WPC: TINY

ENOUGH

of the small talk: into it~!

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These guys above were a lot smaller than they look. Tiny in fact. But don’t take my word for it, come here in mushie season and see for yourself (Queens Park, Invercargill).

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This wee rodent has reached an accommodation with the birds in my niece’s backyard aviary—he’s no threat to anybody and neither is she, or the birds. Everyone is happy and he gets all the feathers he can eat for free.

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And this is the shot I was looking for but didn’t find yesterday. A tiny wax-eye with a feral apple.

So few of those self-set apples left these days, at the side of what I think must’ve been a coaching road in the horse-drawn carriage age. Travellers chomped their apples and tossed the cores out, cores hold seeds, seeds spill out and some took …

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Don’t feel cheated if you’ve seen it before—that’s ‘cos I posted it before. That bee was possibly sound asleep or whatever it is bees do when loading up with morning sunlight and warmth and neither of us disturbed the other.  Tiny wee thing.

THIS NEXT

is a tiny—

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—shot of a larger whiteboard memo thingy. We used to use it for shopping lists and stuff, but She stopped once I’d drawn the above one morning.

Some weeks later we had a cop cold calling, hoping for witness statements concerning something of which we didn’t know much; so we sat him down and he joined us for morning coffee … was fascinated by and just couldn’t take his eyes off it. I think we made a bit of a change from his usual day’s working environment. Nice young guy, already old beyond his years.

We still have it but definitely showing its age now so we keep it tucked out of harm’s way.

Challenge met?

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Here then, have a last final thought—

—the red dots are (wait for it~!) tiny rubies …

 

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sure beats barkin’

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WPC: Vibrant 4

Would you believe

I HAVE NO IDEA

what I did to the camera, to get this vibrant (but just a wee bit unreal) image of the Winton ancestral chapel. The Spouse was in the Op shoppe looking for bargains (behind me as I took the snap) and I was outside looking for targets of opportunity.

I put it down to pure serendipity—

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—which often beats no end of tweaking, fiddling, playing about and/or otherwise trying for that one all-singing all-dancing vibrant colour pic.

THIS NEXT

of course has been tweaked. I just cannot get a good shot of a hollyhock—

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—so I play around with what I do get.

A purist may well ‘Tut~!’ here, but I ain’t not no purist … thank heavens. Pure can often be a bit boring … Unknown

…. SOMETIMES …

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WPC: trio

WPC: TRIO

Every week another challenge. Yay! And on with it: trio. Trio?

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“Three times,” a rummy old breath murmurs into my ear (The Sage—I thought he’d long since reincarnated somewhere …) “will confirm any issue. Hic!” semper vigilans

Yeah, right. Where were we? Oh yes, trio. According to Mac’s dictionary (screen-shotted above) trio means three of. Oh goody. Here, have yourself a nice mythological doggy—

I use this cute wee fellow in the office of a logo, or caveat, or wake-up call, or simply to add class to a boring post—feed three times a day and never turn your back; free to a good home.

A WEE BIT OF

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 13.09.37judicious tweaking (snip snip) and I reduced a small group of enthusiastic smurfs (smurves?) to a trio.

Trio is legal in the challenge so here you are; they were part of the assembling Christmas Parade that I stumbled over when transiting darkest Invercargill en route Queens Park. I was going to shoot the ducks and flowers but these made an easier target.

I like people. Really.

And I really really like them when they’re working pro bono publico and having a great time doing it; and I especially like capturing them with a camera when they’re simply being themselves (most folks are good at that). Look at the smile on Smurfette’s face there—is that catch, or what?

AND ON A GLOOMIER

note, ‘they’ keep changing things in the park. All in the name of progress, economy and common sense but I guess we have to live with it. The park used to be lighted at night with lamp standards mounting three globular balls, but the globalls are gradually being replaced by the new all-singing all-dancing modern LED things—

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that I suppose charge themselves during the daylight hours and save someone a fortune doing so (got a solar panel on the top).

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I must go back there during the night some time and get some shots of both functioning for comparison purposes; and any other night-shots of opportunity.

So here y’are then, a trio of lighting balls … in the pole above. I have no idea how many LEDs make a lamp …

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“Mr Argus, Sir?”

“Yes, little Ollivia?

“Sir … how many Southland electricians does it take to change a light bulb?”

(Oh no. Not this archaic old cliché—)

“Sir … it takes just three!”

“Oink?”

“One to grip the bulb whilst the others hold him up by the feet and walk around with him to unscrew it …”

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NON LUX MUNDI SUM

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WPC: grid

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GRID CHALLENGE

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Please note:

not a single Photoshop was harmed in the course of shooting these images*.

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AN UNUSUAL WADER

at periscope depth, caught feeding in its natural habitat. Can be recognised by its unusual gridular plumage and habit of standing erect when attempting to mate with its own shadow. And now—

POLITICALLY GRIDDED

‘improvements’. Once upon a time this (below) was a bustling street, thronging with cheery pedestrians, oodles of parking, happy shoppies and overflow cafeteria patrons enjoying a la boulevard (al fresco) coffees and other legal addictive stimulants.

And then some great brain in City Hall thought that if a few million dollars were ripped from the taxpayer and thrown against that street it would be vastly improved and people would come from everywhere to enjoy … etc etc yabba yabba blabber and other meaningless effete officious guff.

Still a work in progress, this (below) is what unrestrained gibbering idiots can do to the smooth uncluttered lines of the work of earlier generations. Watch and weep. Oh, yes, the Challenge …  grid. That brand new uncompleted eyesore twixt heaven and earth in the shot below—this is what happens to a grid when politicians get hold of it—

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—as for what the local business people think of it all, I did ask but don’t know how to spell some of the nouns and adjectives used when fondly referring to said politicians.

Tomorrow is booked in for a nice day with lots of spring sunshine so I may be able to get some cheerier shots.

Hell — I might even find a genuine legal grid for the Challenge, until then I’ll just have to grid my teeth …

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Nil Despondo 

  • Yep. A genuine 24 carat reflection (and they said it couldn’t be done …)

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WPC: Beneath Your Feet

I love the weekly

CHALLENGE

mainly because I get to rave on and it’s all legal. (Showcases some snaps, too …)

SPECIFICALLY

underfoot is this one  taken in Queens Park on a cold and frosty morning—

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—when the crunchy frosty bits were turning into soggy wet bits. All very complicated but I’m sure they know what they’re doing, underfoot.

AND AFTER THE PARK

cometh the stream, or canal, or whatever other name they give to this lump of flowing water. Not strictly beneath my feet—more like beneath but out in front a bit (it was the reflection that triggered my reflections anyway) …

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… is that Serenity, or what?

WAS IT JUST

last summer that I lay upon the grassy sward in front of the Olde Tennis Club? And took several shots, of which this one alone best captured the defunct essence of the out-of-favour tennis courts—in their heyday alive with the sounds of happy people banging their balls back and forth across the nets, and possibly the gurgle of pink gins and/or cold beers with hot crumpet afterwards—

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—alas, no more. To lie upon the grassy sward now is to invite being reaped or otherwise run over by demented bulldozers and herds of workmen with huge tools. Not good.

I caught this one (below) a week or two ago before I was dropped in my tracks by the worst flu bug that ever graced a human disaster zone; and I imagine that to go back there now would be to lay a sensitive soul open to the ravages of Time—

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—when our cup is still full. Funny … once I was all for progress but as I mature I find myself hugging more and more trees, and casting almost desperate eyes upon the rapidly departing elegances of fading ages. I guess it won’t be long before the Eiffel Tower is painted dayglo pink and the Yorktown refloated to become a theme park complete with hamburger joints in a Disneyland somewhere …

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NIL SHUTTERBUGITIS

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WPC: Beneath Your Feet

or, 

UNDERFOOT part 2 

When last in Gore I ambled along what’s left of once very busy shunting lines. Amazing the amount of steel just lying about underfoot, some still scrod to the ground—even complete with little piles of screws and other bits where some long passed artificers dropped them—

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These lines go nowhere now, they do nothin’ but end in wee piles of neatly dumped gravelly stuff. (Why, I have no idea—the very thought of a train coming along along these rails now belongs on either the Sci Fi or the Occult shelves)—

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—sure, the crossing signs are still up on that road in the distance but they are covering the one active line that’s been left to carry an occasional freight from Invercargill (I think). Bummer. No passenger ferries at all.

I still like the idea enthusiastically espoused by some old goat in Auckland* that time ‘they’ were bleating about gridlock traffic congestion on the roads and Harbour Bridge (whilst whimpering about all the unused railways still lying around)—an idea to the effect that there’s no reason why they couldn’t simply slip a bus or several dozen onto rail wheels and just drive them along, turning hardly used cargo routes into commuter routes. Hell, it’s not even a unique thought—I remember seeing a road truck scamper by on the rails with cheerily grinning railway maintenance guys waving tools. It could be done but sadly seems a bit too “outside the box” to even be considered; thus millions of dollars of capital assets quietly rust and fester.

AND NOW

you must already be pondering the next image. There’s a sorry tale behind it—also in Gore, I must add. When out I like visiting all parts of a place. And when once on the other side of the tracks I was bimbling along a street filled with some of the most interesting piles of deceased cars I observed not far in front what appeared to be stacks of ex-motor vehicles with saplings growing up through them.

I wanted a shot, and went closer … yep, definitely. Trees penetrating various steels and things, right through the floors and out through the roofs or windows or otherwise holes.

I shot this one on final approach—

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—with the intention of putting the lens through a hole in the netting of the gate. There was no-one around anyway, so I poked the lens to the hole and quietly entered orbit.

One has to give credit where it’s due. As I slowed to a mere gallop quite some distance up the road—amazing, such reflexes even at my age—that damn’ dog deserve all the credit in the world.

He must have detected me from a long way off (scent, perhaps; instincts honed by habit and boredom, maybe) and silently shadowed my every cheery step along that blasted fence until the ideal ambush was set, armed, and sprung.

Ye utter gods.

I’ve seen huge dogs in my time, and heard them, and on occasion been held captive—but never by such a consummate Master. Think pit-bull crossed with Neapolitan mastiff and aurochs. Slobber? No, that was me afterwards, trying to still my pounding heart—he was all teeth and red eyes with a volume any jet airliner on takeoff revs would envy.

I didn’t hear him—I just felt; and that was through corrugated iron and mesh. He blended his paroxysm of racket with the first hurl of his body into the fence immediately below where my lens was about to trespass—dumb dog, that reverberating THUD by itself would have sufficed.

If he were trying to reinforce the lesson it worked—I give all points to him except for the tiny one I awarded myself (afterwards) for my instant panic-plan … if he’d got out, I was going in.

Not bad for the exigencies of the moment—I’d surrender my share of the street to him for a place in his very own personal yard; wherein the second part of my clever plan was to promptly go aloft on the nearest of those wrecks and once there improvise a weapon of any kind and defend my new kingdom to the death. I don’t know how high huge heavy battle-dogs can jump … it would have been just my luck that he’d figure out how to climb too (and/or wasn’t alone in there). Brrrrr~!

WISER NOW, and desperately in need of a black coffee I gave away photographing anything and staggered off to meet The Spouse. I’m sure I heard a snigger as I wobbled away—in a pronounced canine accent.

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FIN 

*Moi. (Did you guess?)

WPC: Under your feet

 

as in

UNDERFOOT

perhaps.

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HERE WE HAVE

an underfoot revealed. I can’t even begin to think how many times my own feet have ambled, strolled, walked, or on occasion galloped across this lot—with nary a thought to what lies below. At times I pondered the wisdom of using expensive bricks in artistic patterns for pavements; but should you ever live here you’d pretty soon understand. The Council Committee that chose chose well—the footpaths and byways down here are forever being dug up, rearranged or otherwise updatingly ‘put right’; so of course there’s now no horrible eyesore ‘patches’. (And quite possibly the next time I pass this way it could look as if nothing has happened—Hades is in His underworld and all is sweet with the universe. Then again, the very next day some other Council department may well be along with their own shovels and agendas.)

OPPOSITE FROM

underfoot is the concept of overhead. So? So I once read a short story (Azimov, I think) to the effect that some astronauts on the moon were so thoroughly fed up with—every time they ordered something from Earth—stuff arriving in cartons with voluminous instructions written in an apparently foreign language: “To begin assembly, first lay out all the parts and check against list … etc etc” so they radioed Earth and asked if a robotic assembler could be designed, built, and sent up to them.

Well, it was a several month wait but eventually a large package arrived. It was their much anticipated robot … so they tore off the wrappers, and there before their eyes was a voluminous instruction book written in an apparently foreign language: “To begin assembly, first lay out all the parts and check against list …”

So?

So—first, be advised that I’m currently fighting the worst ‘flu I’ve ever had (and this ol’ dog has had some beauts, I tell you~!).

So?

So my internet service supplier recently (at short notice) went belly up.

So I promptly changed over to one ‘Spark’ (which used to be called Telecom—they changed their image, to one of modern youthful vitality and with-it-ness … and some executive doubtlessly got a huge bonus for the spark of genius).

The service I had before was beamed into my home from radio towers in the hills and although slow and given to ‘rain fade’ it worked.

The new all-singing all-dancing Spark? Beelzebub! I never expected the changeover to go sweetly or smooth—things like that just don’t happen in real life.

I should have guessed when I opened the package containing my lovely new modem (these days called a Gateway? I never knew …). Sure, they have a 24/7 Helpline. Of course I tried it … amazing how many robotic voices giving infinite robotic instructions can lead one tortuously to a very final “… all of our agents are busy right now but please hold the line and one will with be with you in … seven … minutes” which after the four hundredth time you hear it gives excellent grounds for divorce.

I should have guessed from the moment I opened the box and saw the surprisingly brief instructions: “To begin assembly, first lay out all the parts and check against list …”

 

And now I’m stuck honking and barking like a lovesick seal, with a computer that is dazzlingly fast with broadband but which I cannot use for emails. I’d phone for help but my landline phone isn’t working although the internet is—and as far as I know they both use the same underfoot cable(s)?

I think it’s entirely possible that I may have outlived my time:

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but worry not, I’m still trying make sense of “set up the SSL to the SSB, use the WAN (if already in use the LAN, MAN, or DAN will serve). POP 3 with an HTML, IMOP or IMAP”

Ye gods, kindergarten kids are doing this stuff as if to the manner born?

AND NOW

for you— a Challenge of my own, make of it what you will. Here be a snap—

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—and your challenge is to suggest what you think might have caused the damage to those two block walls separating the Invercargill Hospice Shop from its neighbours? The near damage has been there for some weeks, the far damage I noticed only the other day so it’s much more recent.

And now to continue getting familiar with my lovely new Gateway (and it is lovely—all black slab with just few (okay, eleven) greenish lighty things along the top).

If you do accept my above challenge, my own responses may take a wee while getting to you. Don’t wait up …

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NIL DESPERO 

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