I'll start posting (something) again this week.
on a stormy afternoon the other day from my mother's verandah
I'll start posting (something) again this week.
Décor-wise, we generally hack a bit off a feral Pinus radiata, stick it in a bucket and asphyxiate it in daggy 20 year old tinsel. Monterey pines suck as xmas trees because of their droopiness and sparse branch arrangement but they're free, so whatever. No presents this year. We are having a stuffed turkey and a profuse selection of minor numminess because fupas don't grow themselves.
I was standing on the steps halfway up to the top garden the other day when something large and dark swished by my head. It was a Magpie, Cracticus tibicen, unrelated to the Old World Corvidae version you might be familiar with.
We don't often see them here. They are denizens of open farmland and only occasionally vagrant to our adjoining township. This one landed on the hillside next to us and stalked beneath the trees, looking for foundling chicks and treating R's attempt to photograph it with frosty contempt.
There is something deeply and inexplicably sinister about these birds, far more so than the crows and ravens I met in Australia. They are accomplished mimics and soon master anyone afforded the dubious privilege of their adoptive company, bending them to their inscrutable avian will. I have tremendous respect, if not too much affection for them.
Watching this one stride between the pools of shade beneath the trees was like spying on a shapeshifter satisfying its appetites in an alternate form.
A native fruit pigeon or Kereru is frequenting the lower garden at the moment. It is an enormous bird, at least half a metre long, although it was chilling in a small kowhai tree the other day just a metre or so above R who was busy weeding and we didn't notice until it shat voluminously and went to sit in the adjoining paper birch.
From there it lumbered into the rowan next door and commenced stripping all the new leaves, consigning them to its capacious gullet. I thought it would prefer the flowers, but apparently not.
When it has crammed as much of the rowan as it can fit into its crop, the pigeon retires to the shelter of the alder to sleep for the rest of the afternoon, where it would snore like a fat drunk after a lunch bender, if birds could snore.
Trees are reward in themselves, but when you can stand in your own garden and photograph beleaguered native species enjoying the amenities, you know you've gone a small way towards making amends for your presence on this overcrowded planet. If you don't have a yard to plant, consider joining a local conservation org. The rewards go far beyond personal gratification.
R took this lovely detail shot.
I have three different clones of this sought-after variety; one super-large and sprawling with a weirdly cinereous, bruise-coloured flower that nudges ugliness, and two smaller, slightly frillier plants with a sweeter plum bloom, of which this is one. So not all Patty's Plums are created equal and this may account for the mixed regard in which this variety is held. I personally went to great lengths and some expense to secure this poppy, and while they will flower well in half shade and do look great with roses, all in all I prefer other varieties, like the deep reds and large whites.
My fucking poppies are flopping this year on account of all the bloody rain. Poppy flop sucks.
A very satisfying image courtesy the Lovely R. He posted it in his section too but whatever 😀
Another busy busy week so you'll be getting a lipstick review unless I get time off from designing wedding shit and property upkeep and spring cleaning etc. to write something else for you.
Someone should be paying me for something but they never do.
There are apparently many educated people who believe that we are simulated creatures living in a synthetic world, a system modelled by advanced persons in an attempt to retrospectively understand their own development. From whence they derive this notion is somewhat hazy; some of them sound bereaved by the notion of a creator. Others just love maths and want their imperfect quantifications dignified or supplemented by some deeper, less dismal certainty. All of them need to be fired into the fucking sun.
The paper birch pumps rain into its brand new leaves. Its cells divide. Division of these fundamental units is governed by both chance and certainty and these two elements are the twin gods in any given process, organic or synthetic. Some argue that chance is just an artefact, a representation of our imperfect perception of certainty, and that this underlying certainty implies some sort of fundamental administration; that we are somehow curated.
But a stopped clock is only right two times a day if no one smashes it to shit with a cricket bat. Live long enough and you'll feel that cricket bat of randomness, wield it yourself and recognise its disordered nature.
Personally, I think the kind of mastery of inputs and systems required by a universal simulation renders any such simulation utterly fucking redundant. Unless our future selves are the kind of people who sit staring at their phones while out at dinner with a dozen of their own species, in which case
The birch, the quince flowers and the magnolia are made of certainties and chance. Their beauty denies and rebukes the purpose of creators and simulations and every other fucking thing that smells of savoured fart. They don't care for our bullshit and will ultimately feast on all physicists.
Shithawks, people. Shitropes.
The only thing I like about the fucking horrible orange streetlight around here is the lurid cast it imposes on even the most delicate materials. It makes virgin plum blossom look rode hard and tawdry.
So one probably shouldn't complain.
I'll do a photoessay next week featuring local nocturnal shit.
The rhododendron dell is full of beautiful understatement at the moment. I pointed R at them.
It's been a warm winter and a cold spring. The sequence is corrupted.
Boop! Back again, bitches. I took a whole week off blogging for the first time eva. It was weird. And people still patronised the blog, which was both comforting and disturbing.
This week we'll have some misc. visuals and I think a lipstick review.
Above right: the strangely beauteous smoke stack at the Dunedin Gasworks Museum. We photoessayed the shit out of the place. It's definitely worth a look if you're ever in town and I say that as a fanatical environmentalist with an abject loathing of steampunk and no interest whatsoever in all that mechanicky motoraneous impistonal shit.
Pied Oystercatchers on the school grounds.
It was not a vintage year for us photographically, although R's settled on a nice group of old lenses at the moment (he seems determined to cycle through all of them for some fucking annoying reason) so maybe the best is yet to come. Something tells me I'm not going to like the run up to xmas this year but we've got a month before jingle hell generally begins. I'll let you know.
Echeverias and that other little spotty guy with the candy pink flowers; always forgetting its name.
Port Otago from the Careys Bay hill.
The loading area is full of alluring juxtapositional shit and staccato geometries but getting the angle is everything. There are two hills from which you can notionally do this and they're both in the wrong fucking places as far as lens distortion and compositional considerations go. This is a boring shot with a number of technical insufficiencies, but it does enjoy that weird rubbed, flat light that the tar seal throws up on occasion. It eats shadow and collaborates with smaller camera sensors to produce an awesome blown fake red and bonus nasty mustard.
It pleases me greatly. I cannot explain.
Maple leaves on my mother's outdoor table. R saw their Japanesy potential but we only had the pocket cam with us. Oh well.
Brother Cadfael rose.
The fucking bush consists of three blotchy red sticks but takes a break from flipping me off to put out these shell-pink and coral-flushed blooms that stay my executioner's hand with their glowing honey and turkish delight perfume. So that I'm still mad but not actively vegecidal. Bitch better have my money this year.
Paradise Shellducks (Tadorna variegata) down at the boat ramp in Sawyer's Bay.
They are a very superior sort of duck more closely related to geese than your average mallard, if memory serves me. You can keep your fancy northern wood ducks etc; to my eye they are the most beautiful of all waterfowl with their impossibly rich reticulated woodsmoke, new copper and Colombian emerald bits and striking sexual dimorphism. The female sports the ivory headgear while the male is the darker bird, which always reminds me of classical representations of gender on Greek pottery etc.
Paradise Ducks have a wide trashy streak, living for drama and romantic intrigue. Their days are filled with loud talking, studied overreaction, dramatic entrances and exits, lesbian kabuki shit and fighting in public places. Watching a group of them accuse one another of creeping on their man at the reservoir of an afternoon can be exhausting.
This is our favourite rooster, an extremely low ranking bird who seems to prefer human company to that of his own species; we feel his pain. He's probably an annoying crowing machine but he's such a card that we're thinking about bagging him up and taking him home. We don't really eat chicken any more so he should be safe lol.