Friday flowers

Clematis flowers. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Clematis flowers and bud. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Clematis flower bud. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Up close; clematis flower bud. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

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Regular Random: five minutes with tea and lemon-rosemary cookies

Afternoon tea, with lemon-rosemary cookies. Shot of vintage plate, cup and saucer with three star-shaped cookies on plate and assam tea with lemon in cup. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Afternoon tea, with lemon-rosemary cookies. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

My friend Sarah at Art Expedition sent me her recipe for Lemon-Rosemary cookies, and while my first couple of batches do rather lack finesse, Sarah’s recipe is really good and the cookies taste fantastic.

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

If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!

 

On birthdays, bugs and being grateful

Close-up shot of orange lily stamen coated in pollen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Lily stamen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Shot with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM macro lens

Well the election gods haven’t (so far — hung parliament) come through with the new government I wanted for my birthday, AND I’ve managed to spend the last 36 hours feeling utterly miserable from a gastro-bug-thingy , BUT …

… the Big T floored me with a particularly thoughtful and wonderful birthday gift.

I’ve been dithering for ages about buying a macro lens, and now I am the ecstatic owner of a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM macro lens. I’m a bit hopeless with technical terminology, but even from my first experiments, I can tell this lens is seriously cool.

Unknown micro-plant with slender stem and large overhanging oval seed heads or flowers. Seen growing in ponga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I have no idea what these are, but I found them growing out of punga (silver tree fern) logs in the Waitakere Ranges. The tallest stem was about 5cm. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Unknown micro-plant with slender stem and large overhanging oval seed heads or flowers. Seen growing in punga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Otherworldly. Unknown micro-plant found growing in punga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

As my interest in photography has grown, I’m turning my lens more and more on nature, and particularly on the tiny details. In a world that I find increasingly — well, scary — I am comforted and sustained by the beauty and resilience of the smallest life forms.

And by the love of the good people like the Big T. And not just for the awesome gift — I’m even more grateful for his thoughtful compassion and nursing skills — especially at 3am when I’m sick and grumpy and, frankly, stink.

Regular random: five minutes with some lavender, a bee and the hope of new beginnings

Close up shot of bee on lavender stalk. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Lavender lunch. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Signs of spring are everywhere this week; from new growth on the fig tree to plum blossom and a huge increase in the number of bees around. This one was very busy enjoying lavender.

The images for this week’s Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) were all shot at Savage Memorial Park on Bastion Point in Auckland.

Savage Memorial is the burial place and monument to Michael Joseph Savage, New Zealand’s first Labour Prime Minister — and one of the country’s best loved leaders. He died in office in 1940, having led the government that established our country’s welfare state — now largely dismantled by successive neo-liberal governments.

Tomorrow there will be a general election in New Zealand. Growing inequality, increasing poverty, declining child health and the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world are all issues that have come to the fore in this campaign, and there is real hope that by tomorrow evening we may have a new government. One committed to the values of compassion and justice that informed Savage’s Labour government in the 1930s.

Spring is, after all, the season of hope.

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

If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!