This morning for some weird and strange reason I was thinking about world time zones as I published this image. For example, at the time of publishing it was 6:00am, on Wednesday 6th December in New Zealand. However, if you are San Francisco it would have been 9:00 am on Tuesday 5th December. How do I know this? Well, I looked it up on a World Clock! In New York it was 12:00 noon on Tuesday, in Dublin it was 5:00pm and in Moscow it was 8:00pm. In Beijing, China it was 1:00 am on Wednesday 6th December, in Tokyo it was 2:00 am, in Port Moresby it was 3:00 am and in Melbourne it was 4:00am.
So, hello, good morning, good afternoon, good evening or good night depending on where you are.
Ulva Island is one of only a few open, pest-free sanctuaries in New Zealand. Located in Patterson Inlet on Stewart Island, it has been pest-free since 1997 which has enabled native bird species to flourish.
The first visitors to Ulva Island were members of the Ngāi Tahu tribe who often visited the area as part of their food gathering trips. They also used to strip bark from Totara Trees for use in storing harvested muttonbirds. In fact, some sites where tōtara trees are stripped are dated to be nearly 200 years old.
The other day it felt closer to winter, rather than being seven days out from summer. There were heavy clouds rolling in from the south with southwesterly winds, rain and a high of eleven degrees. I can tell you that on top of Mount Cargill, which sits some 670 metres above sea level it was rather cold! Summer felt a long way off!
It feels a long time since I spent time going walkabout in the bush. I’m not sure why that is. Having no real photographic home, or location to stick to, I think at some point I simply arrived in town and started wandering the city streets from place to place and never stopped. So, the other day, feeling the need for a change in surroundings I headed into the bush.
Well, it’s fair to say that on this occasion I hadn’t really been staying in one spot for very long until the sun dropped below the horizon. Not being able to settle in one spot, the scene of a low skyline with the silhouette of the hills in the distance formed in front of me. It was then that I found a place to stop for a moment.
With a bit of time to spare and not having to be in any specific place for the time being, I went wandering. If you haven’t spent time idly wandering and aimlessly strolling through a city, then I strongly suggest you do. There’s nothing like letting your soul be carefree for a while and your thoughts drift where they may.
I was going for an aimless stroll, drifting from place to place in central Dunedin with no real purpose when I came across the Carnegie Centre on Moray Place. Noticing a door was open, I wandered inside for a look before spotting an arrow on the floor pointing down the stairs that seemed to be made of masking tape. Taking it as a beacon of light that needed to be followed, I headed down the stairs before finding my way into a sunlit courtyard. Not knowing if I was now officially trespassing or not, I decided it was probably best that I retraced my steps and beg forgiveness if questioned.
It’s been one of those stunning days here in Dunedin where all you want to do is be outside in a garden, at the beach or anywhere that you can enjoy the sunshine. I spent time at Smails Beach where people were surfing, swimming, there were Fur Seals scattered along the beach and families enjoying playing in the sand dunes. Roll on summer.
About 20 kilometres north of Dunedin, State Highway 1 crosses over a hilly area known as The Kilmog. At the top of The Kilmog is a cemetery called Merton cemetery which among other things is a great place to catch a sunrise.
Eventually I made my way to a nearby car parking building. Which, I must admit, are really interesting places if you’re looking for some creative inspiration or mental stimulation. They provide all sorts of views across the tops of buildings, from all kinds of angles. You can also find some fun textures and lines if that’s what you’re looking for.
I went wandering through centre Dunedin not looking for anything in particular. While I was in the process of looking for some mental stimulation I came across an escalator close to the central Library. I spent the next few minutes riding it in both directions trying to decide where to go next when the escalator itself became of interest.
I called in to St Paul’s Cathedral in central Dunedin for a bit of a look around and a little creative inspiration. It so happened that the next day they were holding a concert in the Cathedral and while I was there they were holding an open practice. One lady who was playing the piano was very good while the man that followed her seemed to need a little more practice. Having said that, if you consider the fact that I can’t play the piano at all, they were both actually very delightful to listen to.
Yesterday I spent just on 7 hours at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. I was covering the WXV 1 matches that were being played in Dunedin this weekend as part of the women’s international rugby calendar. On Friday night, England beat Canada 45 to 12 while on Saturday afternoon New Zealand scored a 70 to 7 win over Wales before the weekend finished with Australia winning 29 – 20 over France. On Saturday, they had all sorts of entertainment playing both before, during and after the matches including this DJ who played an extended set before each match. It was kinda cool as it was something different from the usual Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond or Welcome To The Jungle by Guns and Roses which tend to get over played a bit.
One of the things you come to expect during Spring in New Zealand, particularly in the lower half of the South Island, is that the weather can be somewhat changeable. Take the last seven days for example. There was heavy rain, then several days of overcast conditions before a few cloudless days with temperatures reaching into the 20’s before the week ends with snow in a few days time.
It occurred to me the other day that I might have drifted off topic a bit on my blog. My intention had been to photograph, write and blog my way around my own backyard and beyond, by chronicling my trips through words and pictures. To get back on track, I began to make plans for all the trips I could take in the upcoming weeks and months but it became too big and complicated. Then, a voice in my head said, ‘heck John, go for a walk on the Wharf!’ So that’s what I did.
The Taieri River at Outram Glen is one of the popular spots in the Dunedin area. About 23 kilometres from Dunedin, Outram Glen is a popular picnic and swimming area following the Taieri River. It also has numerous walking tracks, one of which leads all the way to Lee Stream, a distance of around 8.5 kilometres. The track is made up of an easy walking track and then a more difficult tramping track.
If there’s one thing I enjoy in the summer months it’s spending the evenings on Dunedin’s eastern coastline. After a long hot summer’s day, it’s a lovely way to end the day, watching the sun go day over a calm sea.
Since there was more than just a touch of spring in the air, I went in search of signs of new blossoms in the central city. So, with a mind for fresh, bright, clean and warm colours I walked along Moray Place, turned onto Stuart Street and arrived in the Octagon. It was there that I spied the fresh bright colours of the flower beds that surrounded the streets, framed by the lovely pink undertones coming from the nearby Cherry Blossom Trees.
I’m not completely sure how my thought process brought me to this point on the Leith but I believe it went something like this…. I started by wandering around the University of Otago looking for signs of spring. This took me down Castle Street (which was littered in glass and had a strange flight club style gathering happening outside one flat) where I came across the Leith River at the Botanical Gardens. Following the Leith which was rather full due to the recent heavy rain, I became interested in the graffiti and the surrounding colours from the gardens.
I often wander past this line of sculptors by Regan Gentry called ‘Harbour mouth molars’. Installed in 2010 on the shoreline of Dunedin’s Kitchener Street park, they were inspired by the University of Otago’s dental school and Otago Peninsula’s volcanic origins. The sculptures combine the ideas of painfully emerging teeth and new landforms thrust up by volcanoes. Personally, I think they’re wonderful, however I know others who feel differently. I like to think of them representing wisdom, but that’s just me.
If there’s one thing to be discovered about a theatre it’s that they have all sorts of interesting doors, stairwells, passageways and nooks and crannies. They really are fascinating places to explore. Eventually, when you think you’ve got the whole place worked out you’ll discover a mysterious new corridor that leads to a section of the theatre that you never knew existed. I can’t understate how compelling an empty 1600 seat theatre is when you’re exploring it for the first time.
I’ve had this building sitting in the back of my mind as a subject I’d like to do something with for a while. However, every time I’ve been past the light has been wrong or the outside has been blocked by cars, buses, trucks and utes. Fortunately, recently I discovered the whole area all but empty which gave me lots of time to work out exactly what I wanted to do.
This is another image about the passing of time, the pace of life and the passing of thought. It’s about a moment’s reflection and a projection towards the future. I’ve always found dusk and the end of the day a very contemplative period.
… from a Small City. My daily musings from Ōtepoti to get you inspired. Read the blog, view the photos, embrace the creativity.
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