30 July 2011

Kawaupaka (Little shag) at Akaroa

On the main wharf at Akaroa a Little shag (kawaupaka, Microcarbo melanoleucos) peered at the passersby. They always seem conscious of human presence, yet somehow casual; even when someone approaches too close they take their time about extending their wings and stretching into the air.

I trust I'll be as relaxed, as at-home-in-myself, when I take to the air next Wednesday, on my way to South America.

Posting might be light for a while.

[23 July2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 210 mm, ISO 400, 1/400 at f5.6]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

27 July 2011

On the way north (Rarangi beach)

By midday yesterday the roads in Christchurch were usable again, although ice still lingered here and there. We drove north along narrow grey ribbons edged with muddy mush, out of the city, through North Canterbury where sheep gathered around the remains of hay fed out earlier in the morning or nosed through trampled snow. An odd feeling, as if I were looking at a a far-off, unpredictable future or the distant, irretrievable past — any time but the present.

A massive surf pounded the Kaikoura Coast, filling the air with a smoky haze of spray. By the time we reached Blenheim only the distant mountains retained any snow. We'd made good time, so we stopped at Rarangi, a short distance from the main road, and ate sandwiches and watched the endlessly entrancing surf. No point in sitting in the queue for the ferry for any longer than necessary.

[26 July 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 162 mm, ISO 400, 1/200 at f11]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

25 July 2011

Stuck in Christchurch

I was supposed to be travelling north from Christchurch this morning to catch the ferry back to the North Island. This is why I'm still here.

All going well, I'll be heading back tomorrow afternoon.

[25 July 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 14–45 mm at 18 mm, ISO 400, 1/25 at f5.6]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

18 July 2011

Tokeawa Stream

Who can remain unaffected by the sound and sight of running water?

[17 July 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 14–45 mm at 18 mm, ISO 100, 1/4 at f8]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

15 July 2011

Pohangina river at Piripiri

The cliffs along the Pohangina river are formed from soft mudstone — millennia of sediment turning to rock but not quite there yet. Meanwhile, the river wears it down. Most of the riverbed, on the other hand, comprises hard, metamorphic boulders and gravel, tumbled down from the Ruahine range. The power and complexity of geological processes never fails to astonish me.

[9 February 2011, Canon 20D, 24–105 mm f4 L at 80 mm, ISO 200, 1/50 at f16]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

13 July 2011

Vigilance (red deer hind)

Even after generations of captivity on farms, red deer remain vigilant, apprehensive. When they're sure the human's there to distribute food, they'll approach — the hand-reared hind will even run up to eat out of one's hand — but if they're unsure, they spook easily. They have an unimaginably good sense of smell, marvellous hearing and mediocre vision that notices movement but seems poor at discriminating stationary objects.

[13 July2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 300 mm, ISO 400, 1/800 at f5.6]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

11 July 2011

Reuse and recycle (lacebark trunk)

On the Manawatu Gorge Track, this long-dead lacebark caught my eye (I'm fairly sure it's a lacebark, Hoheria sp., judging from the distinctive texture of the wood beneath the stripped-off bark). Clearly, the trunk had been a feast for someone — probably pit weevils — but what fascinated me was the way the tunnels had been commandeered by something else, perhaps one of the parasitoid wasps. Here, I thought, was an example not just of recycling, but re-using.

[9 June 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 14–45 mm at 14 mm, ISO 400, 1/3 at f5.6]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

08 July 2011

Mohanlal Verhomal Spices, Jodhpur

Places like this — small, dimly lit, packed with an enormous diversity of products, staffed by enthusiastic and knowledgeable people — seemed like the kind of places that might, somewhere among the profusion, hold treasure. This shop did — the rich red-gold of top quality Kashmiri saffron.

[20 January 2007, Canon 20D, 24–105 mm f4 L at 24 mm, ISO 200, 1/15 at f4]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

06 July 2011

Jain temple, Jamnagar

Some of the temples in India seemed incomprehensibly intricate. To have built something like this seems an extraordinary accomplishment, but I found myself unable to comprehend the effort of keeping it clean. This, I suppose, is the power of belief and commitment.

[13 February 2007, Canon 20D, 24–105 mm f4 L at 105 mm, ISO 200, 1/800 at f11]

 All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

01 July 2011

Painted stork at Khijadiya

I'd never seen so many wild birds gathered in one place as I did at the sanctuary at Khijidiya. Pelicans, egrets, cranes, all kinds of waterbirds and a good number of terrestrial birds — and storks, these being the most common species.

[14 February 2007, Canon 20D, 300 mm f4 L IS, ISO 200, 1/640 at f5.6]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor