92/366 1st April 2020

Lockdown Birthday! My birthday tea. Gus insisting on looking louche…had to explain to him what louche meant!

93/366 2nd April 2020

Dandelion Clock – childhood memories.

94/366 3rd April 2020

“Bubble” walks have become part of our daily routine – one of the bright spots in all of this strangeness. We take a football with us and have a good kick around.

95/366 4th April 2020

Breakfast – pinwheel scones. Baking, it seems, is what everyone is doing. No flour, yeast or baking powder in the shops. I felt the urge to bake this morning but then I do reasonably frequently anyway – it’s not a lockdown thing! But maybe because everyone is doing it, it prompted me!

96/366 5th April 2020Ventured out ... #shoppingexperience #covid19nz # #rāhui

#covid19nz shopping. physical distancing. a surreal experience
Our first venture out since Nigel stocked up before the lockdown. It is quite weird. Strangely pleasant as the place is quite calm, it’s quiet, people keep out of each other’s way and there aren’t many people anyway. Could get used to it!

97/366 6th April 2020

Sunset…autumn sky in Hamilton Gardens. As we’re both still working albeit from home and can’t get out until after 5pm, we are really noticing the days getting shorter.

98/366 7th April 2020

He marama tino ātaahua tēnēi po. #fullmoon🌕 E tiaho ana te atarau ki runga ki te taone. Ko ahoroa, ko māhina, ko atarau ētahi atu ingoa mō te marama #learningtereo It’s a beautiful moon tonight. The moon is shining over the town. Ahoroa and māhina are other names for the moon.

99/366  8th April 2020

Flight formation – migrating geese? Looked up because I could hear the honking of geese and there they were…. heading somewhere on a mission. Love the way birds fly together to protect the vulnerable.

100/366  9th April 2020

This guy was running/walking along the river path, we overtook him and then he overtook us as we were looking at the chestnuts and mushrooms. He was an older gentleman, with a limp and he stopped every now and then for a breather. As we came round the corner there he was just venturing into the river. He spotted me taking a photo and turned around and struck a hero pose – unluckily, I wasn’t fast enough to get that photo. Such a character.

101/366 10th April 2020

So good to see so many families out and about in their bubbles. It was a beautiful autumn afternoon for walking and cycling. Let’s hope the weather holds…. Can’t imagine what it’ll be like for families if they end up cooped up inside.

102/366 11th April 2020

2nd time success -the first attempt was a dismal failure! Hot Cross Buns for Easter.

103/366 12th April 2020

Holiday weekend – #day 3 it’s lovely to have a slower pace to the day and be creative.

104/366 13th April 2020

After the rain…. mushroom hunting.

105/366 14th April 2020

Being adventurous and trying something different. A present for a friend. This is a konae rather than a kono.

106/366 15th April 2020

Day 20 #rāhui bubble walk with a football.

107/366 16th April 2020

Another 24 hours with some rain and the mushrooms are starting to emerge. Nigel harvested some field mushrooms that we had for tea. Not these fairy toadstools though!

108/366 17th April 2020

Heard a Tūī, turned around and there he was outside my window. I rongo au i te waiata o te Tūī, kātahi ka i huri au, i kite au hoki i te manu ātaahua i roto i te rākau. #nature #brightspots #listen

109/366 18th April 2020

Whakatū Wahine Garden in Hamilton Gardens. It was created and planted to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of women going suffrage in Aotearoa. Women’s lives are represented through the healing plants, the woven patterns and the blue of the shelter.

110/366 19th April 2020

We went mushrooming today…. found all sorts of mushrooms out there. Nigel was most surprised by this one (and there were plenty of them) which appears to be a lacterious but he hasn’t seen any in NZ so far.

111/366 20th April 2020Pink sky at night...#turtlelake @hamiltongardens #bubblewalk #hauora #covid19nz

Our ‘bubble walks’ which we manage to do most days are not getting later but the nights are drawing in. It does mean we get to see some stunning sunsets.

112/366 21st April 2020

Looking up to the trig – trying to get there before the pink sky disappears but it’s a sharp wee climb so thought I’d better take the photo on the way up in case I’m too late!

113/366 22nd April 2020

Cats always find the warm spots. #fire #winteriscoming #autumn

114/366 23rd April 2020

A very late walk this evening and not enough time to get up to the trig, so went the other way along the river and back along Grey Street. Spotted these on the way.

115/366 24th April 2020

Escaped between ‘zui’ for a bubble walk today so we got some sunshine and light! Lovely to see families petting by the river and kids paddling.

116/366 25th April 2020

25th April: It’s Anzac Day here in NZ – equivalent of Nov 11th in UK. This year there is no Dawn Parade or public services, but many of us stood at our gates at 6am to pay our respects. I had the radio playing the service and the son of our neighbour played The Last Post. There were probably 7 or 8 households at their gates. It was strange, a story of togetherness of purpose but disconnected too.
This photo is of the Whakatū Wahine or tye Women’s Shelter. It was designed and put in place for the centennial celebrations of Women’s Suffrage in NZ. This year, a focus for Anzac Day is the many women who contributed to the war effort by taking on the farms, the jobs, and keeping the economy going while their menfolk were away fighting. And, I suppose for coping and nurturing them if they came home or bringing up their families singlehandedly if they didn’t.
It seemed like a good place to stop for a few minutes just to think as I was on my run today.

117/366 26th April 2020

Turtle Lake at Hamilton Gardens. another evening view on another bubble walk during the rāhui.

118/366 27th April 2020

Social commentary – there has been a burgeoning of graffiti during the rāhui – most of it seems to be kids who are bored and feel the need to make their mark but some of it is more of a commentary on the times.

119/366 28th April 2020

One day into Level 3 and they’ve been to chop our trees down! Essential business?! Making space for a new road bridge over the river. Progress!?

120/366 29th April 2020

Another day in rāhui, another trip to the trig, another view of Pirongia. I’ve lost count of the days but progress is being made by our “team of 5 million“.

121/366 30th April 2020

Break out! Finally made it to a trail again… my happy place… can you tell?!

Week 14: Tryptych

Week 14 asks us to connect two or three photos together to provoke a thought or to tell a story.

My biggest challenge was finding an app in which I could frame two or three photos. I fell back to ipiccy as this is a photo editing tool I have used before.

I am well behind on my weekly challenges but have had the project titles in my head as I have been out and about.  We have recently spent a lot of time in the NZ bush and as it is Autumn, there are heaps of mushrooms about.  The other day we found these Slender Parasols up by the trig point in Hamilton Gardens in various stages of development.

three parasol mushrooms in various stages of development.

A new garden has recently opened at Hamilton Gardens. I was not too impressed with the Tudor Garden but I really like the Concept Garden.  The squares of water, and different types of plants reflect the squares on land maps.  The Māori whakatauki on the wall and the rusted iron water tank tell contradictory stories of the permanence or fragility of the land and the people.

Whatungarongaro te tangata toituu te whenua
As man disappears from sight, the land remains

 He peke tangata, apa he peke titoki’ 
The human family lives on while the branch of the titoki falls and decays.


My third option is a city scape – I used an app called Tiny Planets which is a bit of fun to create the images in this collage. All the images are from the same photo but one is the original and the other two are edited in Tiny Planet.

three images in a row, the middle is a cityscape at sunset, the outer two are derivatives, edited through an app that makes them into planets

Back to nature for the last one. Once again on our wander into Hamilton Gardens on Anzac Day.  Autumn is good for seeds as well as mushrooms, and we saw these plants in various stages from fresh green pods to fully blown seeds.

seedburst 2

Too many choices again!

Week 12: Macro

Oh, so many to choose from after a weekend away! I forgot to take my SLR in the rush and ‘busyness’ of packing up, so resorted to the ‘pro’ setting on my Samsung camera app which allows me to manual focus and change ISO etc. It is a bit tricky focusing as you basically need to move physically closer or further away from the subject. And steadying a light camera is not easy either. Nevertheless, I am quite pleased with the results.

We spent Easter weekend exploring some of the Whirinaki landscape. A new area for us made easier now that we have a campervan to pull over in and sleep anywhere! The podocarp forest (ngahere) is a stunning place and especially rich with berries and mushrooms now that Autumn is on its way. We were lucky too, with the weather. It is still warm and the sun provided excellent light through the trees.

Here are a few of my shots. Which do you like best?

woolly inkcap mushroom looking into the centre from an angle
Woolly Inkcap; Lake Okaro

Shaggy Inkcap Mushroom taken from above
Woolly Inkcap

Earth Stars; Whirinake Waterfall Track

Clover; Lake Okaro

puffball mushroom, white with detail of skin
Puffball Mushroom

bright green fern growing on the side of a tree. Spores are around the outside.
Kidney Fern; Whirinaki Waterfall Track

bright green kidney fern, seen side on growing on the side of a tree. Light shining through it.
Kidney Fern: Whirinaki Waterfall Track

dandelion clock
Dandelion Clock; Lake Okaro

deep red berry with a drip of water hanging underneath
Berry with drop of water: Lake Okaro