Summer lovin’…maybe not as it is winter here, but there was still a whole lot of frisky business happening.
This video…watch until the end. It had me laughing out loud at the end.
My best friend took a long time to get to know. She…yes she is a she…is a rebel [in her own way]. According to Jung she fits the rebel archetype that he ascribed to. You see she sees injustice everywhere and wants to shake up the entire system! According to Jungian psychologists, this type believes rules are made to be broken and is driven by the desire to shock and provoke people. She is deeply principled but still possesses a free spirit with few boundaries. I believe she has the potential to really change things, if she learns to reign in her rather extreme tendencies.
If I had to think of a quote that fits her it would be this…
“It is during our
darkest moments that
we must focus to see
Any idea who said that ??
She hasn’t had the perfect life experiences. At times she has been broken…but never it seems beyond repair. She’s had more than her share of heartbreaks, conflicts and disappointments. It was hard, but she always tried to see the bright side of things. When she looks back, I remind her that those experiences helped her become the person she is today. She is living proof that no matter what, the human spirit can always evolve and find happiness!
I have heard people describe her as unique, different. She reminds me of Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter. Always marching to the beat of her own drum.
People tell her that she is incredibly clever [she has her doubts], but she sees things in a completely different perspective to most other people and I think sometimes that does give her some valuable insights. Although most would describe her as an extrovert, they are not right. In reality she is still a shy little girl and is actually a bit of an introvert. She is incredibly comfortable in her own company. Over the years one thing she has learned is that being yourself is much more interesting than being someone else.
Astrologically she is a lion.
She has been there with me since before I knew what memory was. She laughs at my jokes, she cries at my losses…she even tells me when I am wrong sometimes. Not that we always agree on that.
I have loved many friends [and still do] in my lifetime. But learning to really know her, to understand her, and to love her as my best friend has been the longest journey of my life. Because she makes it hard sometimes…to know the woman behind the mask.
and everything else falls in line.
You really have to love yourself
to get anything done in this world
- Lucille Ball
Oh…and late at night when she can’t sleep, when the characters on the page won’t do what she wants, when the photo images all seem blurry and not very good – she does way to many stupid quizzes. Even she admits that !!!
She also goes looking for hilarious videos. Just to make you smile !!!
I may be a bit late on here…but this week I am joining in Jo’s Monday Walk.
As always with a bit of a twist.
Chevvy and I make a regular walk along the Uretara Estuary. It changes everyday. Some days I notice the scenery, some days it is the people while other days I take in the wildlife…I have even been on a ‘let’s look at the houses’ walk.
Today I am going to share what I was taken with on my latest walk…the bird life.
Two Pied Stilts in the water and on land what I think is the South Island Oystercatcher. In the photo below amongst the South Island Oystercatchers you might notice one completely black bird. This I think is the Variable Oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor, torea or toreapango) and is found on rocky and sandy beaches. It is rare bird – there were around 3,500 birds in 1994, and they are found only in New Zealand.
Actually…a couple of them.
Just a bit further and a very hard to get close to New Zealand Kingfisher [kōtare, kotare, green kingfisher, tree kingfisher, wood kingfisher] popped up. It stayed beautifully posed on a flax plant for me.
Further along I was thrilled to see a Little Shag, also known as the white-throated shag, little pied shag, little cormorant, kawau paka, little pied cormorant having a swim.
Across the Uretara Stream I spotted a gathering of shags which also included a few Black Shags [black cormorant, great cormorant, kawau, large black shag].
As well as the ducks the Pukekos are not shy about coming to get their fair share of the bread.
Pukekos co-exist with the other water fowl however are known for killing young chicks in their nests.
As Chevvy and I headed for home…we were rewarded with a wonderful sight. Not one but two New Zealand Kingfishers just across the road from my house. The perfect way to end this wonderful walk if you ask me. I got so excited at seeing two of them I nearly peed my pants.
As we crossed the road to head up my driveway…one more surprise. A Eurasian Collared Dove wandering around.
My babies in a field of purple heather…way back when.
Now for a few ‘fun’ facts about PURPLE…while listening to the Purple People Eater if you will.
1. Did you know there is a Purple Day. Yes indeedly there is, and Purple Day began back in 2008 with the help of Cassidy Megan, aged nine, of Nova Scotia, Canada. The date for Purple Day is enshrined in Canadian Law under the Purple Day Act that was passed in 2012. Gotta love those Canadians !!!!
2. Want a word that rhymes with purple:
Burple (a drink mix packed in an expandable accordion-like plastic container)
Nurple (slang: the act of roughly twisting a nipple)
Curple (is a strap under the girth of a horse’s saddle to stop the saddle shifting forward)
Hirple (is a scottish word, meaning to hobble, or walk with a limp)
Turple (to fall over)
3. The colour purple originally came from a dye made from mucus glands of a tropical sea snail. Known as Tyrian Purple and this dye was greatly prized because the colour did not easily fade, but instead became brighter with weathering and sunlight. The discovery of this dye is attributed to the Phoenician god Heracles. As the story goes…one day his dog bit into a murex shell and its mouth immediately turned purple. His beautiful nymph companion at the time, Tyrus, declared she would sleep with the god only if he dyed her a garment in the same shade. Heracles obliged and the famous Tyrian purple dye was born. The snail is known as the murex but its Latin name was purpura, which gave us the word purple.
4. Fact 3 has detractors. Some say that the colour purple was the colour of the first dye made by man. It was called “Mauveine” and was made out of coal tar. The recipe was discovered by William Henry Perkin in 1856. You decide which story you like best…me I am going with Heracles.
4. Carrots were once purple, red, white or yellow. Orange carrots were bred by the Dutch in the 16th century to honour the royal House of Orange. I want those purple carrots back please !!!
5. Reverend Jerry Farwell came out publicly against the children’s show Teletubbies. He believed that “Tinky-Winky” was gay, because “Tinky-Winky” , well he was purple – the colour of gay pride – and his antennae was a triangle – the symbol of gay pride.
6. There is a purple frog. Found in the Ghat hills in India. Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis (this means…wait for it…”nose frog from Sahyadra”). The frog is about 3 inches long, is coloured a dark purple, and has a pointy snout. Spends much of its time buried underground feasting on termites. It comes above ground for only two weeks a year to mate. The males make a loud noise like a chicken. The purple frog is unique: its closest relatives live on the Seychelles, but it split from them more than 130 million years ago.
7. Violet (purple) is the colour of the Crown chakra, also known as the Sahasrara. This chakra is located at the top of the head. The Crown chakra is linked to the crown of the head, the nervous system, and the brain, and is representative of pure thought. This chakra connects one with the infinite consciousness. Opening this chakra will help tap into a deep spiritual understanding. Gemstones that will aid the Crown chakra include diamond and clear quartz.
8. Porphyrophobia is fear of the colour purple.
9. The purple sea urchin lives in kelp forests. It will eat any sort of algae, but kelp is its favourite food. These urchins are considered to be a delicacy in Japan.
10. Purple is not a common flag colour. Can you name some countries with purple in their flags ?
Here is one.
Now who knows what country this flag is from ?
Now this has absolutely nothing to do with PURPLE…but if you need a laugh, well you have to watch this. I was roaring through some of it. Old people are such fun !!!!
Joanne “Buckshot” Bryant was a notorious bank and train robber and is possibly best-remembered as the Queen of the Rustlers in the American West of the 1800′s. It could truly be said that this queen came from a family of outlaw aristocracy. Her parents ran the infamous Bryant Gang in Australia and may have even known the outback bandit Mad Dog Morgan before he earned his enormous reputation. When you consider the fact that the later Kelly Gang, Australia’s most well-known gang of outlaws, often pointed to the Bryant Gang as their biggest inspiration and their own personal heroes, Buckshot Bryant came from the most blue-blooded bandit stock imaginable.
Joanne, or “Jo’s” parents settled in America to live in comfortable retirement from their ill-gotten wealth from Down Under. Jo was always a handful, a very willfull and adventurous young lady who caused her parents no end of trouble. In 1861 Bryant’s parents left Missouri (where Jo was born) to escape the freshly-started Civil War and traveled east. While her family hobnobbed with various east-coast gentry Jo herself purportedly began a fling with THE Samuel Colt, a newly commissioned colonel in the Union army. Colonel Colt never saw action in the field, doing mostly administrative work, but that left him with plenty of time to frolic with the beautiful young lady he had fallen in love with. Jo was in her late teens or very early twenties (accounts vary) and Colt was as old or older than her father. When Jo’s family moved on in their travels Jo insisted on staying behind to be with her lover, remaining with him until his death in 1862.
Rather than return to her parents at this time Jo’s adventurous nature led her to begin frequenting east coast rail lines, bedecked in fashionable outfits and luring well-to-do men with amorous intentions into her coachroom, where she would immediately pull a revolver on them and force them to undress and give her all their valuables. She would then slip out of the room and off the train. When the high-living young beauty was running out of the funds from her latest haul she would once again start riding the rails, relying on her sultry looks and her well-dressed appearance to draw another victim her way. One passenger she did not rob during that period of her life was a young Union officer named Humphrey Bogart,
with whom she supposedly had a brief fling. Bogart would later marry Amarillo Rose, the most colorful figure of the Amarillo Range War.
Shortly after the end of the Civil War Bryant traveled to Missouri, siezed with an uncharacteristically nostalgic desire to once again see the home where she had spent her childhood, Kiwi Aussie Manor. She found the place a gutted shell because the abandoned home had been used as a headquarters by Confederate forces and then burned during a Union raid. Feeling more rootless than ever Jo boarded a train headed west, planning to resume her usual criminal activities. As fate would have it, once the train got into eastern Kansas it was boarded and robbed by the James-Younger Gang.
As various members of the gang made their way through the train cars relieving the passengers of their valuables, Jo sprang into action and nearly shot Frank James right between the eyes before being grabbed from behind by Frank’s buddy Cole Younger. While the now-disarmed Jo stood there cursing the two outlaws in the foulest language imaginable they both stood there eyeing the gorgeous young thing before them with just one thing on their minds and it wasn’t Reconstruction Era politics. Calming down, Jo further charmed Cole and Frank by shrewdly telling them how her home had been burned by Union troops and about her railroad scam. Soon Jesse himself was on the scene ogling Jo and listening to his brother and Cole fill him in on this unexpected development. Jesse offered Jo a place in the James-Younger “organization” and she accepted, riding off with the outlaws.
Jo started out serving as a “plant” on trains the James-Younger Gang intended to rob. Dressed in finery she would pose as a passenger, then once the gang began their assault she would produce a gun or two to keep the passengers in line and accomodate the heist in any other way she could. Ever fiery, however, Jo soon tired of that role and began taking a more active part in the robberies, toting a shotgun and even dressing in the gang’s legendary long dusters and dark cowboy hats like the other notorious woman in the gang, Belle Starr
(though since this was before her marriage to Sam Starr she was still known as Belle Shirley). Jo and Belle got along famously and Belle herself gave Bryant her nickname following a legendary incident. Bob Ford, a fringe character in the Missouri outlaw world, was often trying to force himself on Jo. After one such incident Jo began loading her shotgun, swearing she would blow off Ford’s manhood so he would stop troubling her once and for all. Bob Ford fled as quickly as he could but Jo still fired off a barrel full of buckshot at his retreating form to drive home her point. Ford was far enough away that the shot wasn’t fatal but it caught him full on the buttocks, making it difficult for him to sit down for several days. Belle laughed uproariously and began calling Jo “Buckshot” Bryant, the name she would be known by forever after.
Buckshot spent a few happy years with the James-Younger Gang, enjoying dalliances with Cole Younger and the two James brothers, sometimes both at once according to Belle Starr in her memoirs. All that Hell-raising took place in between daring bank and train robberies. Eventually, however, Buckshot Bryant wanted to lead a gang of her own and headed west along with her latest lover and fellow gang member Kevin “Colorado” Costner.
In Texas, Buckshot and Colorado gathered around them the nucleus of the bank and train robbing gang that became known as the Poker Studs. That name for the gang came about because of Buckshot Bryant’s ever-roaming eye for handsome young men, whom she grew to love having around her as her subordinates. Treating these young men as her male harem, Buckshot was so desired by all of them that she took to having the young studs play poker for the privilege of sleeping with her each night. Thus, they became known as the Poker Studs, a name which was supposedly inverted and became the namesake of the game called Stud Poker, in a Burnside/Sideburns kind of way.
Colorado Costner grew increasingly jealous of this behavior and after a furious argument with Buckshot, blurted out his love for her and rode off. Bryant was surprised by Costner’s declaration of love since she thought he saw it as just fun and games like she did. Sad but too proud to chase after him, Buckshot watched him ride off, not realizing they were destined to meet again.
Oddly stirred by the depth of Colorado’s feelings for her, Bryant tried losing herself in booze, loveplay with her Poker Studs and non-stop larcenous behavior. Eventually feeling that banks worth robbing were a bit too far apart this far out west compared to back in the Missouri-Kansas area, Buckshot decided to move into rustling instead of bank robbing, though the gang would still keep their hand in train robbing with occassional heists. Sitting tall in the saddle and with her trusty shotgun always at her side, Buckshot Bryant molded her Poker Studs into a very lucrative operation. The gang would rustle cattle from ranches throughout Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, herd them below the border into Mexico where they would be either sold or traded for horses, which could then be sold back in the U.S. for a profit.
Once, after rustling some livestock from the High Chaparral, the gang was pursued by Manolito Montoya himself, who attacked the band of rustlers single-handed.
Intrigued by this foohardy courage, Buckshot ordered her Poker Studs not to kill the handsome Latino, with whom she checked into a Tucson hotel. There the two reached some form of accomodation, with the result that Jo promised to stop rustling from the High Chaparral and Manolito promised to never reveal the location of the desert hideout that he had trailed the gang to.
Sometimes Buckshot and the Poker Studs would rustle just a few cattle for the gang’s personal consumption and would have a massive cookout under the nighttime desert skies, the beef accompanied by tortillas, rice and beans, all washed down with gutrot whiskey. Bryant would revel in these festivities, comfortable and very pleased, surrounded as she was by a gaggle of toughened hombres who all desired and feared her at the same time.
Joining in the fun with Jo at these events would be Poker Studs like:
-Dancin’ Pat Swayze, formerly of the Point Break Gang, who joined Buckshot’s gang when she sheltered him from the Texas Rangers who were pursuing him
- Lariat Leo DiCaprio, the experienced rustler, fresh out of prison, who helped educate Buckshot Bryant and the Poker Studs in the ways of rustling. His specialty was altering cattle brands
- Colin “Wild Irish” Farrell, who fancied the rustling trade (and himself) as a continuation of the ancient Irish “art” of rustling as depicted in Celtic Mythology.
During this period of her career the Queen of the Rustlers enjoyed tweaking the forces of the law in the frontier as they ineffectually tried to bring her to justice. In the New Mexico Territory Buckshot Bryant made it her personal mission to confound the best efforts of Pat Garrett as she continually bested him at the mental chess game they played. Jo made him look so foolish that she is considered the main reason why he eventually lost reelection as sheriff and moved to Texas.
Bryant held Judge Roy Bean in particular contempt and loathed him as the epitome of the hypocritical, self-serving and corrupt system of law enforcement in the Wild West. Bean had vowed that if Buckshot was brought before him he would sentence her in one minute and hang her in two. Once, when Dancin’ Pat and Wild Irish had been captured and Bean had sentenced them to the gallows Jo mounted and executed what would today be called a commando-style raid to free her imprisoned Poker Studs. This escapade infuriated Judge Bean so much that Bryant took to freeing many of the other prisoners Bean had sentenced to death. She was so successful at this that, from then on, despite the many felons given a capital sentence by the power-crazed Judge only one was ever actually hanged. One of the men Jo rescued from Bean’s demented form of “justice” was the wandering gunfighter Juniper Johnny Depp, said to be a descendant of the notorious pirate captain Jack Sparrow. Depp and Bryant had a brief affair, which ended when the next paying client for his skill at gunplay came along and he rode off.
Buckshot Bryant and the Poker Studs are still a very sore subject with the Texas Rangers since no other band of outlaws was as skilled at foiling their pursuit. If cornered Jo and her minions were more than happy to resort to gunplay and Bryant’s shotgun sent many a law enforcement officer or bounty hunter to their graves.
Ranger William “Bigfoot” Wallace so admired Buckshot’s pluck that he had an unofficial “truce” with the rustling queen and would often get together with her and the Poker Studs across the border in Mexico to raise Hell in saloons.
Texas Ranger Mark Wahlberg came the closest to actually bringing Buckshot Bryant in, but, supposedly smitten with his gorgeous quarry, he let her go free instead. Unable to reconcile this with his devotion to law enforcement Wahlberg shot himself to death after watching Bryant ride off.
Buckshot’s friendship with Poker Alice, the frequently widowed card-player who roamed the west, is legendary. Bryant was far too shrewd to ever get involved in a poker game with the gun-toting mistress of the card tables but the two loved tearing up the saloons during the many times their paths crossed, often with mutual friend Doc Holliday present as well.
The biggest strain on their friendship came when Poker Alice was working as a dealer in a saloon owned by Bob Ford, the killer of Jesse James and the would-be lothario whose antics had led to Buckshot being so named during their years in Missouri. Jo threatened to blow Ford away for his betrayal of Jesse and had to be physically restrained by Poker Alice to prevent her from killing Ford in front of a room full of witnesses. Alice persuaded her old, dear friend to leave, but Bryant vowed to never speak to Poker Alice again as long as she worked for Ford. That promise was kept but after Alice wandered on to another location the friendship between the two legends resumed.
Many books have been written about Buckshot Bryant’s involvement with various Native American leaders. Debate over her motives for assisting them in their battles with the bluecoats of the U.S. army continues to this day. Bryant would see to it that meat from rustled cattle would find its way to hostile chiefs like Red Cloud, Geronimo and Cochise to keep their people fed during hard times. Not only that but horses that she obtained in Mexico in exchange for rustled livestock would sometimes be given to those same chiefs to help fuel their war effort. In exchange the chiefs would help Jo and her gang to hide from particularly dangerous pursuit.
Buckshot was especially close to Cochise, who named her “Shoots Deadly Woman”, and the Queen of the Rustlers was foolhardy enough to visit Cochise in disguise when her old friend was on his deathbed in 1874. Bryant even accompanied the burial party and was said to be the only white person who ever knew Cochise’s exact resting place.
With the death of this friend of hers, Buckshot Bryant’s conviction to assist the warring Native American leaders was doubled. She took to leading her Poker Studs in running guns to the Sioux during the Sioux uprising. These activities led her into contact with former Lieutenant John Dunbar, noted for his years living with Native Americans, who named him Dances With Wolves.
Dunbar had once been mistakenly arrested for a few days because of his uncanny resemblance to Bryant’s old beau Colorado Costner. Dunbar’s philosophical musings about the plight of the Native Americans helped strengthen Jo’s resolve.
One day in the 1880′s who should come riding into the canyon hideout of Buckshot Bryant and the Poker Studs but that same Colorado Costner. He hadn’t lost his touch, and had tracked the gang down and penetrated their lair without them so much as noticing. He and Buckshot embraced and he related to her how he had been caught and arrested less than a year after riding off following their argument long ago. Luckily, when he left them the gang was not yet under a death sentence so he was not hanged but he had served a long prison term. His sentence was lengthened by his refusal to cooperate by giving law enforcement any information that would help them locate the woman he loved. Kevin told Jo how the thought of being able to one day hold her in his arms again was the only thing that kept him going during his time suffering in the hellish prison conditions of the time. This time Jo wasn’t too proud to admit her feelings for this man who had endured so much for her sake and the two were supposedly wed, although no records to support that assertion have ever been found.
Costner enthusiastically embraced his true love’s desire to aid Native American resistance and the two spent several happy years devoted to each other (the gang was now the Poker Studs in name only since Jo and Kevin were deeply in love). Their lives were filled with rustling, periodic train robberies, hair’s-breadth escapes from the law and with providing surreptitious aid to the Native American cause. The two felt a tight bond with the Native Americans, whom they saw as kindred spirits in living on their own terms against the power of outside forces.
In 1890 events came crashing down on Buckshot Bryant and Colorado Costner. After the gang was very nearly caught while running a supply of fresh beef to a suffering Native American community, the Poker Studs were fed up with risking their necks in such endeavors and abandoned Jo and Kevin. The two spent a few weeks in the village and therefore got to be first hand witnesses when the Ghost Dance spread into the community. The Ghost Dance has been classified as a semi-ecstatic state in which the participants were encouraged to believe all the dead Native Americans of the past, as well as all the dead buffalo, were going to return and the white people would all be driven away. This was all misinterpreted as another uprising and troops were sent to squelch it.
Thus it was that Buckshot Bryant and Colorado Costner were on hand at Wounded Knee when the army moved in to massacre the Ghost Dancers, who were all dancing, not fighting. From what has been reconstructed of the scene, Bryant and Costner, presumably sickened at what they were witnessing, savagely fought off the attacking bluecoats for as long as they could before the overwhelming odds caught up with them and they perished alongside the people with whom they had shared their strongest bond of kinship.
Buckshot Bryant has been portrayed in films by…
and Angelina Jolie.
Tristan Ludlow himself was said to be inspired with his interest in the Native Amerian lifestyle by reading dime novels and history books about the legendary Queen of the Rustlers.
Now admittedly I have posted this in the early days of my blog. But Ed [who wrote this masterpiece] and I got talking on his recent post about: TEN NEGLECTED GUNSLINGERS: COUNTDOWN TO FRONTIERADO and Buckshot, as she tends to do when Ed and I get talking, made a few waves about being forgotten. So…to keep her quiet while I work, I gave in…and I hope those of you who have not met her before will enjoy her adventures as much as I do !!!
If you want your own saga then contact the Balladeer here.
To The Blackwater Kid – thanks for this great story from your friend Buckshot Bryant.
Buckshot is mentioned in The Amazing Saga of Lady London.
And although she plays no part in these sagas – Buckshot recommends you check them out:
Buckshot did manage to get her adventures with the Winchesters chronicled: Buckshot Rides Again…with the Winchester Boys. Well worth a read if you ask me.
Another vavavavoom lady for you to enjoy – complete with her own brand of Poker Studs !!!!
Yesterday I took my two students from Hong Kong with me…and Chevvy…to Waihi Beach for a walk.
Which Chevvy promptly demolished with her footprints as she ran rampant.
Not really great weather for it. But others were out too…having a game of soccer.
This morning Gilly messaged me with the news of Christine’s passing. As I went to her blog to read Stuart’s post I was not surprised to find the tears rolling down my cheeks.
Friendships come to us so unexpectedly at times. We might be sitting in a Chinese restaurant when it walks in, in the shape of another 17 year old. It can happen at a writers’ group when a smile across a cup of coffee cements it then and there for life. My friendship with Christine happened over the internet. One day I opened up my comments and there she was.
2011…the year I started blogging. As I progressed further, so did Christine. Time and time again she took me home. When I would visit her blog there would always be some sense in me that was awakened. Her photos let me smell the grasses that lined the dunes of the beaches she walked. I could taste the salt spray that the sea breezes left on my lips as she caught a sea bird riding the air currents over blue waves. I could feel the softness of the petals as Christine brought me closer to the flowers in her garden or on her many walks around the land I still call home.
Her visits and comments so often brought a smile. Some were cause for reflection.
I have read…though not yet commented on some wonderful tributes that have been written for Christine. It is not that I don’t want to…I just can’t yet for some reason.
I know that today…when I speak to some friends here of my sadness, my sense of loss…they will not understand.
We do not always need the physical presence of someone to feel the pull of friendship, the camaraderie of interests or of having shared roots of heritage.
For them blogging is an artificial world.
For me it is the world coming to me. It is what allows me the great joy of finding people to enlighten me, to make me laugh, to make me cry…to connect with on so many different levels.
Christine did all that and more in the three years I have known her. I will miss her wonderful photography. I will miss her joy in her life. I will miss her wise words. I will miss Christine.
I am grateful for the chance to have had her in my life…fleetingly, from afar, but most definitely a presence. I wish I had had the chance to meet her in person…but I met her spirit. How lucky am I.
Perhaps it is fitting that when I checked my comments this morning…the very last comment on the blog is from Christine.
Farewell Christine. You will be missed.
Invocation – Rod McKuen
It may happen
that in some hidden
you’ll rise up
and come to me
in solitude or silence.
We will meet
as we have met
on a train or at the end
of some new train of thought.
The Winter Solstice is here in the Southern Hemisphere and it is a cold dreary day. The tuis are still filling my garden with their song. I love having this pair residing in my trees.
Yesterday when we went for a walk it was chilly enough that we decided to both wear our winter woolies. Chevvy loves her new coat. So much that I get THE LOOK when I dare take it off. THE LOOK says quite plainly…and all in capitals…GIVE THAT BACK, IT’S MINE !!!
On our walk we did enjoy seeing some ducks having fun in the stream.The pukekos had raided someone’s vege garden and were enjoying their ill-gotten gains.And though they were far away, the kingfishers were out and a delight to watch zooming over the mudflats looking for dinner.This year I am proud to announce I have planted garlic for the first time. Yippee…now I just have to wait for the Summer Solstice to enjoy my favourite spice in the world. Though technically it is not a spice but a vegetable. As however my favourite vegetable in the winter is the trusty, tasty brussels sprout I am going to call garlic a spice and be done with it.
And to cheer up my dreary day I am going to share this kitty with you. I love the look on its face when it realises it has been caught.
I caught this wee guy as he flew between the branches of this tree.
Now meet Frosty.
Cee’s Share Your World – 2014 Week 22 had a few interesting questions…so…here goes.
Regarding animals would you prefer not having them around or having domestics pets, farm animals, or seeing them in nature or the zoo?
I would shrivel if I didn’t have my fur companions. That said I feel there should be more restrictions placed on people having pets, and most certainly breeding them. They are not and should never be treated as commodities.
Living here in New Zealand where factory farming has become the next big thing I abhor animals being kept in these atrocious conditions. It astounds me that with so much land available we lock chickens up in tiny cages where they can barely turn around let alone take any pleasure in their lives. They live in great smelly buildings instead of breathing fresh air and being able to scratch and roll in the dirt. Our pigs are just as badly off. Most are locked in pens and sow cages that stop them from nurturing their babies who are then taken from them for slaughter. And now our government is allowing cattle to be treated in a similar fashion.
As for zoos, I am in two minds when it comes to them. I have seen too many animals kept in conditions that make their lives miserable. Thankfully many zoos are now changing, and realising the need to provide a natural habitat for these creatures. While I understand the work some zoos do in educating people and allowing them to see these animals and hopefully develop empathy for them there are still way too many factors that bother me. Case in point the zoo that recently bred a giraffe then while he was still a youngster shot a bolt in to its head as he was surplus to their genetic needs. I deplore this attitude many humans have of believing we have the right of dominion over other species. Until we put that behind us and make sure these creatures are able to roam free in the natural habitat then we are nothing but slavers.
Are you a collector of anything?
Oh yes I am.
I inherited this addiction from my darling Auntie Ed, my father’s youngest sister.
If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?
If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to?
1 minute 29 in…oh that is so me !!!! Then there is 2 minutes and 41 seconds. Oh yea baby !!!!
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I am grateful that my fire is fixed as it turned cold all of a sudden, and that my three fur babies are all well and content. The upcoming week looks a bit wet…so I am grateful for that. It makes me feel less guilty for being indoors and working on the book.
I recently decided to enter a couple of ‘biggish’ photography competitions here in New Zealand. Yesterday after a lot of back and forth trying to pick the images I wanted to enter, I finally registered and entered 11 images in the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year 2014 competition.
I know…reaching for the sky here. But one of the reasons I like this competition is that they are pretty strict on you submitting natural untouched images.
This was after a lot of help from friends narrowing it down. The thing with competitions like these are that they are so subjective depending on the judge/s.
I loved last year’s winners, however the year before I was left stunned at at least one of the choices. Not because it wasn’t a great photo, or that it didn’t perfectly fit the category, but because there were so many better entries.
I am curious.
For those of you who read this blog, and who enter a competition or two, what helps you to make your choice/s about what images you decide on ?
- Do you go with your gut ?
- Do you ask for other opinions ?
- Do you check out the judges and see what their body of work is all about ?
- Do you look at past winners of the competition ?
There are four categories in this competition. I went all out and entered the lot. I was allowed five entries in to three categories.
These are the images I picked in the end.
- Society & Culture
And then there was the category Photostory. For this you were allowed to tell a story in six images. Boy did that do my head in. Last year’s winner really nailed it. Not sure I have, but I gave it my best shot. This is my Photostory about ANZAC Day.
I am sure some of you will disagree with some of my choices. I would [as always] love to hear your opinion. Now it is time to get busy on the next lot of entries…due on the 13th of this month.
Oh…completely off base. I started a photography course online. I don’t know if you have heard of the MOOC List.
“MOOC List” is an aggregator (directory) of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from different providers.
There are some big institutions offering free courses in a huge range. You don’t always get a certificate…some you do. But you learn from some of the best institutions in the world for free. I am doing a month long course that is offered through Open Universities Australia. Wish me luck.
Blossoms…having reverted to rather chilly mornings having blossoms as the travel theme this week brought me back, if only in my dreams, to the softer days of spring. I am missing them. Last week my fire died, well the flue part of it, and I am waiting on it to be repaired, keeping my fingers crossed the temperatures don’t drop any further until it is.
I would really love your help identifying some of these. I do love flowers, and grow a few but am hopeless when it comes to knowing what it is I have half the time.