endemic wildlife) so I preferred to stay away. It just means I'll have to return some day!
Friday, July 31, 2009
It amazes me what photos can be taken through the double-thick glass of airplane windows while flying along at 30,000 ft (or higher). I purposely left the wing in this for reference rather than cropping it out.
My reward for rising early on our last day at Depot Beach... some really lovely light with low lying clouds at the junction of sea and sky. If one could see far enough... New Zealand is just across the Tasman Sea from Depot Beach several hundred kilometers (over a thousand but less than two thousand, I believe)!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Getting a decent photo of the sunset was problematic... but reflected in a tidal pool, it's a bit nice to my way of thinking.
Am still behind with posts... but learned today from guide on tour in NZ that the bird that Australians call Plover, New Zealanders call Lapwing. This bird is not native to NZ but apparently rode in on a wicked storm, blown here from AU a few years back.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Am way behind on posts... unreliable or non-existent internet... but am sitting in a coffee shop in Aukland, NZ posting just this one for now... (one hour free wi-fi when purchasing a cup of coffee or tea)
Thursday, July 23, 2009
This guy was most interested in the Chocolate shop... note the reflection in the window showing what the previous occupants of the table left behind.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Hiking around the Cliff Walks and the side trips can be very exhausting! Caught the bus to Echo Point today and kept my walks to a minimum... this is one of the views of the Three Sisters from today's adventure... showing part of Mount Solitary on the right with the Jamison Valley and distant vistas included.
Legend has it that three sisters were turned to stone by a medicine man who intended to reverse the spell when it was safe to do so... but he was killed in battle so they remain as stone to this day. Here they are posing for a close-up with the Jamison Valley behind them. This view was taken on my hike around the Cliff Walk today... cannot recall which lookout provided this spectacular view but it was somewhere near Echo Point on the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. (NOTE: there is more than one legend of the Three Sisters, all involve turning them to stone (either by a witch doctor or medicine man) to keep them safe with plans to return them to their natural state being foiled by the untimely death of the spell caster)
Monday, July 20, 2009
It's still winter in the Blue Mountains but their winter is not quite like ours... all kinds of flowers blooming and it seems as if it is spring already here!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Went to a BBQ today... winter in Australia but we dined on the patio... about 3 ft from where I was sitting, this huge spider (~3.5 to 4 inches in the longest dimension) sat in his web in the tree above our heads. He didn't move the entire afternoon! (no clue what kind of spider it is)
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Who could ever go to Sydney, Australia and NOT take a photo (or several!) of the Sydney Opera House... not I! (if you want to read a bit about my trip, see my travel blog... will post a couple more photos there either later tonight or tomorrow... depending on when wake up enough to log a few notes)
Trying to get the hang of using extension tubes... this composite is a comparison of using an extension tube with my 70-300mm lens vs. my 105mm macro lens... both are nice... I think. :-) (ran out of time to post before leaving town and am thus posting from Sydney, Australia...)
Monday, July 13, 2009
Still working out how to use extension tubes... this was taken with the middle one of three Kenko tubes and my 70-300mm zoom on my Nikon D90. Don't know if I'll have a chance to post tomorrow or not... packing then off to Australia and New Zealand. Check my vacation blog if you want to follow the trip.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Trying to get the hang of using extension tubes with my 18-105mm lens because I don't want to take my macro lens on my next trip... tricky business but think I'm beginning to get an idea how to make it all work. Must do a bit of post processing and upload this again... too late and too tired to do tonight! (it's a bit darker in the browser than on screen in my photo management software)
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Hibiscus syriacus is commonly known as Rose of Sharon in the US. Apparently, we are the only ones who call this bush/tree by that name. When my current next door neighbor moved in to her house, I told her it was a weed but she loves the flowers and has trained it to grow as a tree. I have to admit, I too enjoy the flowers every year.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
We used to call these butterflies cabbage butterflies... not sure if it was because of their color or because they flitted around the cabbage plants in our garden. I'm not sure of the correct name for them... nor do I recall the name of this lovely little flower. (photo taken in a country club garden after having lunch with a friend)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Had a hard time picking a photo from today's batch... to BEE or not to BEE... that was the question... in the end, chose this photo with nary a bee in sight... just love the hints of Lavender blooming in and all around the Coneflowers.
Tried something different yesterday (besides forgetting to post a photo)... took photos with plants blowing in the wind... foreground 'bokeh' is caused by the wind... plants in the background are more sheltered and hence not quite so windblown... kind of like the effect!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Once upon a time, these were growing in my garden... they liked it so much that were in the process of taking over everything else so I ripped them out and passed them along to my neighbor. In her yard, they have spread a bit but she is much better at keeping them confined to a smallish area than I ever was. We share a driveway, so I still get to enjoy their blooms every year.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Many years ago, before I got interested in other perennials, I decided to try some species day lilies. Unfortunately, all the other varieties I planted didn't make it... and the name of this one is lost in the mists of time passed since I planted it over 20 years ago!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Had a very busy day today... grabbed a flashlight and my camera to get a couple of quick shots in... realize that I could alter the exposure on this with post processing but decided to post as is... minor cropping only.
Friday, July 3, 2009
From Dave's Garden, I learned that seeds of this plant is poisonous if ingested as are other parts (not defined). Seeds were given to me years ago by a friend and when that clump eventually was lost due to a total garden rearrangement a few years back, I purchased another plant two or three years ago. Despite attempts (unintentional) by others to get rid of it (accidental breakage before blooming, for example), it has bloomed for me every year. Maybe this year I'll be able to spread it by sowing some seed before frost.
Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee)
Genus: Belamcanda (bel-am-KAN-duh)
Species: chinensis (chi-NEN-sis)
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Rained last night again... just like in Camelot... the rain only comes after sundown (well... at least that was true last night)... makes for lovely captures in the early morning hours. The ant was a bonus!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Was trying to capture these lovely wet flowers early this morning... the Hoverfly kept flitting into and out of the FOV and here he is roughly in focus in spite of my not even trying to capture him.