The Big T and I spent quite a lot of time this last summer at the Muriwai gannet colony. Although these gannets don’t necessarily mate for life, breeding pairs do share incubation and chick-care duties.
Watching the interactions between these magnificent birds, it is hard not to project human friendship traits onto their behaviour.
Then of course, they’re everywhere.
Which is why you’re looking at a picture of an alpaca.
According to a post I saw on FaceBook (no eye-rolling please), in which a friend was tagged, today is National Alpaca Day. At least here in New Zealand it is.
According to the National Alpaca Association of New Zealand, “… Alpaca owners throughout New Zealand open their farms to the public to promote alpacas, alpaca fibre, and alpaca products.”
So if I get off my bum quickly enough, I can spend today overdosing on camelid* cuteness.
Since that’s unlikely to happen, here are some I prepared earlier.
Sarah is doing a series of posts this month around the daily National Appreciation Days that take place in May. Please visit Art Expedition to see her clever drawings and paintings, and wonderfully creative posts. Since I don’t have Sarah’s skill with a paintbrush, I’ve enlisted the help of the Snapseed, Stackables and PhotoLab apps.
A song to play us out?
How Bizarre, by OMC (Otara Millionaires Club) was released in December 1995. It was hugely successful in New Zealand, and unusually for Kiwi music, also charted (in 1996) in a number of European countries, as well as Australia, Canada and the US.
I first heard this while driving on the M11 near Bishop’s Stortford.
For those of you who remember the song, does it evoke any memories for you?
* Alpacas, like lhamas and camels, belong to the biological family Camelidae, the only currently living family in the suborder Tylopoda. Camelids are even-toed ungulates classified in the order Cetartiodactyla, along with pigs, hippopotamuses, whales, deer, giraffes, cattle, goats, antelope, and many others. So there!
While New Zealand does not have an unblemished history in terms of the State’s reaction to peaceful protest, I do still feel secure in my right to challenge those who govern in my name.
At a time when human rights are increasingly threatened, we must all raise our collective voice in their defense.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. — Pastor Martin Niemöller
There are definite signs that autumn has arrived; dropping temperatures, falling leaves, shorter days — and an overwhelming urge to knit.
Knitting is something I do with much more enthusiasm than skill. After a few years of odd-shaped and unfinished sweaters, I’ve learned to limit myself to producing scarves and beanies for various community groups which distribute winter basics to some of the (far too many) children (1) who live in poverty in New Zealand.
I love the colours in this wool, and enjoyed taking five minutes out to capture a few images for Five Minutes of Random (the RegularRandom challenge), a weekly photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.
(1) According to UNICEF around 295,000 children in NZ (28 percent of all children in this country) live in poverty: