on my afternoon walk. Miles from the nearest convenience and with the dam threatening to burst—there was no way I’d make it to civilisation in time. But the golf course was within range (just) and the old “any port in a storm” adage is as valid today as it was before nuclear submarines and floating iron cities.

I ducked in …

… and forced into the nearest patch of trees with penetrable undergrowth … and actually made it just before the dam burst:


It was, like the man said of Waterloo: “A near run thing!”

As the mists cleared and the storm clouds dissipated and the sun came out and angelic choruses filled the air with praises to the God of long tinkles, I realised I’d have to get home … and which way had I come in?

Home was in that direction, not to be reached by following an elephant-trail of desperate destruction. So I homed from instinct … got a memento shot in a clearing almost at the edge—

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—when just at the edge with only a few yards to go there was an explosion close (!) underfoot that shattered the bejabbers out of me and briefly left me with the thought that I might have to change my jockeys as well—

—as a huge mother-duck burst bellowing quacks from absolutely perfect cover. I kid you not, one more step and it would have been disaster for all concerned. She went off and when I’d stopped berating myself I checked out the nest, which looked like this:

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—on close approach.

But when I got near enough to see (without disturbing possible infants) I counted eleven eggs. Eleven! Wow!

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There may even have been more but I certainly wasn’t going to disturb nothing … no sign of Mother Duck when I emerged and thankfully no blasted golfers either. Set course for home, thinking that the old instincts do indeed pass with time:


In future be alert!*

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* Yes, I know … we need more lerts, right?



I was hoofing through the wilds of inner Invercargill when I saw (and managed to capture) a wee rooftop drama—

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—where sadly the cat didn’t get his lunch. Equally cheerily the bird never got away from the cat either, but all concerned were as satisfied with the outcome of that wee rooftop drama as any whimsiest could ever wish for. I left them to it.

I was intent on rephotographing the Invercargill Water Tower. I’ve shot it often but never to my satisfaction—

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—until in desperation I thought to use a Special Effect. (Subtle, ya gotta be subtle …). It used to be open to the public (tower, not the effect) until some genius decided that it is ‘Earthquake Prone’ and declared it so. Shut now, of course—

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—which is a real pity, because there’s no better viewpoint for snapping the rooftops of this wee town. Still a cute tower, though …


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bird here called a tui. The Tui has iridescent ‘gun metal’ feathers with a wee tuft of white at its throat; and a melodic call that fair rattles the ears if you’re anywhere near when they let loose. Sadly I love it … ouch.

In Queens Park in town last week I happened upon a whole bunch of them feeding (nectar) in a blossom tree—active like you wouldn’t believe. I took several dozen shots and boiled them down to just two lucky captures—

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—this and one other. I love these birds but when they start calling I have to insert distance as soon as I can—their call can fill entire valleys. (Close up you don’t hear it so much as feel it. Brrrrr.)

Moving on from there I tried again to capture an image of a pine that seems to be overly devoted to cones—Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 20.15.35.png—this too has to be seen to be believed.

The management there and I differ—so they no longer reply to (or acknowledge) any of my correspondences, which fact doesn’t stop me bleating when due—I mean, look at what the Philistines have done to this once lovely sundial—

(a) before tender loving care:

  down finger

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now look at the new look

(b) post tender loving care—

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—and when I pointed out that two dissimilar metals in an electrolyte (yes, even down here we have rain) produces electrolysis … dammit … anyway, whatever that gunk is that they used it won’t rub off. Some sort of very expensive ‘flavour enhancer preservative’ I imagine.

There are other bronze sundials in the park, but don’t fret, I’ve already photographed them. Aaaah, progress … don’t you just love Moderns, and their ‘progressive’ notions?

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Yep, Tink … ol Argie is still a cynic.





and dated ages ago …

(I think it was someone’s Weekly Photo Challenge). From memory the Challenge was ‘Vibrant’ (or similar).

And now:

I gotta go out soon (Spouse wants to go to town) so here’s just a couple of basic snaps for you—


.oh, indeed! The sort of vibes you have to be there and feel in person to appreciate; the ones that cameras don’t do justice.

So moving along now (hurry, hurry, hurry—what is it with women?)

Here’s a vibrant mushie—

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—get used to it, there’s millions more coming on stream in the park (mushies, not snaps). Gonna be a hard winter, I think*  …


something completely different (and other than a wee bit of cropping, completely untweaked—

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—with colours just don’t come more vibrant than that~! Boom boom!

Then again, perhaps last autumn’s leaves do … did. Were. Wotever; feast your ocular colour receptacles on these babies—

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—or, continuing with my idea that yellow is more vibrant than anyone, here’s a nice fuzzy fellow with a warm heart—

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—and I now really must rush. If only there were some way I could put into a post the vibrant feelings I get when she looks at me like that … as if it were my fault that the theme of the week is ‘Vibrant’.

Ohhhhh, heck with it — here’s one more snap, I’ve been working on it and haven’t yet figured out how to squash a long skinny shot into a short fat berth on a page—

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—but if you click on it you may just get a nice big one. (Vibrant greys, assorted) … Good luck~!



* It was, too …




Boom boom!

I’ve finally shot a New Zealand native fantail (no, wishful thinker, not a dancer—bird) with tail outspread—

—scant zilliseconds before it did what fantails do. It flitted …

But I’m happy! Rapt, in fact!


to flitter around humans. I love their company and in the darker parts of the woods/trees/forest/bush or park they come even closer. Possibly because the road less travelled has more bugs, I don’t know—but here’s one for the experts:

One hung around me for ages, and when I wouldn’t move came even closer. I could have grabbed it were I so inclined (and face it ya silly old goat, if still as fast as you used to be)(once).

He perched on a wee branch low enough to be beaking up at me and chirped and twittered. This, I could handle. But suddenly I became aware that there was a frequent vibration in my right ear, simultaneous with him silently opening and shutting his beak.


I say again that when this was happening I heard nothing (r) nothing, but felt it, only in my right ear, and only when he was beaking. All his chirpings and twitterings I did hear as normal.

And to close, one taken a dozen years ago in another place.

Enjoy …




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).


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.


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’

WPC: Vibrant 4

Would you believe


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.


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



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.


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?


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 …


“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!”


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




WPC: Careful

Every week another challenge. And who would we be to refuse?


scene. We went to Gore for the day. Gore is a small town that until fairly recently was famous for its youth, bored kids who crawled out of the woodwork at night—kids who became known as ‘Gorons’. A local name for a universal product.

A no-holds-barred policing policy sorted them out but a few bits of their legacy live on, sometimes under bridges where other trolls dwell—

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—and on a bright spring morning it’s hard to catch the ‘art’ work without taking liberties with exposures and stuff. This is the surviving part of an earlier road bridge over the local river. LOOK: I know it’s fashionable to consider (okay, to spout that you consider) such vandalism as ‘folk art’ but to me it’s nothing but colour-muck spread by the talentless. The purveyors of this ‘art’ belong in the same asylums as the guys who blow up ancient Buddha statues, or smash ‘heathen idols’ in mid-Eastern museums. Bleuch.


their great works contain wannabe swastikas. Young hoons apparently all admire Nazis and Naziism, no end. One can forgive pignorance*  in the unsophisticated but surely if they’re going to spray symbols on structures they could get them right? (Yer actual Nazi swastika as a burning cross rotates anti-clockwise.)

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Possibly a hundred years or more ago engineers and clever chaps with theodolites and mathematical tables did lots of sums and built the bridge, in the course of which they installed flood gauges.

Flash forward to today’s youth and you get these sprayed on desecrations—which the Politically Correct assure us are ‘folk art’ (and the vibrant expressions of frustrated creative youth). Yeah, right.

Moving on …

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An unfair comparison: the old bridge on the left there, the more recent current bridge on the right/overhead as we stand; monuments to the past — and some great modern artworks adding class to the otherwise crass commercial functionality.

I know it’s art—true art evokes emotions, no?

And we have to be careful how we treat it, even with cameras …



* Pignorance = pig ignorance

WPC: grid




Please note:

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

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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—


‘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 …


Nil Despondo 

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