Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand

Utopia is closed for repairs

with 4 comments

I doubt it will ever reopen. It’s just a matter of time until Utopia is condemned and then torn down. Someone will come along and put up a Walmart…

Utopia - what once was...

Utopia – what once was…

Utopia - the interior view

Utopia – the interior view

Utopia, rear view

Utopia, rear view

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

20/12/2014 at 11:41 am

Sometimes it’s just black & white

with one comment

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

01/11/2014 at 9:48 pm

Shooting Skaties

leave a comment »

Skaties-1I’ve been hankering to shoot skateboarders for the last while. Went down to Victoria Park in the Auckland CBD yesterday and gave it a go. Reasonably happy with the results, though I am certain there’d be substantial improvement if I went again.

Maybe next weekend…

Skatie-13Skaties-3 Skaties-7

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

11/08/2014 at 10:17 pm

The Daring Debauchery of the Decadent Stinkhorn Fungus

with 6 comments

Stinkhorn-fb-1I was so enthralled by the discovery of these Stinkhorn Fungus at the Auckland Domain yesterday shooting the sad flowers of winter, I returned today with my tripod and macro lens – though they are not really macro subjects averaging 10-12 cm high (4-5″) and when fully extended 25-30cm across (12″). But the macro lens goes to f32 (I’m using the Tamron 90mm) which is much better for close ups than the usual f22.
Spending a couple of hours shooting these, I was a bit overwhelmed by their stink – a bit like a fishkill on a hot summer day – heavy and very rank… You would think that a patch of bush between the cafe and toilet block that was overrun with giant red fungus would get some attention, but my fell ow humans continue to dismay me – even when I pointed it out to them, most people looked and dully and moved on, including a boy of about 7 who shrugged his shoulders and ran off. Fortunately I was able to get a couple of folks excited enough to snap a few shots of their own.
The skinny on the Stinkhorn Fungus for the mushroom geeks: The fruiting body of a stinkhorn fungus emerges from the ground as an egg-like structure. It then splits open, revealing a stalk with a number of coloured arms. This species, Anthurus archeri, is growing in a clump of moss in native forest. Stinkhorn fungi produce a smelly mucus mass full of spores at the base of their arms. Flies feed on the stinking mucus and in so doing help to spread the spores.
Stinkhorn-fb-14 Stinkhorn-fb-7 Stinkhorn-fb-5 Stinkhorn-fb-6

 

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

14/07/2014 at 12:42 am

St Patrick’s Church, Hawea Flat, New Zealand

with 8 comments

My daughter’s friend lived in this charming historic church in Central Otago, which was designed by the renowned George Gilbert Scott. He was the architect of the Christchurch Cathedral which was destroyed by the earthquake of 2011. It was the first church in the area (soon followed by St Ninyans and another near Tarras). It was deconsecrated around 1980 (I think) and has been used as a community centre and now a residence.
It would be wonderful to see it restored sometime, but the current owner seems to be doing a fairly decent job of preserving it.
The light was quite amazing the first day we photographed it, but we went back a second time and got some more, equally interesting shots.

The view from the road as we approached.Wan14FB---15

The light was just amazing that day – it was very cloudy, but there were breaks to the west, giving the church a very warm, welcoming look.Wan14FB---9

The cross at the front of the building.Wan14FB---10     Some little girl’s shoes left in the window a while back…Wan14FB--60

When the sun disappeared, the church appeared almost Gothic, with brutal detail. This is the rear view – the altar would have been just behind those windows back in the day. It is the kitchen area now. StP-ext-fb-2Similar view to the golden light a few images up. Not so welcoming here.

StP-ext-fb-3

Let me introduce you to two of the residents. Straw men, wearing old prisoner and guard of the local work camp. I don’t recall how they were obtained exactly – but they were sold to the local Moari after the prison system shifted to the much more fashionable day-glo orange.Wan3-StP-7 FB

Last light of day – a bit Wuthering Heights… it doesn’t really get much more romantic than this…Wan14FB---13

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

10/06/2014 at 11:04 pm

Don’t mess with Kraken’s Lair

leave a comment »

Time travelling denizens of another dimension… they arrived on Easter Saturday. We met them in the old Whangarei Quarry. They’re rather like us, but different. They do love their weapons…

Last Supper copy

A sentimental moment…. Once upon a time, a long long time ago, so long it seems like another lifetime… I met someone I’ve never forgotten… I wonder where they are now, what they are doing, and if they ever think of me…

SPAPR-PR-GQ-3 But they can be more deadly with the passage of time… Lefty Lacy Lawless – always gets her man SPAPR-Ll-8 copy

Deceptively congenial, the diabolical Mac Hanical…SPAPR-MH-2

Stay tuned for further developments…

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

22/04/2014 at 11:28 pm

Return to the carnival

with one comment

One of my recurring themes – not something I realised about myself until the last few years, mostly from this blog.

The carnival is one of my slightly ‘unhealed’ childhood pains. As in, it was never of the intensity to cause me real harm, I always knew it didn’t really matter. But the carnival, or in my case specifically, The Schoharie County Sunshine Fair, held in Cobleskill, my nearest big smoke, was an annual torment. It held so much promise – the rides, the game booths, the people I might see… But at this stage of the game, I’ve got to be honest – everybody else was doing whatever it was they were supposed to be doing and seemed to be having a really good time of it.

Except me. I was watching. I was watching and waiting and observing and trying to figure out who was doing what and why – and HOW did they know what they were supposed to do? I NEVER knew what I was supposed to do. And I longed to… so much. I wandered around the fair alone – my siblings had run off with friends. My friends seemed to have OTHER friends that they had fun with… Leaving me wandering around, looking at everything and everyone, trying to figure them out, telling myself the story of their lives… Kind of odd, I guess, but it was fun in its own kind of way.

And come to think of it, I’m still doing that. Only now – I do it with a camera in front of my face – and that actually makes me one of the cool people. At last. Never would have figured that was coming.

These photos were taken at Balloons Over Waikato, the hot air balloon festival held in Hamilton, New Zealand every year. Amazing how something that felt so down-home back in my Dorloo Days, translates without a hitch to the other side of the world… BOWNight-3

This photo really needs a carnie. Like this one from the Gypsy Fair a couple of years ago. or part 2 which is here. BOWNight-18-2

Nausea inducing rides. I wish I could have figured out why everyone else thought they were so much fun. I really wanted to love them and ride and scream and throw my hair around… Except… they made me sick to my stomachBOWNight-16-2BOWNight-4

BOWNight-2

But I loved fair food – fried dough, cotton candy, snow cones, French fries in a paper cup…BOWNight-5

BOWNight-14-2

The gravity defying Round-Up… BOWNight-20-3 copy

I love carnivals and fairs and rides… the sights and sounds and smells and ways of losing myself in a sea of other people I don’t know – watching them and telling myself their life stories. Or telling you mine…

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

09/04/2014 at 1:10 am

Random steam train encounter

with one comment

There was a time when I was amazed at how, when I had just discovered something amazing – it seemed like the universe just kept delivering it to me in an abundance of synchronicity… A little older, a little wiser I’ve come to suspect that all these amazing, wonderful things are happening around us all the time, and we’re just not paying attention. Of course I still believe in miracles and pure magic – but most of the random synchronicitous events could have been planned out if we’d made the effort.

I admit that, despite my developing passion for steam trains, I had no idea the 1275 was making an excursion from Auckland to Te Kuiti over the weekend. Fortunately, the universe delivered me to the train station at just the right time – though the train was 20 minutes, allowing me to plan and set up my shot…

Ham-Train-1Love the inerent Steampunk quality in these dials and knobs.

Ham-Train-2And the infinite variety of valves and pipes and bolts enveloped by steam.

Ham-Train-3But it’s just a short stop and soon it’s all aboard again.

Ham-Train-5 And we’re off for another adventure…  Ham-Train-6 copy

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

03/04/2014 at 11:22 pm

Morning mist

with one comment

On the way to the balloon festival… the morning was a bit on the foggy side. Misty morning is my favourite…The swan and friends are a bit romantic

BalloonsDay1-2

The hospital in the breaking dawn – a bit sinister…BalloonsDay1-1

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

02/04/2014 at 7:58 am

Balloons Over Waikato

with 6 comments

I am never sure if a long weekend away, one including getting up an hour before dawn – three days in a row, hauling weighty photography gear around and having six photoshoots over 3 days is a holiday. I’m pretty sure it’s not. Though it is infinitely better than hanging around the house wishing I was on holiday…

So… three days in the Waikato. We stayed at a brilliant and remarkably inexpensive homestay, a nice little one bedroom unit, with all the fresh garden veg you could pick and eat, a small flock of sheep, some heifers, and well, it was fairly idyllic. I’ll post some photos of that later – but the first set of photos I developed were from the big Final – the last dawn on Innes Commons… Every last balloon on display… it was AWEsome! In the real, true, old-fashioned awesome way that awesome used to be…

Balloons-7It all begins before dawn… so many balloons, so much space, so many people (but not TOO many)…

Balloons-30 Balloons-29 Balloons-28 Balloons-24 Balloons-22  Balloons-20 Balloons-17 Balloons-15  Balloons-13 Balloons-12 Balloons-5

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

01/04/2014 at 2:09 pm

%d bloggers like this: