After it rained and rained and rained this weekend, the rivers from the mountain flooded downhill into the city and beyond to the sea. At the point where the wild, gushing river force came crashing down into the sea, the sea-gulls circled, dived and swooped around, clearly enjoying the spoils of the flooded river-ways.
Category Archives: bird
The trees looked spectacular…all the silver branches of the ten or twelve trees. They were dripping with heavy, heady scented pink blossoms. We weren’t the only ones however, enjoying the blossoms. Tui had gathered there also and were flittering around from tree to tree, from branch to branch, gorging themselves on the sweet blossoms. This one was caught mid-flight by my camera. Such joy on a spring day!
I spotted this tree in Auckland recently. It’s silver white trunk was so smooth and shiny and seemed to go on for miles and miles toward toward the sky.
I imagined what it would be like to be a bird flying around and resting at the top of the tree, in the shelter of the branches, and looking out at the world from there.
She was elegant. Perched on one leg, grooming herself, and completely absorbed in her own ritual, she was oblivious or seemingly unconcerned about those of us watching her…she seemed no different than any woman preening before a special date.
Her feathers glistened in the morning sun, each one highlighted in stunning silvery white.
That she was all alone at the zoo seemed so sad.
I came across this delightfully whimsical scene while visiting down-town Sydney recently. It completely enchanted me.
That’s what I love about walking around in new places…the anticipation, the joy of discovering something unexpected. That feeling of surprise and delight when you find something a wee bit special…such as this. It might be a marketing gimmick, a publicity stunt, a modern art display or street art. To Sydney’s urban dwellers it may not even register a second glance any more.
But I noticed. And I found a tiny, quite special, magical space. Just lovely.
What is individual style? I have been thinking about this and have come up with a few thoughts about it. To me personal style transcends your home, your studio, your art, your creative endeavours. They are all just manifestations of your style. Your style is you. It is what makes you a unique person on this planet. Style is a reflection of your genuine self, your expression of who you are. Style is understanding who you are and being extremely at ease with that.
Your personal style is partly what others see, it is your art and your creations, your thoughts expressed, your home, and your community. As I think about this I see images from my home, my art, my studio and my journals – all different but threads of the same things – old symbols (hearts, circles, crosses), text and use of letters and words, old patina’s and vintage finds. Trees, beaches, bridges, buildings, houses all feature in my style, as does finding old nests, collecting sea-glass, rocks and shells, quirky finds and birds, horses, growing food, and history all interest me. Writing musings, journalling and playing with mixed media, painting big abstract paintings and trying to do photography everyday are my style. Noticing things others might miss and finding beauty in everyday things are my style. My style is thinking in interconnected circles but writing in bullet points.
Your style is also how you live. Being a mum to four kids will always be my first priority. That’s my style too. Like many of us, I am juggling everyday – the divergent needs and demands of a large complicated and blended family, working to earn income, running, and try to find space in my day to create, fitting in all the other messy stuff in between, that’s my style too.
I am a mother to three boys rapidly moving into that strange place between being men and boys, and one 4 year old princess fairy. A writer and keen blogger. I am a runner. I am a photographer. I am an artist. I am creative. I dream of Italy and of visiting Europe one day. I dream of living closer to the land, but also (ironically) closer to the city centre and so I can smell and hear the sea. I dream of my three sons as babies and wonder at their journey into being young men. I love my pink, sparkly princess who has in a thousand different ways saved me from myself through this process with her enormous smiles, delicious cuddles and piles of charm, giggles and songs. All of this, is part of me.
What has running got to do with style? Running is very much apart of who I am now, after I put on my trainers one year ago exactly and ran to the first lamp post then walked the next two. I run to clear my mind, to think straight, to have my body hurt in a good way. I run so no one can see tears occasionally. I run to have a few precious moments when no-one needs me. Running gives me space to plan, dream and plot. It takes time but it also makes me more creative and more efficient. I also see things that I don’t see when driving or distracted by tasks and errands. They are all part of my style.
Is style is the only thing you have left when you strip everything back to its barest state. Or is style is an individual and original point of view delivered with confidence? Or, the culmination of all the parts of a life brought together? Or is style really just having curiosity, a sense of spirit and confidence in yourself?
I spotted this delightful pair recently at our local zoo park. I just loved the rich colours and the way they were dining together…taking turns and sharing. They gave a bit of brightness to an otherwise grey rainy day.
Islands are intriguing, beguiling, fascinating. This one is, I believe, a bird sanctuary. You can appreciate it’s inherent beauty, you can look at it, draw it, photograph it, sail around it, swim or kayak around it. But generally, you cannot land on it. And you certainly cannot live on it. It is a refuge for the native bird population. A safe home for protected species.
It is a spectacularly beautiful island. And it is serving a very worthy purpose in its isolation. And it is a relief to see some land that is clearly not “developed” by humans. But…I cannot help but feel that it reminds me of a gilded cage. Perfect, stunning, beautiful, safe, and intended to protect the vulnerable. But in the end, still a cage.
It is the tiniest nest. It easily fits in the hand of a small child; this small Wax eye’s nest I found on the ground. The more I look at it, the more intricate it seems…every strand, twig, and leaf all carefully woven together to be strong and warm. Although it is rough on the exterior, it is smooth and softly lined on the interior. A perfect home at some time for a Wax eye (and maybe their family)?
It makes me think about the word home. Our own homes, after all, are not that different really. They protect us from the elements, provide shelter, a safe haven on our return from elsewhere. They are also comfy and warm on the inside. Ours too, as we see everyday on the news, are no less fragile (in the big scheme of things), nor immune to the effects of mother nature, deliberate sabotage, poor workmanship, or tragedy.
Our home, no matter whether we human or tiny bird, is our refuge, our sanctuary, our place to rest. Let us hope that the little Wax eye had already abandoned this home, when I chanced upon it lying on the ground.