Friday, August 27, 2010

A Very Cute Visitor

I was sitting in my usual place, with my foot up, as it's still in plaster. When I looked outside, and there was the cutest 5 day old lamb outside my ranch slider on my deck. It had been brought round for me to see by Carol and Logan. There's something about babies isn't there? It can melt the strongest heart, no matter what kind of animal it is.

So I brought it inside...

Aren't I just the cutest it said. I had to agree!

She ran over to the bulldog statue at the door and whispered sweet nothings in his ear. If the bulldog could have, it would have wagged his tail and licked her.

"I'm ready to play" she said to the cat. But the cat would have none of it.

"Take that then" and she poked out her tongue. (Carol has obviously been teaching her bad habits already!)

"How dare you be here" said Kassia Cat. "You can leave if you want. Now wouldn't be soon enough!!"

"Definitely not, I'm not going home, I'm far too tired just now and here's a spot just for me, right on the wires for the great big TV!"

At this stage the lamb decided it needed to PEE! So it went outside for a few minutes...

"Take that" said the cat "stay out there, don't come back"

"There's giant rabbits out here, so please let me back in"

"No way" said the cat, "not by the hair on my chinny chin chin"

Then while the cat wasn't looking.... we let her back in!!!

"Oh cat, I bow to your cunning and superior intellect, for it could only be so if you're given your own house with an electric blanket to live in"

"Can you believe this?" said the cat 'IT is making itself comfortable next to MY house"

"How dare you sit there! I will stare until you leave - don't you dare stay there"

"Oh Gawd - she's gone to sleep!!!"

"I'm not moving or leaving so you can stare at me all day"

"Isn't this cat hilarious, with her funny bully way"

"Peace at last - the cat finally went away"


Aren't I just cute?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An Excellent Vibrating Alarm Clock

Funny videos

Remember in my last blog I said I slept in and missed the Camera Club trip. Now if I had this as an alarm clock, I doubt whether I would ever sleep in again.

Not sure the cat would like it though. I can easily see this as a huge seller within the Deaf Community.

Wairau Lagoons

Back in March shortly after I moved into my new house, the Marlborough Camera Club had a field trip to the Wairau Lagoons. I slept in too late and missed the meeting time!! So I flagged it. It was early March and still very hot and dry, and when I saw some of the photos of the dried cracked riverbeds that the other members had taken, I decided I'd go up anyway.

Unfortunately, by the time I did get there, we had had a day or two of heavy rain. However, I still got some interesting shots....

Here's the entrance.  On the left are the Marlborough Poo Ponds, but once you get past those, the whole of the area opens up before you...

Quite a few board walks over the swampy bits. I was hoping for more bird life, but unfortunately there was very little that day. I probably needed to get there a bit earlier in the morning, or later in the day!

Here's looking back to where we were walking from. Guillemette and Brian were with me, Guillemette was walking on the boardwalk, and Brian is lagging behind somewhere!

As I said before, the whole area opens up to this huge wide expanse that is absolutely gorgeous. The paths were easy to walk on, and as one can see, not too many hills!!!

When taking photos, I like to take them in different positions to get a different perspective, not just the same photo from the standing up position. The more you move around your camera, the more chance you get of having a winning shot. This one is far from a winning shot, but one I like all the same!

I love the colour of the grasses, and the way the wind sweeps them into different positions reflecting the light. The blue sky in contrast really sets it off as well.

The Wither Hills make a perfect backdrop in this setting.

Even though the rains had filled the creeks, evidence of the dry cracked empty riverbed w as still there...

The water was pretty clear and unpolluted as you can see from this close up the river. I am determined to go back this coming summer when it's bone dry!

This is as far as we got, simply because my ankle still very sore and I couldn't walk long distances on it. How I hope this surgery has worked so I can start walking again soon! As you can see there are two ways to the shipwreck. I've heard now that the best time to go is late afternoon, so that's what I'll be doing in January!

On our way back to the car, I didn't find a dried up riverbed, but I did find a dried up pond.

I took a close up image of it - almost looks like dried up cow dung!

Finally, I stitched 6 images together to make one huge panormama of this area. Those hills far in the distance on the left is the North Island, to the Wither Hills on the right, and the path we were on in the middle. This gives you an idea of the expanse we experienced on our walk.

If you click on the image, it will come up on your screen in a bigger view to get more of an idea.

I'm definitely going back!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mt Olympus Station

Way back in April, before the winter months set in, the Marlborough Camera Club had a day trip to the Mt Olympus Station, way down the Waihopai Valley.   Unfortunately it was set up and only a set number of people could go, due to the availability of four wheel drive access.  So, I wasn't able to go.  However, being a committee member has it perks, and I got to go to the station on the Wednesday beforehand to suss out the area to to find out what was available photographically.  I didn't actually get to go to the top of Mt Olympus, but I did get to see a fair bit of the station and loved it.

The station is run by Lynn Russell singlehandedly.    Yep - a 3000 acre sheep and beef station, run by a single woman.  I'm impressed.  I find it hard to manage my 783 square metres of land, let alone a 3000 acre station!  You know - keeping the lawns mowed.  Having the cat catch rabbits.  Irrigating my vegetable garden....

Anyway, we arrived at the station, and was invited in first for a cuppa in the 100yo farm house.. It was cosy warm and really pretty. 

Beautiful place to be.  After drinking a cuppa, Lynn put us in the truck.  I rode in the back taking photos as I went...I couldn't help but think that if I hadn't moved down to the South Island, I wouldn't be having such wonderful opportunities such as this.

This was the flatbed truck I was on. As we left the farmhouse, the 100yo woolshed and surrounding buildings got smaller...

The road was lined with the trees in their autumn colours...

Just look at those blue skies above the ranges. One of the reasons I love it down here.

We went through lots of different paddocks and gates...

past streams lined with trees with their autumn coats on...

I can just imagine coming down here with a picnic basket full of bacon and egg pie, champagne and strawberries...

The surrounding hills had commercial pine forests, which made an interesting contrast with the autumn colours...

Looking up... a lone tree enjoying the view...

of interesting rock formations...

These rock formations were apparently featured in the NZ National Geographic magazine and the photographers had been out there a few months before...

A quick break to water the dog... he had loads of fun!

And then it was time for us to start heading back to the farmhouse. The late afternoon sun through the trees gave it a silvery glow..

and the sun also gave us an even bigger contrast from the commercial pine forest...

Lynn stopped to show us a bee hive. Rather big, and still alive - I used my long lens to get this, as I didn't want to get to close... Understandably...

And just up from here we met one of station's big male natives..

Then it was back to the 100yo woolshed..

I could fossick around here forever with my camera. It was a photographers paradise inside and outside the shed...

old horseshoes - lots of them...

old tools...

and a very old pack saddle...

The shed was just packed full of history, with branding irons and old machines. I wish I could have stayed longer, and I so wished I had had my tripod on me! I had left it at home in error!

I had a great afternoon, and got home just as the sun was setting. I had to rush and get my camera for this one though..

Perfect end to a perfect day in paradise!