TEST THE LIMITS

and why not,

I say … dragon

No—this isn’t one of those ‘homilies’ filled with adenoidal angst and semi-sage advice. It’s a simple observation of how to make those wee snaps a little bigger. (Oxymoron? Hah—I’ve been called worse) (and by experts~!).

KHAYYAM

may well have been dreaming while Dawn’s left hand was in the sky—but he got up earlier than I do these days; anyway, I prefer to do my dreaming whilst sitting in Mooch café in town peering at a pair of distant eyes peering back at me.

Take a look below and you’ll catch my drift …

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Not yet?

Okay, I used the opportunity to see what the full range of my few lenses might achieve. The above is the widest angle of my wee ‘all-purpose’ zoom — the one that I use at all times (and only sometimes begrudgingly swop for another).

Then I zoomed in—

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—and scored this. Impressive, huh?

No … I favour Olympus but my wee Canon can get me in a helluva lot closer. However, Miss Canon was at home and I wuz here … but all is never lost to a determined idiot; feast your eyes on this

down there

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—it still amazes me what can be achieved with a mediocre zoom and a several updates on an out-of-date* Macintosh computer.

You simply need to zoom in on your selected image (or bit thereof) and screenshot**  the part you want. Easy-peasey~!

BOOM BOOM

* I’ll never (! ! !) update my Operating System again (since that time Apple ‘upgraded’ and made a helluva lot of my archives totally inaccessible. Apple can go lick hedgehogs … sharp hedgehogs, hedgehogs with very pointy prickles).

**  Command-shift-4, and drag.

BALLS …

artificial, true—

but genuine.

Herewith below please find (or not, they’re free anyway) a whole herd of wild balls; organised by their own inherent sense of disorder into serried ranks and files—

“Mr Argus, Sir?”

“Yes, Little Virginia, pest?”

“What’s ‘serried’, Sir?”

“I dunno, sweet cherub—but don’t fret. My guess is that very few in Blogland know either.”

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Stacked entirely by themselves and of their own volition—who dare say there’s no true order in Nature, huh?

Now, where were we?

Oh, yes … the fancy imaginative use of imagination?

Then imagine, if you will, that you are parked up at the park with your heart’s desire and peering over her shoulder at a tree …

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… and this is what you see. So feel at liberty to let your mind wander, and don’t tell me what those gargirlian shapes suggest (I have problems enough already).

In Invercargill recently

we had the annual Santa Parade. Dozens of Santas (Santae?) but only one with the official Santa sleigh & reindeers.

So whilst awaiting the arrival of the gathering herds I photographed some of said gathering herds and being a bit camera-shy myself—

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—made sure that none of the unwary would wander sociably over and stuff the camera up the old dog’s nose. (En passant off-the-cush candids, boom boom!)

AND TO CLOSE

for those

with a long flexi-nose …

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A B innocently going about the daily round. You know how it is, suck up a little here, drop a pollen or two there; and hope not to get ambushed by blasted spicers … oops, spiders. (Dum keyboard—it’s these big clumsy paws, dammit.)

Okay. I lied. Sue me—

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—I just had to add this final last last final shot—there I was, trotting lightly along Dee Street when I saw an old-fashioned (but much better design) pram (Americans may read ‘baby carriage’ here) running down the street all by itself. Although I found such activity interesting (yea, even fascinating!) it occurred to me that if I remained a spectator rather than participant that pilotless pramcraft might slip the surly bonds of footpath and dance itself to destruction amidst the no-holds-barred traffic that is Invercargill’s.

Of modest hero stuff I ambled over and intercepted said beast, returning it to its owner; who obliviously inside her shop on her knees with a mouthful of pegs (don’t ask) nodded me a grateful smile … and left me to figure out how the hell the brakes should be applied.

In the end (they seemed frozen)(rust?) I left it slightly nose in and bimbled off.

Good deeds for the week—one …

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I PROMISE

that

UNTIL THE NEXT TIME

this will be the last time I shoot bees: (absolutely!) (Sure …)

So, let’s begin with my most very favourite (which we’ve all seen before yada yada yada…)

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—a bee on final approach to the local McBeegles.

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A bee practising her breast stoke and pondering lack of progress. But she kept at it and eventually reached the end*.

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A not-a-bee doing whatever it is they do when they rub their front paws together. Inside the house this poor wee shiverin’ timorous beastie would be an enemy (SQELCH!) but out here it’s a case of “I’ll leave you alone if you leave me alone” (wish only that our politicians would do likewise~).

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This wee QT, I had no idea she/he/it was there until I ‘developed’ the shot—saw a speck, blew it up and there she was with all paws up in the air saying (I imagine, to her next lunch) “Take me—I’m yours!”

Okaaaay …

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This cutie reminds me of that justifiably famous WW2 song (I yodel it often when The Spouse is a squirming captive audience as we’re driving along)—

—or not.

We’re both tone-deaf anyway …

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Agile little critturs, aren’t they? I could never do that (my nose isn’t long enough).

Penultimately:

we have a high forager checking out the spring growth. Quite a few and very active, this is the only shot that worked.

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And to close, this also is a not-a-bee.  Down there down there

But we loved it anyway, so make of it wot you will …

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And now I have to hoof off to the hinterlands, armed with cheery grin and portable camera—hoping that now I have the polarising filter with me those fishies will have returned to the stream.

Wish me luck …

dodo

* And fell off. (Recovered well:  give her credit for (a) being a bit dopey and (b) excellent reflexes.)

NEW LENS~!

but sadly

mix ‘n’ match in the following. ‘Twas ever thus …

A hare, they say, divides the False and True …

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—and this guy sits patiently in a downtown (Dee Street) pub. I’ve entertained notions of kidnapping said beast but would probably get savagely savaged for my troubles. (Not by the hare—by the barlady) (they have some dolly damsels tending bar here, and on occasion some formidable battle-maidens. It would be just my luck …)

NEXT:  A norse.

An ‘orse? (Damn this long forgotten Cockney accent …)

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There’s a young foal in the field behind, and like a good parent anywhere this one checks out intruders.

Peace, friend … en passant …

HOME AGAIN

and herewith something one doesn’t see often. A foxglove cruising at periscope depth …

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—so I mowed around it, leaving a long stripe unmown back to the parent plant. The Spouse mildly mentions sometimes that we have idiosyncratic lawns but I counter with words to the effect that if the Gods had meant us to have clipped grass they’d have evolved it that way. (So there~!)

Moving on, to—

—the the Land Of Nod

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—yes; it’s ‘nodding grass’.

In town (Invercargill) on a derelict site I found some, burgled a few bits and now have several patches growing. You can’t see here but the slightest breeze sets the whole lot dancing—it may be a weed but just see if I care: I love it!

AND TO FINISH

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—I saw this in a charity shoppe just yesterday. Santa Maria in a bottl  glass thing; and my shot does it no justice at all … “No!” squawked The Spouse in alarm and (dare I say?) so emphatically that seagulls took flight outside. A redundant bellow—I have too many of these sorts of things already.

But …

Naaaaaah …

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“Wisdom, Argie, is knowing when to bite your tail …”

 

BACK INTO IT WITH

A MISCELLANY.

Challenge: spot the repeat …

First up:

A thing, which by any other name—

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—would still prong the unwary snout. Bee careful when sniffing cos the bumbles love ’em too … and you really do not want to inhale any manner of bee, especially fat fluffy furry ones.

Next, rhymes with bee—

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—give up? You’re no fun~! Green (I lied about the rhyming). Let’s now move on amidst the groans …

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An innocent crittur

with more faith in his camouflage than my ability to see guys who move when they should keep still.

If not taking the shot I could almost have reached out and touched him; but he went his way and I concentrated on the too early fungaloids. Mushrooms. Thingies …

Speaking of which—

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—feast on this, for we shall never see the like again. (Not here at any rate—its environment was butchered to make a frisbee golfer’s holiday.)(You’ve seen it before anyway …)

AND ON THE SUBJECT OF

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repurposing: this rather attractive (from the other side) elderly old church was sold recently to the Southern Institute of Technology; which will convert it intto an educational facility. (As for the dead ashes of deceased parishioners in the grounds, those interred  formally will be dug up and and reinterred elsewhere, the scatterees can enjoy the vitality of new and energetic company.)

Perhaps for the dig-upping they might ask one of the local outdoor museums for a loan of this cute wee gadget—

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—but I’ll have to report back on that at a later date.

And now I must bring in some recipes for making trifles, my Beloved (who cooks, I must admit, much like my old dog used to) (no, I’m not saying my wife is a bitch) (jeez, how do I get myself into these things?)(But she can do wonders with a slab of old boot …  that used to be a juicy steak …)

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“A wise Dog, Argus, knows when to quit~!”

 

 

 

MINERVA

GONE, BUT NOT

dragon.gifforgotten.

Not much …

In the meantime, here she was in her many moods—

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—aloof, said some.

I think not. I detect a hidden smile within all that drama (and what the hell is a ‘loof’ anyway?)

Goddess of Wisdom, say some. Certainly wise enough to keep a fair distance from the tuatara when offering a nice salad—does she know that the wee dinosaurs weren’t vegetarians?

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Obviously not—see … here she is again.

Wisdom, you say? Sure, I believe you …

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But always a happy welcoming smile behind that ‘duty’ frown—

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—and radiating the aura of cleanliness that comes from sound hygiene and a total lack of pigeons. Even the blasted seagulls know better …

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—and you could be forgiven for thinking that she’s bigger than she looks.

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Big in heart, long in wisdom—

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—able to match any mood with a gentle subtlety that makes the Mona Lisa a soal of shavage sarks by comparison.

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Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 20.56.44.pngOne of the many grand unrequited passions of my life she was inelegantly hoicked off of her podium and promptly relegated to a basement somewhere to await ‘refurbishment’. (And eventual relocation?)

I HAVE MY THEORIES

that with the short-notice* closure of the Museum (the pyramid you see behind her), and the building of a new grandiose shopping mall in what is optimistically touted as the “Central Business District” in Invercargill …

... my personal prediction is that when all the dust and feathers finally settle our beloved Minerva will reappear in all her radiant glory on a lovely new plinth in the atrium of said enclosed shopping mall.

Watch this space …

dodo

 

 

 

 

* Okay, it was effectively a panic shutdown. (“Earthquake prone”, you see …)

INVERCARGILL PARKY

SNAPS

—and all is change. Spring is here and today is bitter with driving rain.

There have been changes. Our beloved Pyramid is officially ‘earthquake prone’ so closed to the public. But we are allowed to hoof around the outside and may peer at the tuataras through the glass.

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Our perky Living Treasures have resurfaced after the winter. (They never seem to move, but they look perky~!)

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This used to be an absolute hive of activity, and even now still gets the odd uninformed tourist blinking at the “Hard luck! We’re shut!” notices on the locked doors. (Earthquake prone, you see.)

That wee observatory to the left was declared hazardous a year or two back. And now, the statue of Minerva—

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—slated for removal also … renovation, they said. Each time I went to see if she’d gone, she hadn’t, but reprieves are temporary. Still, if I feel the need for company I can always hoof off to the vibrant heart of town—

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—bearing in mind that the entire block (to our right as we peer up along Esk Street …) is due for the chop. Except for the gift-wrapped Kelvin Hotel at the end, and the facade of the former ‘Southland Times’ building, all to be removed and replaced with a new wonderfully modern shopping mall that will be the envied paradigm for malls everywhere.

Frankly I think that someone hasn’t done his homework; but thankfully I’m not a taxpayer in this town. But I do often use the library.

That too is undergoing ‘exciting new modernisation’ (now dribbling to a finish). We’ve lost the escalators (replaced with stairs) and the Children’s Section has been mixed in with adults.

I seized an opportunity at one point in the exciting new renovations and scored this exciting capture which shows the exciting new separated by a temporary space divider—

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—old to the left, new to the right. I much preferred it as it was, kids isolated in their own world and we had escalators … but these days the sick, lame, or lazy can always use the lifts out of sight at the back.

Improvement?

Oh ... WOW!.png

Oh  …  WOW!

PEACE …

… tranquility in urbis.

IN INVERCARGILL’s

Queens Park there’s a lovely little Japanese Garden. Looked after by a ‘raker of the day’ who sometimes does a superb job and on other days simply plops the rake down and makes a few desultory wee squirgles (squiggles, swirls). No class or poor programming but it’s a job …

AND NOW

this vast metropolis (50,000 people!) is again being twinned, this time with the new dominant economic power—and we’re getting a Chinese Garden, being installed close to the Japanese Garden.

There will of course be a huge bunfight when it is officially opened. Champagne will flow, corns will be popped and many pledges of eternal friendship and other guff will delight the ears. Hopefully dancing girls … maybe one of the ‘dragon dance’ things complete with gongs, bells and whistles? To be met head on with a jolly old Haka or two?

Over the years I’ve taken a few snaps of the Japanese Garden but never caught the essence, here be a couple, make of ’em what we may …

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and …

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(love that ‘keyline’ effect! Boom boom!)

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Unfortunately all access is roped off and sight-lines limited by terrain. I’ve sneaked in a couple of times …

The last time I broke bounds I saw an Asian damsel of about nineteen-ish doing the same, and tracked her until she went back public and was kneeling in the legal open for a shot; at which point I greeted her and said mock-chidingly that I’d been watching her …

… to which she gave me an impish smile and said the same, glancing over at where I’d been illicitly head down and tail up over something. Sobering thought.

I must be getting old… we got chatting and she explained that she was a student at the local Inst of Tech. I wish I’d thought to get a snap, she was absolutely delightful.

And, dammit—my undercover shots were rubbish so I ditched the lot. Win/lose a few … and to finish here’s a tiny stand-alone thingy in the street, apparently part of the same ‘twinned cities’ package—

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—and I love it~!

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* Can’t blame them, it’s what they’re paid for; and The Buck is what it’s all about, no?

PERSONAL PHOTO

CHALLENGE OF THIS WEEK:

… … … wait for it … … …

WALKIES~!

Boom boom! (Ahem, a bit less of this wild enthusiasm—)

BACKGROUND

I walk a lot. Six klicks when weather is fowl (I’ll admit it, I’m chicken) and varying circuits to twelve K’s when I feel like it.

devil-2A totally unnecessary accessory on any walk is a camera and trimmings, without which I’d feel be naked (dysfunctional, and fretting oodles too) … (so please delete and amend previous wordings as required for coherence).

So herewith also find a few shots selected entirely at random, just as they appear on my screen. One day I’ll get ’round to a whole heap of proper editing—that’ll be when I take a break from shooting, which will be right after Hell freezes over. Judging by the expression on the face of my Guardian Angle there, no time soon. (No freezes pleases, hey?)

WINTON

is a wee country town overflowing with sportsfolks of all types and ilks. Can’t get away from them (hell, if walking is a sport I’m guilty too?) (naaaah!).

Here have a nice cricket—

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—game. I have no idea who is playing whom but judging by the wild enthusiasm of the crowd it was a major match …

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Another day, another atmospheric phenomenon. Judging by the halo even power poles can be holier than thou. Or moi.

Wotever …

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No walk would be complete without passing under the gaze of (SFX: drum roll, please) The Watcher. His hat seems to have slipped again, it does often and I retilt it to a more rakish angle.

Nice guy but he never returns my salutes—and never growls at me for walking across his grass, for which I am grateful.

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Across the road and along a bit these things. This being farming country I venture a guess that they may be something to do with agriculture (but don’t quote me on that).

More in that vein, here have thee a nice—

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—harvest, complete with an ever patient truck awaiting collection. Of the harvest, that is. I’m told that those big gift-wrapped things are stuffed with hay. Apparently gift-wrapping makes it better somehow. But I can’t help thinking that it makes things a bit difficult for sheep and cows and things, all molars and no claws …

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And when the ploughman homeward wends his weary way and old dogs turn back to their kennels, this (above) is what you see sometimes down here.

It was a misty-rainy day and with wet all over the lens I took the shot anyway, knowing damn’ well that folks would think it all Photoshop. ‘Snot, it’s wysiwyg …

AND NOW FEEL 

free, to

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dragons17

—make a comment …

Nor by night—

SEMPER VIGILANS!

Which might other times be translated as ‘ever awake’ …

Dodo

I hoofed off to Winton the other night to investigate a great white. Great white glow in the sky … and scored these.

But first, a shot I shot in the day when passing a wee novelty on the sports field there:

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And it being so self-obvious I feel no need to explain. But that was a daytime snap and these are the nighters—finger down

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The utterly deserted rugby ground, but floodlit … for God? Who else would need the floodlights? (Other than cranky old dogs growling and prowling with a camera, tripod, and cold paws? No ice there yet but it was freeeeezing!)

Now: that hedge to the left is about ten feet high yet somehow manages to block some of the light. But the locals across the road—

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(The road, above. Hedge to our right; locals to our left. My feet out of sight below us, various millions of gods and stars in their heavens waaaay above us.) (Ya gotta set the scene …)

—are very religious.

I’ll explain further down; and now, detail from along the road a bit—

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—these Southlanders are nothing if not

(a) pragmatic,

(b) patient,

(c) long suffering,

(d) very understanding and tolerant where religion is concerned

… and here in Southland there is only One True Religion and Sport is its name. There are two major sex (oops) sects; one follows Rugby and the other Netball. I am an atheist so I miss out on a lot …

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