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.
I love a happy accident. At the time the photograph was taken I had not noticed these wonderful trees. I was taken (and distracted) by something much closer – a little fantail flittering about close by. I captured this lovely bush/tree scene quite by accident. It is a very happy accident. It immediately looks like a watercolour painting to me with its watery, blurry colours but could also be, quite easily, an abstract painting with thick layered, blurred and smudged colours.
I am reminded that there are no such things as mistakes when you are creatively minded. Only opportunities and learnings. It’s a good thing to be reminded of.
Birds. Horses. Feathers. Victorian images. Buildings. Beaches. Poetry. Ancestry. Such a strange collection of images, words and thoughts…yet they are not random, but are all starting to come together for a creative project. I can’t tell you how it ends yet, as it’s not finished, but here is a mash-up of the concepts, the thoughts, the ideas and the images that helped to inspire me. Out of all this randomness will come two digitally composed images of a “creature”. Each made from a composite of at least ten other photographs I have taken. The two images will also be linked by a story, a thread of a poem, the use of text and symbols shared between the two images. Will they turn out as I imagine – ethereal, beautiful, whimsical, curiously macabre, proud, strong but fragile…or will my idea (or my technical skills) fail in this project? Will the images make sense? Will they convey the sense I wanted to create? Only time will tell…
Feathers have been on my mind a lot recently, not least because of a photography project I am doing that involves birds and thus feathers, but also because birds are quite simply incredible and mostly beautiful.
I am a lover of the ordinary birds, not the fancy ones. The cute little community of common sparrows eating bread on my lawn or perched on the fence watching the cat, the thousands of starlings that fly over my house each night heading to some distant gathering place, the few tui’s that perch in the native trees and make the most amazing sounds from up high.
I love finding a feather on my walks/travels, it is a simple joy shared with my three year old. On one occasion recently, we found the tinniest little abandoned nest on the ground…A real special treasure.
Although a feather appears to represent lightness and fragility, they are also the embodiment of strength, flight and protection.
I love art is public spaces. Especially beautiful, thoughtful, elegant human scale sculptures such as this one I came across on a very rainy day recently in Auckland. I also love seeing old buildings that have been lovingly restored and redeveloped. The sculpture sits right under and next to a lovely old city tree. I love that it seems to say to the child “come and explore here”. And to me, it said…”I am a part of this city’s heart. I speak for the birds and the trees”.
It also happened to be right next to the very impressive and newly renovated City Art Gallery. And as I am also partial to the native birds that this sculpture honours, it all adds up to a pretty special place/moment where even rain couldn’t dampen the spirit. I hope my image captures some of that.
Birds of a feather flock together…and this seemed to be the case with these flax bushes that were the destination of choice for the sparrows. They were all flitting about, coming and going and chirping like they were attending a huge family reunion. It was so lovely.
Home for Christmas.
Home for me is where the birds fly over my house in the thousands every night, just on sunset, so close I can almost touch them; where the west coast sea changes colour every single day; where the mountain reigns supreme on the landscape; where the grass is so green it looks surreal. But Home is more than our surroundings, it is where our Heart is. Home is where we belong, where we are needed, and loved, and where we are Happiest.
I hope you are Home for Christmas, where-ever that may be.
There is a strange phenomenon that occurs almost every night, seemingly directly over my house and recently it’s been at exactly at 5.50pm. A large, really large number of birds all swoop over my house in a massive cluster, all heading out somewhere. Where are they all going? Somewhere in a north west direction, to a nesting place? To safe night shelter? To safe and secure food? Towards the sea? Or further afield toward the distant sunset?
I also don’t know what kind of birds they are. But they number in the absolute thousands. There are always the leaders, ahead of the main bunch, swooping over and then gone, followed a short time after by the main group of flyers. They seemingly come from nowhere, and just suddenly fill the sky with a stream of fluttering black. An intense whooshing sound of thousands of wings accompanies them, so close you feel you could almost touch them…
Then there is the group of stragglers (the young, old, injured?)some time soon after, and then finally bringing up the rear, the last, the late, the loners. They circle around the rear.
But on this particular recent night, the group was quite a bit smaller than usual. There had been late thundery rain, cold bitter snow tinged winds, and stormy weather threatening. But the dramatic backdrop of dark angry clouds at sun down makes up partially for the lack of such intense numbers. It leaves me with a challenge to get a better image of the large numbers streaming over head, on their way to a place only they know…
We are blessed to live in a city with a wonderful park right in the centre of it. We should give thanks to those who had the foresight and determination to protect an area of green in the city and ensure its status as a world class park, for all to enjoy. Today it is rainy, miserable and grey, so these pictures taken very recently are a little reminder of how quickly things can change.
We should enjoy the natural beauty we have around us and protect it, whether its a grand city park, a stand of majestic trees or green corridor, or a tiny nature reserve in our own neighbourhoods. Without us caring, the next day it might be gone, all in the name of “progress”, replaced with a car parking lot, a shopping mall or a cookie-cutter housing development.
Spring has sprung here in Taranaki. In a down-town park today, at lunch time, a proud mumma duck and her babies came along to enjoy the sunshine and mix with the locals. The babies were so tiny and cute as they waddled about taking some of their first tentative steps on land!
Watching the mother duck keep watch over her babies was mesmerising. The babies would wander off exploring in many directions but she would round them all up, and they would all head off in the direction she chose, her role to keep them safe and together…
ps…A group of ducks on water is apparently a ‘baddling’ (love that word!) and in flight, a ‘flush’ or a ‘team’. A mother duck with babies, that’s just ‘cute’.