The Changing Seasons, October 2016

Perched on a rock above the Tasman Sea, one of the colony of gannets currently nesting at Muriwai, New Zealand. Close up shot of single gannet grooming itself.Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perched on a rock above the Tasman Sea, one of the colony of gannets currently nesting at Muriwai, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perhaps it’s the improving weather, but October has definitely been a more active month than I’ve had recently — dodgy knee notwithstanding.

A still morning at Greenhithe Wharf. Looking up Lucas Creek towards Albany.Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Early morning, Greenhithe Wharf. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Although there has been plenty of rain, it has seemed less relentless and the lowering cloud formations have often been photo-worthy.

Still water and lowering clouds at Otarawao Bay (Sullivans Bay), Mahurangi Regional Park, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

A quiet afternoon at Otarawao Bay, Mahurangi Regional Park, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Under the gathering clouds. Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road, Central North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Under the gathering clouds. Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road, Central North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

I’ve managed to escape the city a few times this month; for a couple of afternoons exploring local(ish) beaches, and a road-trip to Whanganui to visit my dad and do a glass-art workshop.

Mahuia Rapids, with Mt Ruapehu in the background. Tongariro National Park, North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Mahuia Rapids, with Mt Ruapehu in the background. Tongariro National Park, North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

There are plenty of signs that spring is truly here; baby ducklings seen at Otarawao Bay, and nesting gannets at the Muriwai gannet colony.

Ducklings and adult duck. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Family outing, Otarawao Bay, Mahurangi Regional Park, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Close-up shot of nesting gannets, Muriwai gannet colony, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Nesting gannets, Muriwai gannet colony, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

I love glass as an art-form and have long wanted to try my hand at some sort of creative glass-based activity.

Whanganui-based artist David Traub runs one day workshops in glass slumping and fusing — both techniques within the capabilities of beginners.

Over the course of the day, we made two brooches/pendants, two slumped bowls and a glass tile.

Coloured glass pieces laid into a mould lined with kiln paper. This is the first stage in making a fused glass tile. There is no real way of knowing how it will look when the glass rods and shards melt in the kiln. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Before. Making a fused glass tile was a total pitch in the dark. We laid coloured glass pieces into a mould lined with kiln paper, having no real idea how it would look when the glass rods and shards melted in the kiln. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Fused glass tile. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

After. Quietly pleased with the result. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Decorated glass disk ready for the kiln. This will slump over the mould and become a very handy little bowl. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Decorated glass disk ready for the kiln. This will slump over the mould and become a very handy little bowl. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The pendants aren’t quite finished — I have to glue on the bails, but the bowls have already been put to use. One of the advantages of the improving weather being that the Big T and I can enjoy a beer outdoors while bemoaning the size of the lawn we have to mow (ok, he generally does it), and planning our escape from wrong-sized living.

Slumped glass bowls holding nuts and olives. Perfect for pre-dinner snacks. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perfect for holding pre-dinner snacks. Slumped glass bowls, decorated with glass powders. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

This post is my contribution to The Changing Seasons, a monthly challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman. Please visit to see the Cardinal’s month, and find links to other participants.

There are two versions of the challenge:

Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

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64 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons, October 2016

  1. Pingback: The Changing Seasons: October 2016 – Cardinal Guzman

    • Thank you. I’d love to do more, but of course to get set up is a huge undertaking, and I learned that with so many different “recipes” used for making glass, compatibility of pieces is a really big issue. David Traub is such a good teacher!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your shots of the Gannets, Su, we go to visit RSPB Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire to watch the Gannet colony there – did you know the chicks eat and eat till they are as big as their parents, then fall from the cliff into the sea and sit there, with no parent to feed it, losing weight, until they have lost enough to be able to fly – hence the term ‘eat like a gannet’. Love the glass art too, very inspirational, I should like to try that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! I didn’t know that. I haven’t heard that saying for a while. It used to be a favourite of my mother’s. I’m planning to make a few more trips out to the colony in the next couple of months; it was so interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. adoro le anatre e gli uccelli. questa straordinaria immagine delle sule, da me fotografate alle isole Farorer, me ne ha acceso la nostalgia
    straordinari gli effetti-colore delle ultime immagini
    piacere avervi visitata
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joanne. I definitely lack your physical energy and adventuring spirit, but show me an art activity I can try, and I jump in with both boots. Hope your shoulder is healing well and that Gilles is recoving too. Nga Mihi Nui from Aotearoa NZ.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic pictures, Su! I so much love the third one – the sea seems to draw me to the horizon! Just awesome! Oh, and more glass-art! Love the effects of your second pic, the tile(?) just looks perfect! Can´t wait to see the pendants!!! 🙂 xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Sarah. I am trying to get some bails for the back of the pendants. I can buy them online, but lots of places have a minimum order and the pieces I want are really cheap. I think I’m going to end up buying a bunch of stuff I don’t really want, unless I can find someone to sell me just the bails. Ah; first world problems. 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know the troubles of getting stuff for self-made jewellery all too well, Su 😉 The industry just seems to want us to do millions of pendants instead of just a couple, eh? 😉 Hope you´ll find the things you need soon! Have a stunning weekend! xxxxxxx ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 I spent most of the weekend doing family history research, so I’m a bit achy from sitting too long. I really shouldn’t do that, but once I get engrossed …. I kept finding out cool things and couldn’t stop. I’m discovering that The Big T’s family were all very early settlers to New Zealand. They are kind of like the Kiwi equivalent to America’s Mayflower settlers. I am in awe of their strength and determination. They had to spend two months on little sailing ships, travelling through storms and across huge oceans to come to a country that had hardly any infrastructure. Most of them would never see their home country again. Sorry for the rant; I just love this stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Please, there´s absolutely no need to apologize since I´m also nuts about this stuff!! And this is really so wonderful to know, The Big T´s surely so happy that you discover all this great information about his family! And I totally agree about being in awe about our ancestors strength and determination, it´s just so stunning! Of course, they couldn´t help it, lacking airoplanes and such 😉 But even though, not everybody dared what they did and it´s something to be very proud of 🙂
        And I do share your “weakness” about sitting too long when you´re in the middle of something: I do it all the time and my back´s not thanking me for it 😉
        Are you planning on writing a book about all the things you find out?
        Wish you a wonderful week! 🙂 xxxxx ❤

        Like

  5. I have never seen a gannet before, what a striking bird. I wonder if they preen because they know they are do beautiful? Also, I envy the glass blowing experience–though I would fear inhaling molten glass by accident!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a lovely and interesting idea! I suspect the answer is a bit more mundane though; the gannets are sitting in sandy, dusty hollows on a wind and sea-spray swept cliff protecting their eggs. I guess they get covered with dust and grime pretty easily. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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