31 August 2009

Wave and mussels

Wave, musselsI know I've posted this in a slightly smaller form on Pohanginapete, but I'm up to my ears in work right now and every moment's precious (as all moments should be, however). I desaturated most of the colours to convert it to black-and-white, except for those small patches of green seaweed.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

29 August 2009

Dawn sky, Pohangina valley

Cattle, skyAnother telephoto shot from my back door yesterday morning. Less metaphor, although I suppose it's possible to find it there somewhere.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

28 August 2009

Metaphor [2] — [Cattle, Ruahine]

Cattle & RuahineA telephoto shot of part of the view from my back door this morning. It struck me as having the elements of metaphor.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

27 August 2009

Boat builder, Mandvi, Gujarat

Boat builderAt Mandvi, on the coast of Gujarat, they build wooden ships — everything from runabouts to the modern equivalent of galleons. Business seems to be thriving, and while that continues, the old skills will remain.

[P.S. There's a new post on my main blog]

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

26 August 2009

Tagasaste (tree lucerne)

TagasasteTagasaste is better known in the valley as "tree lucerne". It's flowering profusely right now, and is great food for birds (kereru, tui and korimako in particular) and bees (bumblebees and honeybees). That's the Pohangina river in the background.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

25 August 2009

Traffic jam, Jodhpur

CattleMid January 2007. In Jodhpur, travel by foot has definite advantages, not the least being the ease of negotiating blockages like this.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

24 August 2009

Winter, No. 2 Line, Pohangina valley

Midwinter3 July this year: midwinter, the evening the camera died. It almost seemed deliberate, as if that item of plastic, metal and glass had gained just enough sentience to understand this was the time of year when staying alive is hardest. Now, little more than a month and a half later, the season feels utterly different. And the camera's resurrected.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

22 August 2009

Palm squirrel, Kolayat, Rajasthan

Another photo of these delightful little animals.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

21 August 2009

Aspiring guide at Keoladeo Ghana NP, Rajasthan

Aspiring guideA few days before Christmas, 2006, I'd found a spot well away from the main track in Keoladeo Ghana National Park, near Bharatpur in Rajasthan. Nevertheless, this man found me and tried to sell me his services as a wildlife guide. To demonstrate his abilities, he identified the black-shouldered kite sitting in a tree nearby. Unfortunately he misidentified it, badly. They're unmistakeable birds, too. I declined his offer but one had to admire his enthusiasm and initiative, even if they're not enough to compensate for his lack of knowledge. Perhaps by now he's learned enough to be reliable, although reluctance to say, "I don't know" can be a harder handicap to overcome.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

20 August 2009

Young guys at the camel fair

YoungstersAt the camel fair near Bikaner, January 2007.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

19 August 2009

The Ancestor

McKenzie County CouncilWould you buy a used car from any of these men? I thought not. However, cars weren't common then: horse, dray and shanks' pony were the common forms of transport. To be fair, I'll point out that the long exposure times needed for photographs during that time meant smiling wasn't feasible.

Actually, this is the MacKenzie County Council, photographed some time between 1883, when it was formed, and 1891. The men standing are (L-R): Captain Hayter, Andrew Cowan, [?] Milne, E. Dickson, R.L. Banks (engineer), R. Gillingham and J. Alves; the chairman, seated, is John McGregor, my great-grandfather.

I'm not sure where the original negative or print of this photo is. My father copied it many years ago and I have a framed copy, which I photographed.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

18 August 2009

Midwinter evening, Flounder Bay goat track

Goat trackJuly 2008. We walked back from Driftwood Cove to Flounder Bay as the light faded. In midwinter one's likely to have the place to oneself, save for the gulls, the terns, a few gannets cruising along a coast that seems ancient despite the facts of its history. If I saw the silhouette of a pterodactyl out there over that ocean I'm sure I'd experience no more than a momentary confusion, a ripple in reality, before thinking, yes, that belongs here.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

17 August 2009

Evening sky

EveningA year ago the evening sky looked like this at the edge of the terrace.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

15 August 2009

Boulders at Driftwood Cove

ShorelineAt Driftwood Cove some of the boulders look as if they've been placed by giants. At least I think it was Driftwood Cove — maybe it was at the Cove of Giants, just around the corner? Sounds like an excuse to go back and check — not that I'd need an excuse to go back there. I can't wait.

[May 2009]

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

14 August 2009

Spring [plum flowers & bee]

Signs of lifeYesterday hardly seemed like winter. The plum near the gate hummed with bees; sun soaked into everything; lambs slept in the middle of the paddock, undisturbed by any trace of a breeze. But the forecasters tell us bad weather's on the way. I guess winter's not gone yet.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

13 August 2009

The Pohangina Valley from No. 1 Line

The Pohangina valleyAbout an hour ago, on my way back down from a walk to the top of the No. 1 Line track. At the top I rested for a few minutes in the calm, mild afternoon, ate an apple and, through the binoculars, watched a deer feeding at the top of a slip on the far mountainside. I felt as if I had the whole southern Ruahine to myself.

The snow-capped mountains in the distance partly encircle the head of the Oroua River.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

12 August 2009

Palm squirrel, Ranthambhore NP

Palm squirrelThese little squirrels were among the most common mammals I saw in India. Yet another animal I never tired of seeing.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

11 August 2009

No. 3 Line, winter [2]

No. 3 LineAnother in the series from No. 3 Line, not far from my place. I preferred a slight sepia tone for this, rather than the colder, straight black-and-white conversion. Why? I don't know. Any ideas? (Feel free to disagree if you think you'd prefer straight B&W).

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

10 August 2009

Hot pool, Wairakei

Had a brilliant time this weekend at Wairakei, just north of Taupo in the Central North Island. Cold water and I don't mix; however, this met my minimum standard of non wet-suited swimming (i.e. almost blood temperature).

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

08 August 2009

Winter trees

Winter treesWinter in the Pohangina valley. But the first lamb appeared earlier this week, and the first flowers have opened on the fruit tree near the gate.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

07 August 2009

More piwakawaka

PiwakawakaI trust you're not tired of photos of these little birds. I'm not — I can't recall ever failing to be uplifted by their presence. Anyway, I'm pushed for time (away for a couple of nights) and have to post a couple of photos quickly, so this is what you get ;^)
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

06 August 2009

The Edge of the Creek

Juncus & grassesI love places like this. One never knows quite what might live there, quietly hidden, perhaps nocturnal, perhaps known only as that strange call on a moonlit night. The lap of the water along the edge of the creek, the roar of surf out of sight but close by, the rustle of seed heads in the wind from the sea — these are things children seem to appreciate better than most adults.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

05 August 2009

Driftwood roots

DriftwoodDriftwood Cove, November 2007. I couldn't escape the feeling this could have been some tentacled monster, cast up from the deep.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

04 August 2009

Metaphor [rock in surf]

Rock, surf Flounder Bay, July 2008.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

03 August 2009

Apple branch in winter

Apples on branch"Forget about trying to photograph at midday," they say. "The light's no good." But here in Aotearoa in early June the midday sun's low, the shadows are strong, the light lacks the bleached-out look of summer sun at noon. I photographed these apples at sixteen minutes past midday on 7 June.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

02 August 2009

No. 3 Line, winter

Number 3 Line's close enough for me to walk there, and I'm more inclined to carry the camera when walking than biking. After an initial section of winding road that climbs just steeply enough to work the legs and lungs nicely, the road levels out onto a terrace. Up there it can feel like a place from another world, another time.

Late evening, grim weather on the way.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

01 August 2009

No. 2 Line, winter

No. 2 LineAbout a month ago I biked my usual route up No. 2 Line but, because the evening light was so clear and beautiful, I carried the camera in a small daypack on my back. This and the steers were among the last photos before the camera began acting up. Fortunately it's back in action again (and has been for a couple of weeks).

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor