WPC: Rare

… as rare as hen’s teeth? Perhaps.

As rare as an honest or genuinely altruistic (with his/her own money) politician? Awww, gimme a break … but: ’tis now the very early hints of springtime down here at the tail end of Godzone, and having survived the most worstest flu of my life I was (still groggily) tripping through Queens Park when I came across

(a) some crocus flowers, and

(b) a totally early bee.

So? So I set up an ambush. Using long forgotten skills I integrated his rates in three dimensions and calculated an intercept for the perfect bee and flower shot.

And I flubbed.

Blasted bee was that most elusive of all critturs, an acrobatic aerobat bee, master of her abilities and apparently determined to foil the old dog with a camera.

Did too—

a b

—but I still think that for this location at this time of seasons I achieved, if not the impossible, something extremely rare—is that bee grinning, or what?

And now, moving on—


which at first glance may appear a wee bit “So wot” eh, wot?


but: there’s more here than one might suspect.

The shot is virgin (a rarity in itself these days) being completely unfiddled with. Just as the lens caught it as I was tripping lightly past. Last March …

It was unreal … no wind, nearest tree the one behind this floating leaf … I didn’t believe it. Just hanging, suspended in the void—there had to be some trickery involved.

But first I got me shot.

Then I investigated very carefully … and found not one but three strands of invisible spider web going off in different directions such as to suspend said leaf as-is/where-was (shoulder height above the ground, significantly remote from the nearest anythings); which after problem solved I moved on leaving leaf floating for the next person (or eternity). Rare? A oncer~!


than hens’ teeth (in New Zealand) a tin suit for sale in a shop window—

tinny suit

—caught at dusk so you may have to put some effort into sorting said suit from reflections. So rare it’s the first I’ve ever seen for sale anywhere in NZ, although in Arrowtown a year or three back they did have a full medieval hauberk (replica). I wasn’t allowed to try it on but she did let me test the weight, and once I’d duly expressed due gasps etc etc she told me it was about 14 kilos. My respect greatly increased for the folks who could wear such as underwear (with a full tin suit over the top) and then spend several hours bashing other guys over the head with a mace whilst preventing self from becoming their bashee, probably with a shield in one hand and fearsome things in the other … no wonder Danny Kaye’s character had problems in “The Court Jester” (Glynnis Johns, boom boom!).

Sky piggy
And now to peruse my photo-library, in case I might find something even more rarer still — a shot I’m actually satisfied with. 

Yeah … and skyborne piggies might yet meet the challenge



Weekly Photo Challenge: Fun

and what could possibly be more fun for a cynic than being let loose upon his unsuspecting fellow humans, armed to the teeth with a quick-firing camera and no sense of mercy?


you fiend …

fun one

—and don’t even think about stopping me now! (To be honest, I haven’t a clue either—the sign was in an alcove next to a music shop but I have no idea what they were selling.)


bus … what could be more fun than sneaking up on the still-undressed, the quite unaware, the perfectly innocent quietly basking in the morning



I dropped it in but only because I really like the shades of green. And those luscious lascivious luxurious curves. Brrrr, makes one come all over quite goosey … fun, though.

bubble fashions (I think?)

For the above I was short-cutting through the Southern Institute of Technology’s Arcade. It links Esk Street with Dee, and is filled with modern ‘clever’ stuff at the cutting edge of “Ye utter Gods”, like the above—

—for which someone must’ve received a degree, diploma, been certified … I was galloping by, but with a warped sense of the old ho-ho had to stop and shoot. Hell, even as I was trying to stifle my joy (fun, I tells ya~!) I couldn’t help but wonder if it weren’t inspired to just a tiny degree by what was the ‘in’ state-of-the-art for deep-sea divers of a century and more ago. Amazing what you can do with a few ring things and a willing model …

It’s fun to be ready for anything.

Al E. Kat

I turned into an alley, short-cutting to the next street and right before my eyes a wee tourist group likewise carping the diem. Dad stumping off in the distance, Mum reclaiming her brood from the clutches of the folk-art mural astern of them; moiself a flit to the fore and getting the shot before anyone’s fun could be ruined.

She had a lovely smile, I floated out of there backwards …


of this truly horrible flu and just rabbit through some more old shots. (Got rid of a couple of thousand already).



Weekly Photo Challenge: Narrow


as revealed in the Human Mind.

My own mind, actually. These days I try not to judge by appearances.

I also dislike—instinctively—nice types who decades back dyed their hair purple (what was left of it after the usual rebellious crewcut). These ‘types’ (many of them I imagine now bankers, or other big-names-in-the-city) also got a name for themselves by stomping the innocent into the ground with huge ‘bovver’ boots. On any pretext.


is enough, even now, and at this remove, to trigger intense distaste. You may not know the type; crewcut hair dyed brilliant purple, unwashed jeans, studs everywhere, bovver boots with inch-thick soles and the omnipresent challenge “‘Ere! Wot choo lookin’ at?”

There were other names for them. Some were self-balded and referred to as skinheads, others affected magnificent rooster hair styles which I think was aptly denoted Punk. Not all punks were sub-human, though.

“You! Grandad! Wot choo lookin’ at?”

“Er … no offense, Lad—”

“I won’t ask agen! Oo you staring at?”

“… …Okaaaaay … about twenty years ago in this park I fu**ed a parrot—I was wondering if you might be my son?”


I was bimbling through the park when an apparition apparited.

It was a dude in a motorised self-drive wheelchair (mobility scooter?). The visual epitome of the definition of the Skinhead, bovver-boy, punk … and he was moving. Like, really scampering. Up from beyond the rotunda, all the way south to Feldwick Gates then back again.

He did this several times and I noticed a pattern—

—it looked as if the only part of him he could move was his hand on the joystick.

It occurred to me that perhaps he was jogging.


he was having a real ball. Despite all else, he was really really really enjoying racing up and down. I’d seen him several times before but always sedately—once I stopped the traffic for him to cross Gala Street. (No bugger was going to stop for him so I did it on his behalf.)(He didn’t say a word …)

I think he may now have been limited to the park.


and look like a punk skinhead?

How the hell would I know?


I was taking a shot of Feldwick Gates once and inadvertently caught him centerstage.


My own mind.

His outfit triggered an unthinking response—a very narrow response. Not good.






can also mean ‘above and beyond’ the obvious skinny. Not to disparage skinny, of course. Some of my best friends are a bit skinny, and some are a bit fat. Me? I fit somewhere in between, and by pure good something my weight now is the same as when I left navy decades ago.


here’s an uptake. Though not really a photo per se (it’s a screenshot, so it’s almost legal for the Challenge) …



to yer more normal take on narrow—

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 14.52.48

—all them wee blobular things have the narrowest of perches, no?

And while we’re in the garden, what could be more appropriate than the crooked narrow legs of a real bee—

the bee

—being about his business. Her business. Dammit … what life is this, if full of care—we have no time to stand and stare? Yeah, right—now go tell it to the bees.

Or the mush rooms …

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 17.47.09


It’s amazing, Nature’s infinite adaptation to circumstances. Take that mushie on the left, for example; in the full bloom of youth and like any vacuum expanding to fill the space available. Now take that long thin (narrow, anyone?) mushie on the right. Quite a different approach, enforced by circumstances—but is it downhearted?

I’d say not …

We duz the best we can with the hand we’re dealt, and who could complain then?


Boom boom~!


WPC: Cherry


Referring of course to the expected delight that crowns and completes the whole treat.

This in New Zealand being not the season for cherries (and bloody cold down here right now, too)* maybe you’ll settle for an apple? And a wee stretch of definitions … ?


After all, the apple is ‘sort of’ cherry coloured, and being afloat it is at the top. Of that stretch of creek.

Moving on—

c on t 2

The ‘cherry on the top’ of this one being (for me) that I love puns, and this is effectively a visual paradox. You can read it the same both ways, but yes, this is the way I saw and shot it.


Do you speak American, and dig unsubtle?

devil dolly

Moving on while I can still bark … I came across this (below) in ‘The Cheeky Lama‘ (a coffee etc place in Queens Park, very nice goodies there too) some time ago and just couldn’t resist it—


—the cherry On Top this time being that modern Political Correctness would have us believing that any form of condiment is entirely other than safe …


storm is over I may get to take The Spouse into town (tomorrow) and get some shots more in keeping with this week’s Challenge. Don’t wait up …



* You want cherries? Okay—here’s a snap I took a year back, of a genuine cherry vendor within one week (!) of the summer solstice—

chilly cherry vendor

—make of it what you will …

WPC: Details 2


the details are in the little things. By which I mean the little things that make up human nature, the little things with which we identify (or merely observe with barely muttered tuts).

As in this little thing, below, something we all recognise—


—and found scattered with mad rapturous abandonment all over the globe.

I came across it when hoofing up a road (Yarrow Street) in deepest Invercargill. It was just one detail on a portable coffee cup of the sort you buy when you ask for “…to take away, please…” which keeps your portable potable conveniently in one place whilst you potate it en route.


And here’s your but: but what do you do with said convenient conveyor when you have conveniently conveyed and guzzled it? (The contents, silly person—you don’t guzzle the cup.)


is well spread out. Widely spread out, in fact. The so-called ‘Central Business District’ is in fact optimistically misnomerised, which is why parking is at an absolute premium and everyone here an expert in hoofing from alpha to bravo zulu; and another reason why the dispensers of portable potions thrive in such numbers.


is also sadly lacking in the rubbish/garbage bin department.

No major shortage in the main drag, I’ll admit—but get thee away from the major roads and you are doomed eternally to wander the face of the planet for ever and ever, looking for somewhere to—

(a) ditch the blasted empty cup, or

(b) be creative in disposing of it by any means—

—that don’t involve trespass and/or large dogs. For myself as I pass The Plaza Foodmarket I quietly sneak over to one of their skips and inbinerate my empty there. It’s fortunate that my cup drainings and ambulations and The Plaza all coincide in time and space; which for me is good, but an earlier guy than I along the same route was a tad more creative in disposal—


—and I thought the Challenge too good to resist. (When I walked back later with The Spouse in tow the delivery van was still there but the cup had gone.

What the finder had done with it I have no idea, and I thought that any variation on the knock-and-ask theme might be misconstrued as “Please may I have my coke back?” leading to me becoming a somewhat damp and sticky pedestrian. Some questions are better left floating, sometimes it’s better to focus on the whole picture rather than the details …





WPC: Details


everything is details.

So here we go, two snaps per item: the first snap is your Detail, the second is where your detail was garnered from. At. First shot I challenge with a detail while you guess; second shot I reveal whilst you say “Hah! I knew that!” with a clear conscience. Yeah, right …

Here, let me show you—

slick, ain't it?

—and if you haven’t guessed at first glance what this icky sticky gooey gunge is, it came from this—

oily boird country

Which you would (of course~!) have guessed straight off had I but posted this alternative detail.

colours, too, can twirl

So, now that you have all the details in their proper places, let’s move along in similar vein—

a blob. So wot?

—yep! It is exactly what it looks like, and furthermore: yeuch.

Okay, clever person … now find this (the above disgustipating blobby thing) detail in the larger viewpoint below:

blobbed too

—which ain’t easy. As with most shots in this blog, clicking on the pic here will open up a larger version for you. (And when you give up, look to the bottom left corner of the red sign and go down a few more inches to the left, and voila~!)

And here is probably a good place to stop for now, I want a peep at today’s haul whilst The Spouse is swearing at the dinner she’s cooking. (When she fries chicken it’s no holds barred and no prisoners …)

OH, OK then. Just one more, a bit more of a Challenge for you—

no clues in the title

—give up?

Okayyyyyyyyyyyyy …


I gotcha! There’s just no way you’d have guessed from the detail above that it was from this—

eye, eye, Sir or Madame

—taken standing with my back to the wall (the red ‘Postie’ wall in the previous) I zoomed in on (okay, I tell a lie. I hoofed over to it and macro’d in on) the lowered eyelid and caught the eyelashes about central in the shot.

The devil, they say, is in the details* …