Friday — flipping flowers. “Gerbera noir: or recasting cheerful”

Two for the price of one? Some flowers and a flip through the blog’s archive.

Zimmerbitch

Vase of red gerberas. Edited with Stackables and Snapseed to achieve "painterly" effect. Image: Su Leslie, 2016 Gerberas. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

The gerbera is such an uncomplicated flower; unburdened by deep metaphorical significance. Blooms like lilies and roses carry enormous cultural baggage, but with a gerbera, what you see is what you get.

If gerberas were characters in a genre movie, they’d be the under-valued, ever-supportive, wise-cracking best friend. The botanic equivalent of Thelma Ritter.

But of course, genre rules can be broken. The side-kick can become the star; mysterious and complicated. Can we re-imagine gerberas at the heart of a romantic tragedy; Brief Encounter, Love Story, Moulin Rouge?

Vase of red gerberas; edited with Stackables and Snapseed to achieve distressed paint effect. Image: Su Leslie, 2016“I’ve fallen in love. I didn’t think such violent things could happen to ordinary people.” — Laura, Brief Encounter. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Close-up shot of inverted gerbera. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables to create distressed paint effect. Image: Su Leslie, 2016“I know that this is the beginning of the end. Not the end of my loving you but the end…

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A bit heavy on the metaphor?

Photomontage of seascape and venetian blinds. Images and montage: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed and Fused.

Photomontage Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed and Fused.

No, I’m not the neighbour who peers out at the street through venetian blinds — not literally anyway.

But I’ve been thinking about my engagement with the natural world and how it’s changed over the years.

There was a time when “nature” was something I drove through on the way to “somewhere”. Nowadays, “somewhere” is more likely to be my garden or a beach than a restaurant or a mall. Even the Big T, who knows me better than anyone else, seems surprised at my willingness not just to roll up the metaphorical blinds, but take out the whole window.

Written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally.

Regular Random: five minutes with the first figs of the harvest

I got back from my road-trip to find some our figs had ripened.

Lucky for me this was only a five-minute shoot — figs for breakfast.

Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

DP Photo Challenge: green

A celebration of green. Daily Post Photo Challenge | it IS easy being green

Normal service has resumed

Back to reality. Coffee, lists and bill-paying. Close-up shot of morning activity. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Back to reality. Coffee, lists and bill-paying. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The boy-child and I have been on a little road trip to visit my father.

I had intended to keep up with the blogging world while away. But truly, we were having too much fun exploring.

The boy and the mountain. Mist-shrouded Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road, with boy-child taking photograph. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The boy and the mountain. Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

So apologies for my slowness in engaging with your posts and responding to comments. It’s gone on my “to-do” list.

Regular Random: five minutes of caterpillar feeding frenzy

Thanks entirely to the Big T’s efforts at butterfly husbandry (more on that to come), our swan plants are positively heaving with Monarch caterpillars.

Most of them are huge and are rapidly chrysalising (if that’s a word) — which is fortunate because at the rate they eat, they are in danger of running out of food.

So this week’s five minutes of random was spent watching swan plant foliage disappear before my eyes.

Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

All photos ©Su Leslie, 2017

Both sides, now

Storm clouds over a field of grazing cows. Seen from the roadside, State Highway 16 Kaipara, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

Storm clouds gathering. Seen from the roadside, State Highway 16 Kaipara, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

You know that thing, where you’re traveling along and in one direction the weather is all clear blue skies, but on the other it looks like a storm coming?

The Big T and I found that driving back from Atiu Creek at the weekend. Off to the west, the Kairpara Harbour was fair glistening in the sun. At the same time, huge dark clouds were lowering over the east.

Storm clouds approaching over hillside and mangroves. State Highway 16, Kaipara, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

Storm clouds approaching. State Highway 16, Kaipara, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

The contrast in light was breathtaking. Grass in the slightly parched fields seemed to glow golden, and foliage shimmer, against the matte chalkboard sky.

Just a few miles further south, and the clouds were behind us.

Since I’ve pinched a Joni Mitchell song title for this post, here is the song to enjoy.

Written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally. This week the theme is black and white.

DP Photo Challenge: atop

View of Kaipara Harbour, from Atiu Creek Regional Park, Tapora, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

View of the Oruawharo River and Kaipara Harbour from Atiu Creek Regional Park, Tapora, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

There is a hint of autumn in the air. Auckland’s oppressive humidity has disappeared and I feel invigorated enough for long walks.

View of the Kaipara Harbour from Atiu Creek Regional Park, Tapora, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The Tauhoa River, Kaipara. Seen from Atiu Creek Regional Park, Tapora, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The Atiu Creek Regional Park covers over 800 hectares of bush, farm and wetlands north of Auckland with walking, cycling and horse-trekking trails criss crossing the landscape.

The park was gifted to Auckland in 2006 by owners Pierre and Jackie Chatelanat, who wanted to protect it from development and allow people to enjoy its beauty.

Views from atop the parks many hills are panoramic and stunning.

Daily Post Photo Challenge | atop