Wordless Wednesday

Image: Su Leslie, 2016

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It’s not this time of year without … portraits of my son

The boy-child. Monochrome portrait of a young man with mirror reflection. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The boy-child. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

When he was little, the boy-child loved the camera and it loved him right back.

As he’s got older, the relationship’s changed in one fundamental respect. These days, he feels he belongs behind the lens rather than in front. So it takes something quite special — like his grandmother’s desire to have a “nice picture” for Christmas — to persuade him to be photographed.

And with no disrespect to my son’s very real talent as a photographer, I think the camera still loves him.

The boy-child, take 3. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Portrait of a young man, with reflection in the mirror.

The boy-child, take 2. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

The by-child, take 2. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Portrait of a young man, with reflection in the mirror.

The boy-child, take 3. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. This week we’re asked to show something without which the holiday season would be incomplete.

The Changing Seasons, November 2016

Glass of strawberries flavoured with a little lemon jest and rosemary. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

Strawberries flavoured with a little lemon jest and rosemary. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

November is the beginning of strawberry season here. Proper, fat juicy local strawberries.

One of my earliest memories of summer in New Zealand involves going with my mother and brother to pick strawberries. The deal was you turned up with buckets or other containers, which were weighted on entry. You went out into the fields, picked as many berries as you wanted and paid for them an amount based on the difference in weight between the empty containers and the full ones. Luckily, they didn’t weight the pickers — especially the children.

Close up image of strawberries and rosemary stem. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Fresh, local strawberries. Yum. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The site of that strawberry garden is now occupied by a school, but there are still some local producers and I think it is still possible to go and pick your own. These days, I’m content to buy them from my local green grocer — 2 punnets for $6 at the moment.

Strawberries don’t tend to last long enough to become ingredients in our household, but I am rather pleased with this little concoction:

I quartered berries, and sprinkled them with a little bit of sugar, which was mixed with lemon zest and few fresh rosemary leaves. I left them to absorb this bit of deliciousness before adding something creamy. I like plain yoghurt, but I suspect the boy-child and the Big T would prefer ice-cream.

I also sprinkled a few toasted almond slices on top, but if I’d been making this for dessert rather than breakfast, I might have made an almond praline with some of the rosemary-infused sugar. Next time perhaps.

Strawberries, yoghurt and sliced almonds in a glass. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Breakfast, or dessert? 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!

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: b&w

Takapuna Boating Club building, Bayswater, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Takapuna Boating Club building, Bayswater, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

There is something about old, derelict or abandoned buildings that seems to attract photographers’ attention.

It doesn’t seem to matter if the building has no architectural merit. Places that were once filled with the everyday hum of life, or the fizz and pop of special events, seem to carry a special melancholy vibration when they are abandoned. Buildings are the vessels for so much human emotion, it’s not surprising we leave something behind when we abandon them.

Abandoned farmhouse, seen from SH1 near Hunterville, Rangitikei, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Abandoned farmhouse, seen from SH1 near Hunterville, Rangitikei, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally.