Friday flowers

hydrangea oil paint

Image: Su Leslie 2020

There’s not much flowering here at the moment, so here’s “one I prepared earlier” — a hydrangea in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens (with a little painterly editing).

Rahui, rather than lockdown

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Fern frond; symbol of new life and new possibilities. Image: Su Leslie 2019

I read a few days ago a suggestion that instead of referring to our current situation as a lock-down, we could perhaps use the Maori word Rahui.

Rahui (raa·hoo·ee): to put in place a temporary ritual prohibition, closed season, ban, reserve – traditionally a rāhui was placed on an area, resource or stretch of water as a conservation measure or as a means of social and political control … (Maori Dictionary)

Language matters. How we describe our situation affects how we feel about it. Rahui embodies a believe that restrictions now will make for a better future. That’s a lot easier for me to get behind than a term that belongs in the language of incarceration.

PS: apologies for my lateness with The Changing Seasons. I’m sure I’m not the only one finding this a difficult month to write about.

Last photo of February 2020

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Meerkats, Auckland Zoo. Image; Su Leslie 2020

Brian at Bushboys World has instigated this cool project; inviting everyone to post the last shot of the month from their SD card or phone — unedited and without explanation.

I shoot in RAW format, so had to save this as a jpg file. Otherwise, it’s untouched.

Brian’s guidelines are:

  1. Post the last photo on your SD card or last photo on your phone for the 29th February.
  2. No editing – who cares if it is out of focus, not framed as you would like or the subject matter didn’t cooperate.
  3. You don’t have to have any explanations, just the photo will do
  4. Create a Pingback to this post or link in the comments
  5. Tag “The Last Photo”

Shaping the image in my memory

img_6608 Waiting for rain, Highway 22, Waikato, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2020
“Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships!” — Ansel Adams

It’s Sunday evening and we’re driving through drought-struck farmland in the north-west Waikato. Rain clouds have flirted shamelessly with the skyline all day, but the land remains parched and disappointed.

Rounding a corner, we see a distant hill quite dramatically lit by low sunshine breaking through the clouds. It’s beautiful and stark and emphasizes how dry the land has become.

T stops the car. I hop out and wade through long, brittle grass. As I’m fiddling with the camera, a police car stops to check that we’re ok and that the car hasn’t broken down on this very quiet stretch of road. T assures him we’re fine and I wave my camera ineffectually to establish my bona fide. He nods and zooms off — possibly a tad faster than might be strictly legal. But I suppose there have to be some compensations for patrolling country roads on a Sunday night.

When we finally get home (after quite a few more photo stops), I download the images. “Cop-stop hill” is too dark and doesn’t have the contrast I remember, but the bones of the shot are good and all the pixels I need are there, just waiting to be tweaked.

Thank goodness for PhotoShop.

And for Debbie at Travel with Intent, whose weekly quote challenge gave me the perfect excuse to tell you the story of this image.