Just testing, ‘cos the ‘theme’ I was using earlier no longer makes links of photos.

So if these test-shots come up usable on screen but are active links that takes us to larger versions … then things are working properly—

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I hope. Looking good so far …

Here, have a tractor just moving up to take station in the parade. Southland’s Fire Service coming up astern to keep a weather eye open for it …

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And now to see it this thing works for me …

Don’t wait up—the Preview function won’t open in a new tab, in fact just now it blew everything away and I had to use ‘History’ to find it and try again.

Why do these blasted Geeks keep ‘improving’ things?

Nope. Still not working, I’ll try another fiddle …




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 …)


Peters Pan

or should that be



Don’t ask me, I’m just the scruffy scribe here. I was rabbiting through my iPhoto albums, trying to clear some unwanted imagery and found a wee file of Peter Pan statue shots from various visits to Queens Park.

Here be some of ’em (and that’s all you get so if PP bores you I won’t be offended if you simply move on) …

STARTING with wet and soggy. (Well, wet …)

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And the second verse—

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—same as the first, only different.

I’d love to know what she’s just suggested, he’s looking a bit googly-eyed and gobsmacked.

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I sneaked around a bit but still couldn’t hear. Bummer …

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On a cold winter’s day I feel that clothing made of something other than a few leaves and feathers would be more apt—but what do I know?

Perhaps I should ask—

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—the sweet little old lady who every morning reloads his hands with a posy of fresh flowers. If anyone knows who she is they’re not saying, but it adds some flavour …

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wanted to shoot them on a misty morning. Never worked out, so dammit—I made my own mist. All ya gotta do is breathe on the lens then get the snap quickly.


can vary, often within minutes down here. Things happen swiftly in Queens Park, quite often lovely trees that were there yesterday are just a pile of sawdust today. I think the demented man-with-the-chainsaw is either working a sideline firewood racket or is determined to force through his vision of an open vista park: savannah (with an occasional ‘token’ tree).

So here’s one lighting—

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—here’s another—

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And we’ll close with this one I tweaked a little in iPhoto—

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—and thank heavens that’s over~! I can now clear them off my drive, store ’em on flash-sticks, and maybe one night get my butt down there and grab some lamplight shots. Perhaps I can stick a burning candle on Peter’s other shoulder, and shoot the effect?

Dammit—this flu must be just about over, I’m getting all camera-twitchy again




WPC: Beneath Your Feet

I love the weekly


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


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.


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?


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—


—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 …




WPC: Beneath Your Feet



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.


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.



*Moi. (Did you guess?)