21 August 2017

At the book launch

A bit over a week ago I attended the launch of Home: New Writing, a collection of essays by New Zealand writers and edited by Thom Conroy. As usual at the City Library, where the launch took place in the evening, the lighting was difficult, but I managed a handful of acceptable photographs.

All content © 2017 Pete McGregor

23 July 2017

Korimako in tree lucerne

This male korimako (NZ bellbird) brightened a grey, winter's afternoon. The yellow on his bill and face is pollen from the tree lucerne flowers he'd been foraging among.

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30 June 2017

Mandvi, Gujarat

As I walked back to my room in Mandvi, I got a cheery greeting from these women—yet another example of the welcoming attitude of so many people I met in this small, coastal town. By all means visit Mandvi to see the hand-built wooden ships under construction, but the town has far more to offer.

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25 June 2017

Winter morning, Pohangina Valley (2)

Another view of the valley across the paddock from my verandah.

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18 June 2017

Winter morning, Pohangina Valley

A few days short of the shortest day, this was the view from my verandah.

(I still can't work out why blogger insists on enlarging my photographs and destroying the sharpness, even though I've specified 'Original size'. The original of this is beautifully crisp. Sigh.

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03 June 2017

Cat on a [warmish] tin roof

The day was hardly warm, but one of the cats next door knew where to get the last of the afternoon sun.

I love the way a cat can bring a scene to life.

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28 May 2017

The piwakawaka visit my verandah

Recently, a gang of about four to six piwakawaka (New Zealand fantail) have been doing laps around the house, taking advantage of various perching places at both ends of the verandah to scout for insects. I can't say how much of a delight that is to me.

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13 May 2017

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace (Wild carrot; Daucus carota) is a common weed around here. The intricacy and form of the flower heads fascinates me.

The dark object on the left of the flower head is the bum of a striped dung fly (Oxysarcodexia varia).

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22 April 2017

Coot chick

At the Vet pond at Massey this morning, a pair of coots were being pestered by their two chicks. (And yes, I know, and I'm waiting for the wisecracks.)

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16 April 2017

Early morning starling

In the early morning before full light, while a little colour remained in the sky, a starling perched in the old plum tree.

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02 April 2017

Miromiro (tomtit), No. 1 Line track

Miromiro (not to be confused with riroriro) are currently easy to see on the No. 1 Line track. Photographing them's another matter, but this bedraggled little female posed nicely for me yesterday — but only for a few seconds. I managed several photographs as she flitted about and paused to pose, but she quickly lost interest. The whole encounter was over in less than a minute.

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29 March 2017

Riroriro (grey warbler), No. 1 Line track

I find riroriro one of the most difficult birds to photograph. They seldom pause for more than a second, and they're usually flitting around among a tangle of twigs and branches and foliage. Often they're high enough in the canopy so I have to deal with bright patches of sky in the background, while the bird's in shadow. This time I got lucky.

All content © 2017 Pete McGregor

11 March 2017

Corner, Cafe Royale, Palmerston North

I was sitting in Cafe Royale with a coffee, writing about photographing, and I looked up, and this was one of the things that caught my eye.

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

01 March 2017

The miromiro welcomes me home

Today I finally felt well enough (and had the time) to take a gentle walk partway up the No. 1 Line track. The animals were pretty quiet, but after I'd been sitting quietly for a few minutes, this little miromiro (tomtit) turned up. It looked as if it had recently fledged, and it had almost no fear — a couple of times it came close to landing on the lens. I felt welcomed home.

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15 February 2017

The Western Ghats of India: Top Station, Munnar

The Western Ghats in southern India are famous for several things, and this is one of those: rain. It was more like drizzle than proper rain, but I still enjoyed it after more than three months of seeing no rain other than a few light spots in Sikkim. This was the second time I'd visited Top Station; the first was the previous day when the almost cloudless sky allowed me wonderful views. Nice to see the place in such different conditions.

Back To Delhi early tomorrow; a day there, then the long journey back to Aotearoa/New Zealand begins. Almost six hours to Beijing, a thirteen-hour layover, then just over twelve hours to Auckland. Then I have to catch an overnight bus to Palmerston North -- and I'm still not back in the Valley.

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

02 February 2017

Tea tasting, Darjeeling

The views of Kangchenjunga weren't the only reason I wanted to visit Darjeeling. I drank a lot of tea during my time there, and this was an example of a tasting of four second-flush Darjeelings. I had a distinct preference for the one on the far left: the Castleton 'second flush tippy clonal'.

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30 January 2017

Kangchenjunga from Pelling

The evening I arrived in Pelling, West Sikkim, after a long and very rough ride involving several changes of jeep, Kangchenjunga and the adjacent mountains hid behind cloud. By morning, though, most of the cloud had cleared, and I'd had a good enough sleep to get out of bed and walk down the road to watch the sunrise on these spectacular mountains.

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28 January 2017

Sunrise at Darjeeling

I've posted some photographs of Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain, at sunrise and sunset on my instagram page, but Kangchenjunga wasn't the only mountain in the view from the rooftop of my hotel in Darjeeling. If anyone knows for sure which mountain this is, please let me know.

I arrived today in Pelling in Sikkim, much closer to Kangchenjunga, but the mountain's remaining stubbornly hidden behind cloud and the first light rain I've seen since early November.

[On another matter, last night I posted another installment of the travel log on Pohanginapete.]

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor

15 January 2017

Wallah at Josimath, Uttarakhand

Jumping back to much earlier in the journey ... In the early morning, this elderly wallah made chai for me at a small dhaba on the main street of Josimath, deep in Uttarakhand. It was cold then; now, it must feel arctic. The next day I was able to give him a print of the photograph.

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10 January 2017

Early morning in Mandvi, northern Gujarat

In the early morning, the streets of Mandvi, the small coastal town in Kuchchh, northern Gujarat, where wooden ships are still built by hand, are populated mostly by cattle, birds, and dogs, and few humans.

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08 January 2017

Street scene, Mandvi, Gujarat

In the back streets of the small town of Mandvi in Gujarat, on the coast of the Arabian Sea.

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03 January 2017

The White Rann, Kuchchh, Gujarat

The White Rann (Desert) is one of Kuchchh's most famous tourist destinations. When I was there on New Year's Day, it was far from deserted. Among the thousands of others, I saw no obvious foreigners other than Kenji, with whom I'd split the cost of the day tour. I'd thought the experience would be appalling, but I have to admit I enjoyed being with so many people having such a good time. I lost count of the number of times I was asked if I'd share a selfie, but I was probably included in more photographs than I made.

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor