Sunday, March 29, 2009

Week 13: Flora and fauna

Chester doesn't know this, but he 'posed' (or rather snoozed) through a modelling session. This is his best shot...

And this is one of Wellington's best shots - from the top of the cable car at the Botanic Gardens looking back over the city and the harbour.

We went to the gardens because I was missing deciduous trees and wanted to see some colourful leaves. Here are some:

There were also some beautiful flowers, as you would expect. I'm no botanist, so here's a sample of some 'pretty plants':

This (below) is an agave attenuata. I know that because it said so on a sign next to it. I think it looks like a giant artichoke.

And this is a butterfly on a cactus plant. I know that because I know what a butterfly looks like and it was in the cactus garden. So that's this week's flora and fauna!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Week 12: Wellington waterfront

This is apparently New Zealand's first purpose-built 'green' office building. Meridian Energy is the principal tenant, and the Wellington waterfront building is designed to use 60% less energy and 70% less water than comparable office buildings. I'm not sure why it has to look like this, but then I'm not an architect, so what do I know?

The writer's walkway around the Wellington waterfront features a load of obscure quotes. Some are quite deep and meanigful, others are merely empty aphorisms. But flanked by boats, water, restaurants and rusting mooring posts, at least they look pretty.

This bloke is merrily soldering on the safety instructions to a plaque while his mate stands by in non-protective clothing. The weather is unfeasibly calm for once - I'm sure that all outdoor soldering will be done today.

On a very wet and windy weekday afternoon, the chairs are stacked outside St John's bar - a far cry from the lazy afternoon drinks in the sun as promulgated by the casual crowd.

The steel plants on the plinths outside Te Papa are clattering and waving in the wind.

Local popular wisdom has it that 'you can't beat Wellington on a good day.' This may or may not be true, but this is what it looks like most of the time - the waterfront at lunchtime...

Even the statues are sniffing out better weather.

On this grey day, the only splash of colour is to be found at the basketball/BMX/skateboard park. So, when does graffiti become artwork?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Week 11: Trees and flowers

Last week on Kate's blog, I refererred to myself as a tree-hugger. This isn't strictly true - I don't hug them (often), but I do have a special place in my heart for them. Here are some (non-native) Eucalyptus on Mount Victoria.

And some more, gnarly old pine trees.

I would love to know which mushrooms are edible on my walks through the woods, but as I don't, I leave them all well alone and just content myself with taking photos of them.

Stuart Clarke would be interested in this for his Homes of Football site. I think it's Wellington college's home ground.

One of the things I like about Wellington is its equal commitment to sport and culture. In this photo there are three sporting venues; a velodrome, tennis courts and a softball pitch. All were being used.

The honeysuckle blooms sweet and fragrant - it's such a powerful scent produced from such a fragile-looking flower.

And as chocolate seems to go so well with flowers, it was appropriate to find this shop at the end of our walk.

Piles of purple and green savoy cabbages bring baubles of colour to the Waitangi Market.

While Chester remains resolutely unbothered by anything.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Week 10: Line up, up North

I've been up in Auckland on a trip for work. Staying in a tiny apartment in the middle of town I was kept awake all night by the sound of the generator or air conditioning or whatever it was. This is the view from the window. Look at all those lines! It's enough to bring on a headache.

And speaking of lines, here are some more; natural and otherwise. A sub trip up to Dargaville takes me through kumara country where honesty boxes and hedges line the roads.

If this isn't enough to put you off a town, I don't know what is!

Meanwhile, back in Auckland, the weather has gone grim. I worked my thirds and triangles to take this shot of Rangitoto Island. Usually this is shown as a sunny vista with blue skies and white sandy beaches, so I love this brooding aspect.

This is the 'script cupboard' where Auckland Theatre Company keep their secrets. Flash isn't it?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Week 9: Run Like The Wind

Preparing to run the Gutbuster, and with the runner's pose down pat!

Not preparing to run, but still pretty flash in the posing department.

And run while everyone else is looking - racing to the finish line with sheer determination.

So here's mum showing him the way it's meant to be done.

The event was sposored by Meridian Energy who gave out windmills to all the children - cynical marketing move? Maybe so, but it kept them happy.

Potatoes were another sponsor, hence the potato and spoon event. Olaf is concentrating hard, but also keeping an eye on his little sister...

...who is cheating like a trooper!