WQWWC #42: Communication and Connection

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood” – Steven Covey

I am a huge fan of Steven Covey’s 7 habits. Habit 5 encourages us to “use empathetic listening to genuinely understand a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to be influenced. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem-solving.”


To clarify my own understanding I wrote this slightly random A-Z poem on communication.

Again I start writing 
Because I can better
Communicate my 
Desires by using words that 
Energise me to 
Feel differently about these
Grand ideas although
How they find form
Inside my mind by
Jumbling around
Kinetically seems
Like
Mindful 
Nonsense that 
Originates without
Purpose yet  
Quickly
Random thoughts
Scramble
To be heard and
Understood and at least the 
Veracity of my
Xenial
Writing is
Zealous.

It reminds me of these words too:

"Write to be understood,
Speak to be heard,
Read to grow"

I definitely needed to read to grow my understanding of the meaning and usability of several of the words that tumbled out of my subconscious thought. Stream of consciousness is certainly one of the ways I communicate my random thoughts. All I need is an empathetic listener or reader. I hope you can understand it. When I read back what I had written, it made me smile anyway. 

“Great communication begins with connection” – Oprah Winfrey

Thank goodness for the internet, FaceTime, Whats App, and Zoom. If you can’t meet face-to-face, then an internet connection is the next best thing. I heard a radio talkback session considering the benefits of using video or not when zooming. How can not being visible assist effective communication? 


I attended a community zoom meeting recently with 160 participants, many of whom had turned their video off so there was a better internet connection for all. Unfortunately not everyone had muted their microphones so we could hear all their groans, snuffles and coughs. It was a good reminder about the need for social distancing, and yet… also about the value of face-to-face communications.   Eventually, the facilitator managed the mute buttons and the presentation continued. 


The meeting was to share and hear about the progress (or lack thereof) of the road repairs.  Our road has been closed since an extreme weather event  in mid-July which resulted in massive road slumps, slips and property damage. We heard the road closure will be in place for at least the next few months, if not a year for some residents, and that to use the road, residents have to apply for a pass to be used before 9am or after 3pm only. However this is only available for those of us within the first 10 kilometres of the 72 kilometre road. The others have to rely on boat access through barges and water taxis to get their groceries, fuel and mail. This highlighted again the importance of finding other ways of staying connected.

The chat message window was instantly filled with questions – some of which were answered during the presentation or in the Q&A session at the end. People had an overwhelming need to communicate their questions and anxiety. Needless to say there were lots of questions, although not many answers – yet!  I guess we will just have to keep talking or communicating in any way we can.

“lt’s not distance that keeps people apart, but lack of communication”

In these times of social distancing, it is even more important that we communicate well.  Yet talking and hearing messages through masks brings its own challenges. And just how can we read non-verbal communication?  Are our eyes able to convey our emotions?  How else can we communicate?

Communication is not a one way street– Jim George

Except, just for now, for us it is – and that one-way street is closed.

The Changing Seasons – August (and a bit of July thrown in)

It started in mid-July with an extreme weather storm event on the West Coast and Marlborough regions. Roads were so badly damaged with many slips, slumps, under and onto the two main roads into the Marlborough Sounds, they were impassable for most of the residents and those of us that could drive out had to negotiate muddy unstable roads.

August arrived and whilst the roads were still closed, some of our quiz team could make it to our local tavern. We were very organised for the 70s dress up theme – and the questions. We won by a big majority – probably something to do with the average age of our team. We had lots of general and specific knowledge of the 1970s. After all, it was a great decade dedicated to music, movies and fashion, and we had all lived through it. One of us had even been to the ABBA museum and sung Dancing Queen as the 5th member of the group.

We socialised at dinner parties and popped into the tavern again to watch the rugby.  I prepared and printed our community newsletter at the local school. Chopping up several fallen trees and mulching the smaller branches occupied my significant other for most of the month – when it wasn’t raining and blowing some more. 


Due to the road closures, I had already been having a couple of SeniorNet committee meetings via Zoom so when I got the invite to join a zoom workshop on how to make stop motion animations, I thought – why not?  That was fun. 

After an eye check in Blenheim on Tuesday, we stocked up on groceries, had a meal in Picton then carefully negotiated the wrecked roads towards home, and settled in to watch the tv news……. And then came the Delta variant of Covid-19. 


Suddenly, overnight New Zealand went into Level 4 lockdown. Not only were we locked in by closed roads, we were now locked down as well. We had to cancel dental and car service appointments as we hunkered down to stop the spread. At least we had sufficient food, beer and wine for a couple of weeks – oh – and toilet paper! 


Whenever was I going to be able to get my new spectacle lens fitted? Last year’s lockdown resulted in the dental appointment being cancelled too. Bad timing I guess.

Still, we are luckier that most. We still have the beach to walk on, and that dreaded exercycle was put back into regular use. After half an hour panting and pushing those pedals, I reward myself with a dabble in my art journal, and listen to some of that 1970s music.

Painting, sketching, writing and photography are back on my lockdown project list. And reading – lots and lots of reading – and maybe some more writing.  

I am grateful for not being too affected by the current lockdown but I certainly feel for all the essential workers, the home-schooling parents and those who are being impacted financially and emotionally. 


As September arrives, our road is still closed to the public and residents drive in and out at their own risk. Another zoom meeting, this time with the road recovery team, informed us that the road repairs are likely to be ongoing for several months. We have had to make a decision about cancelling this season’s homestay bookings. Our guests cannot use the road whilst it is closed to the public. I guess this means we may have time to enjoy summer ourselves this season. There is always a silver lining.

And the silver lining is – that 70s music!  – I am so very excited this week to hear the best news – ABBA are back and the words of their new song ‘Don’t shut me down’ speak to me ….

"I'm like a dream, within a dream, that's been decoded, 
I'm fired up, I'm hot, don't shut me down”

Needless to say, this song is on repeat on my playlist.  If you haven’t heard or seen it yet check it out but be warned – its already addictive for me. Enjoy!

So despite all the doom and gloom of July and August, September is springtime in the southern hemisphere – a time of renewal -and there is always HOPE and ABBA to look forward to.

https://bushboy.blog/2021/09/01/this-is-august-2021/

WQWWC -38, Education, Schools or Learning for life

Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself”  – John Dewey

So where do schools fit in with this concept? Do we need schools so we can be educated?

 
During last year’s lockdown, learning was delivered online, and parents became their teachers. Our most recent and very sudden lockdown happened so fast, that schools have not yet had the time to deliver the laptops to the students. Overnight  the population were in Level 4 – locked down with no access to schools – but there is still education and learning.


Looking at my grandchildren’s experiences last year, it appeared that the learning was vastly different yet somehow more holistic. They learned science through numerous baking experiments, social skills through having to share the dining table to do their schoolwork, and they learnt to work together peacefully ( well most of the time).

‘Knowledge is a process, not a product”  – Ruth Nanda Anshen

Its all about the process – As an early childhood educator, I adhered to this notion of the importance of the process (free unstructured play) over the product. As educational institutions became more prioritised on standardized tests to assess educational outcomes at the expense of dispositional learning, it sucked the joy out of teaching for the love of learning. 


Leaving the pressures of formalised education behind on retirement, it still took me several years to regain my love of lifelong learning based on my passions, interests and strengths. 


So one day I started playing again. Exploring my repressed energies and setting free my creativity through art. I began putting my fingers into the paint as it were… Am I in my second childhood already?  Yes and No. Whatever it may be, I am enjoying my creative processes again. 

“ To be able to be caught up into the world of thought- that is to be educated”  Edith Hamilton

To think or not to think –  therein lies the learning…  I’m still thinking, and I’m still learning. And it is still fun. The best part is that I am sharing this sense of fun. achievement and the learning of new skills with my granddaughter via FaceTime or text messages now we are in lockdown again.

“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way” – Doris Lessing

https://alwayswrite.blog/2021/08/11/wqwwc-38

Pictures of the past – precious memories

I have a picture in my mind’s eye.


Once I was a little  girl with blonde curls and blue eyes, clutching a cuddly soft toy under my arm.

Those eyes blinked once, and then suddenly I am ten. Already I have found some interests to pursue. 

I had my first riding lessons on a black racehorse named Chunkette. She left a lasting impression on me (and not just on my tender bottom) Gentle to ride yet she had a quietly determined character. She liked to lead the way when trotting along the jungle path.

I took many photos with my brand new camera and instantly I was hooked into an abiding passion – photography. Such magic to be able to capture pictures of the present which would become fond memories of the past. What an exciting and absorbing activity this has become. Little did I realise at that moment how my childhood interests would become my lifelong passion.


I blinked again and it was the next decade  I kept up my horse-riding. I took  pictures to record my interests and life experiences but alas they  went missing over the years.


I learned to develop and print my own film photographs in the school darkroom. Precious pictures of those schoolgirl years long since past but still they remain in my albums.


A decade after my first riding lessons, I bought my own horse. Yes it was another beautiful black racehorse. It seems I had a certain affinity with racehorses. I took pictures of course.

My first job when I left school was hand-painting aerial photographs using photo oil paints. My second photographic job saw me making large mosaic aerial photomaps of rural properties. No horses but plenty of farm animals in the photo maps. Lots of time spent in the darkroom, developing and printing very large aerial photographs, using copy cameras and retouching negatives.

Once again I was making pictures to identify the present land use and to record these for posterity.


In my third decade my passion for photography was set aside for a short time as motherhood and parenting took priority.  However there were still plenty of photographic opportunities in that part of my life journey. I  took many pictures of my children and I put them in my family albums.

I look at these pictures  of the past quite often these days. 


Fourth decade: As I travelled the country with my work in early childhood education, I became aware of the emerging importance of photo documentation of children’s learning journeys.  I took many pictures of early childhood environments, examples of best teaching practice, and of the many work colleagues who became close friends. I was able once again to focus on my lifelong passion for photography. 


I had also discovered digital and video cameras. Now there were limitless images to capture and record. And so much more to learn. The internet arrived.  I started a 365 project – a photo a day for 365 days.  I’m now into the 8th year of my 365 project. What can I say… it is an addiction. And I’m still learning.

Over the last three decades I have been capturing my travel memories in photographs. So many pictures to record our amazing trips around the world.  Travelling internationally may now be a distant memory. 

These memories are already my pictures of the past.

Fortunately, I now have 7 grandchildren. My latest and greatest joy is when I capture pictures of their blonde curls and blue eyes. The pictures of the past have become the pictures of the present generation.


I must have blinked my eyes at least once for every decade as my life changed direction, yet I still remain focussed on my abiding passion.

And the pictures of my past? they are still there to remind me of my lifetime memories. 

#Sunday Stills – Geometric shapes – a look at angles and perspectives

It’s all about perspective when it comes to geometric shapes.

Geometry –  It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures.


It was not my favourite school subject. I couldn’t tell a tetrahedron from a square pyramid, or a hexagonal pyramid from a hexagonal prism – even though I could spell these mysterious words – the usefulness of these shapes made no sense to me.

Then I discovered the angles, shapes and perspectives to be captured through photography.  At last the geometric shapes made sense and I could relate.

I went looking for geometry and symmetry wherever I pointed my camera.


From spheres to squares…

From proportions to perspectives in buildings and bridge construction… 

In ceilings and walls and up steps or stairs……

I even found a square pyramid or is it tetrahedron?

Geometry in photography has forced me to shape and clarify my own perspectives. 

#SundayStills

#WQWWC : Relaxed – “If you do what you love, it is the best way to relax.“

“Trust that little voice in your head that says, ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’; and then do it.”  Duane Michals 

So with these encouraging quotes in mind, here I go with my favourite ways to relax….

PLAYING WITH ART“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Either John Lennon or Laurence J Peter – the jury is out on who said this first!

My latest foray into creative expression is when  I started a 61 day ICAD (index card a day) challenge from 1st June and ending 31st July – and of course I am still playing catchup.   I made a bargain with myself – 30 minutes on the exercycle first then I am free to play with index cards, paint, crayons, stencils and gel pens. I even made a home-made gel plate for printing  I put on my music and relax into my art.  Here is a small selection from June and July. It is working so far.

READING:   “You can find magic, wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” – Dr Seuss

This is most certainly one of my ‘go-tos’ for relaxing, pouring myself a cuppa, curling up into a comfy chair and getting lost in a good book – and there I am –  relaxed into the magic of words and other worlds.  There is a reason I have always loved reading fantasy, science fiction and time travel – it is such an amazing form of escapism.   It will be interesting to see how many books I have read by the end of the year – I’m up to Book 54 so far.


I have my favourite genres, and then I have my “impossible to put into any specific genre” genre. 

Some books just require you to read, re-read and re-read again. And it is not because you can’t remember the stories, its because they are so good, so full of complexity, twists and turns they need to be read again to catch even more details with each read through. 


I’m currently re-reading books 1 – 8 of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon in preparation for the release of book 9 in November. There is an online book group doing a read – along and is great excuse for me to re-read. It is very interesting how much more detail you notice on the next journey through the ‘ stones’.  


I enjoyed reading the first book Crosstitch (which has since been renamed as Outlander) when it was published in 1991. I swapped some of the next few books with my sister in law over the years until other work-life priorities intervened.  Luckily for me, I not only rediscovered the series a few years ago but also realised I could download the rest of the books onto my kindle. For those that are not yet familiar with this series here is Herself’s description.

Alternatively or as well as – there is the tv series to avidly consume – seasons 1 -5 to date with season 6 scheduled for release early next year.  I have to admit to being seriously addicted to Outlander along with several million other readers.  I’m not sure if this addictive reading behaviour is actually relaxing or not – hmm?


Whilst waiting for the next book, there is a selection of novellas based on individual characters and a Comprehensive Companion guide (or two ) filling in some background history.  It keeps me relaxed.

Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity.” – A. Edward Newton, author, publisher, and collector of 10,000 books.

By the look of my piles of books which I can’t seem to fit into my bookshelves, and constantly struggle to let go of, it could be said I might be afflicted with this ecstasy too.  It reminded me too of this bit of lighthearted relief found online during last year’s lockdown. Read the titles which have been placed in order by a librarian with a sense of humour. Always look for the bright side of life – and stay relaxed

PHOTOGRAPHY:  Relax and trust, knowing the universe has set a banquet of abundance for you”

I found this quote chalked onto a blackboard outside the Langford store in Golden Bay last year. I’m not sure who authored it. I do like the emphasis on “relax and trust”.

Wandering with my camera is when I am truly in my relaxed and happy place. There is always an abundance of subjects to capture – and it keeps the brain active.

WRITING: “It is how you see life that matters, rather than what you have done.”  – Patti Miller,   “Writing true stories.”

Writing for me is a way to record my inner thoughts and to make sense of the feelings and thoughts that wander through my mind. Playing with words is a form of relaxation for me. It can also be a trip down memory lane.

Elizabeth Gilbert writes that:
“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to discover those jewels – that’s creative living… I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”


So now I have written about creative pursuits I enjoy, I’m feeling rather chilled out and RELAXED  

https://alwayswrite.blog/2021/07/21/chill-out-with-wqwwc-and-relax/

Rural isolation and digital desolation

Over the last two days
We have had weather in all ways
Horizontally and vertically the wind did blow 
so too the rain did fall.

Pouring rain 
Howling gales 
Slips and slumps
Flooded roads

Then came the high tide
The creek overflowed
The lawns became a lake
It was more than we could take

Rivers were in flood
Trees ripped out
Bridges were gone
Everywhere was sodden mud

Damaged houses subsided in landslips galore
Driveways slipped down the hills
Ditches and drains could hold no more
Householders now face huge clean up bills

A 100 year event was in store
350 mm rainfall in only two days
I cannot remember such a deluge before
Climate change is definitely underway.

And yet, just a month or two ago
Another weather event had also been described just so.
Someone can’t count the days or the years
This weather event will surely all end in tears.

The power went out… and then it came back 
BUT THEN… Shock and horror
The internet went down.
Our digital connection was gone.

Digital desolation 
I was in disconnect despair
Rain fade stopped the tv feed
We had no news updates 
or weather warnings to heed.

Looking out the window was all we could do
Yes - it was still raining and blowing too
Thank goodness for notebooks and pens
so I could write this plea to the weather gods,

"Please stop the rain, I promise to be good
Its just too wet in this neighbourhood"

Suddenly I caught a brief glimpse of moonlight 
peeping out from the clouds of the night 
Perhaps the wind is blowing the clouds away.
Is the rain going to stop at last?  

The third morning dawned bright with light
Of the wind and rain there was no sound nor sight
It was over but it had left behind 
A devastating plight

We walked to see what damage had been done
although we could have just swum
The ground was awash with muddy water
amidst slippery piles of clay and stone 

At last there were helicopters up in the air 
Assessing the damage to the isolated grounds
Diggers were ferried by barge to the Sounds
No traffic getting through by road.

Maybe they will soon fix the power and phones
To make sure people are safe in their homes
By 5pm that day the phone started pinging
"Are you alright”  the messages were asking

"Yes", we replied thankfully though many are not 
At least we still have homes safe from the flood
Our thoughts are with those much less fortunate than us
As evacuations end and the big clean up begins.

So  until the next time Mother Nature  intervenes
to send us another reminder of climate change
Lets hope we all listen and do our bit
to keep this planet healthy and fit.

WQWWC #33 Exploration – The expression of an impression

A picture is the expression of an impression.

If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?”

Ernst Haas

The expression of an impression
Is an obsession
I bring to each photo session 
where I can take possession
of my lifelong passion.

The expression of an impression
Is a compulsion
not a delusion.
It is where I learnt composition 
Through the excitement of exploration 
and a touch of preoccupation.

The expression of an impression
Take a bowl full of enthusiasm 
Flash in a sprinkle of infatuation
Focus with a whole lot of dedication
Layer  in an image of endless fascination
Blend all together in a bucket of creation 

Until it exposes more than my dreams
And becomes a beautiful expression of my own impressions

Every photo I take is a piece of my life that I will never get back,

but that I will be able to see again and again.”

Malcolm Flowers

https://alwayswrite.blog/2021/07/14/wqwwc-33-exploration/

The Changing Seasons – May days

Before the winter sets in, we have been enjoying the last days of Autumn in some of our favourite places  in the South Island, NZ.


St Annes Lagoon wildlife reserve was today’s road trip from our Parnassus stop over..  Autumn foliage colours still linger as did the birdlife flying overhead.  So many trees were half submerged in the lake.

 Whilst I was wandering with my camera, Leicester found someone to chat to, discovering they had a mutual friend from 50 years ago- such is the nature of this small country, it would appear. He was happy and so was I in my happy place wandering with my camera.

 Back at camp, we were amused by Seymour the tame magpie who crows like a rooster and barks like a dog. I tried to mimic the rooster sounds so she would too but I only embarrassed myself. I have the video clip to prove it – but nope – not going to share that.

Next stop was Kaiapoi which is handily located not far from family and friends on the outskirts of Christchurch.  We attended our granddaughter’s birthday party. 

We love visiting Christchurch as many of our cousins and extended family live here so there are often several  visits and coffee catchups with family each time we visit.

Fishing in the Mckenzie canals

The silence  is broken only by the gentle plop of the lines being cast into the flowing canal. Everywhere I look I see hopeful anglers  casting and reeling their lines. Waiting for the elusive rainbow trout or perhaps salmon escapees from the salmon farms that stretch throughout the man made canals.

Hydro electric power schemes on a grand scale have turned this region into a fisherman’s dreamland. 56 kilometers of canals teaming with big rainbow trout. 


Adjacent to the salmon farms are the ever present fishers.   Parking up in an assortment of vehicles from utes to motor homes, cars or cyclists, everyone has to stop and try their luck at catching the trophy fish, or at least stopand ask that question – “Any luck Today?”  The answers vary as you would expect.

Even if the fish are not rising to the bait it is so peaceful here. Amazing reflections. Interesting bird life. And even some water rats co-existing with the wildlife and humans. 
There are as many theories as there are fishers or so it seems.  So many theories of what to use to attract the fishy interest. Egg rolling or glow bugs? Live bait or lures? What time of the day? Is the flow fast enough? Is the current too strong? 
So many questions. The only important question is – where are the fish?

It’s so quiet then suddenly there is an almighty splash and telltale ripples expanding across the canal. Which way did that fish go? 


There is quite a little community of like-minded people here, quietly conversing as they stroll along with their egg rolling tactics. ( the egg rolling technique is a common method for attracting trout. Little egg-like bits of fluff with a hidden hook inside.)  Apparently the trout feed on fish eggs so the trick is to get the right colour egg and cast out the line, allowing it to float/ roll along with the current. If the fish fancy the egg then it’s all on as they gulp the hook.


Nets at the ready, the fish is played until it comes into the waters edge. A quick scoop of the net and it is caught. Everyone else on the canal looks across to check the size and the type of fish. Is it a  brown trout, a rainbow trout or the prized salmon?

The success of the hunt is short lived as the fisher gets straight back into the action. There is a sense of  real camaraderie here.  Whilst there are those that go to great lengths to protect their secretl tips and techniques, there are others who generously share their experience and knowledge with the newbies.  


It’s an addiction of the healthiest kind. Fresh air and exercise, solitude and amazing  scenery. What’s not to love?  Walking thousands of steps each day, it sure beats hitting the gym. There is something special about stepping out alongside the canals whether you have cast a line or not.  Aoraki (Mt Cook) dominates the landscape  even if it is sometimes hiding amongst the clouds,  it’s majestic presence is felt and enjoyed by all who venture here.  

The air is pure and crisp. The views are truly spectacular and the changing light patterns reflecting across the waters are fascinating. There are swirls and ripples in the  current (or is that a big fish passing by). Shags, terns, swallows, ducks, seagulls and herons glide up and down the canals searching for food. 


I was captivated by this heron standing ever so obligingly still on the bank until I realised it had old fishing line entangled on its legs and feet. It was so sad to see and I felt quite helpless to assist. It could fly well but when landing it took ages to settle and untangle its feet, having to stand on one leg most of the time. Almost impossible for it to position itself to catch fish in the shallows. 


The very next day, one of the salmon farm workers noticed its predicament and called the DOC rangers.  They arrived a short time later and tried to capture it in a net. Unfortunately that didn’t work either as it kept flying away. The rangers decided to try another approach later.  I was left pondering on the impact on the local wildlife from the trout fishers. Days later, I’m still wondering about the fate of this beautiful bird.

We spent several more days relaxing and enjoying the magic of the canals. I even managed to do some night photography under the dark sky until the fog and clouds rolled in. The lunar eclipse hid  behind those clouds.

And the very next day, along came the hoar frost.  Spectacular icicles covered the trees and tussocks. It was very pretty and also very cold.  It was time to move on.

Flooding fortunes

Snow and heavy rain were forecast for the next few days so it was time to start heading homeward  bound. We drove North  to Christchurch and hunkered down for the next few days.  Fortunately for us, we made the right decision as within two days major flooding closed all the roads and  bridges to the South and low-lying areas of Mid and North Canterbury. Had we remained any longer we would have been cut off too.  Even though we were parked up  alongside the Waimakariri River, the stopbanks held  back the waters flooding in our little Kaiapoi campground.  


Further along the coast others were not so lucky. Communities evacuated as rivers  broke their banks. Helicopter rescues as farmers tried to save their stock and got trapped in rapidly rising floodwaters.
Several days later,  the sun came out from the clouds and so did we – back home to the Marlborough Sounds to find Autumn leaves still clinging to the trees. Yet the changing seasons are now upon us here too. 


Farewell to the lazy hazy days of May. 

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2021/05/31/the-changing-seasons-may-2021/

Astrophotography is such a celestial challenge.

All eyes were raised to the dark skies when the lunar eclipse was imminent. There was to be a super blood moon.

“A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow.This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned with Earth between the other two, which can only happen at a full moon. The eclipsed moon appeared as a faint red disk in the sky due to a small amount of light being refracted through the earth’s atmosphere; this appearance gives a lunar eclipse its nickname of a Blood Moon.” 

Weather forecasts scrutinised.  ✅

Potential locations scoped.✅

Astrophotography techniques researched.✅

SD cards cleared and ready ✅

Camera batteries charged……   ✅

It was nearly time for the big event – the night of the lunar eclipse had arrived.

BUT THEN….  in swirled the fog and cloud cover.  Down plummeted the temperature. Desperation set in and I was so frustrated – why did I choose to stay at Twizel instead of Tekapo?

Deciding that if I didn’t at least try, I wouldn’t see anything at all, so no matter the gloomy forecast, out I went under the foggy and cloudy skies.


I wore many layers of merino jumpers and scarves, thermal tights, a good wind jacket and fingerless gloves.  I even had my hot water bottle wrapped in lambswool at the ready in the car. And my thermal mug filled with turmeric latte.


Arriving at my location, I was not surprised at all to find that no-one else was there – apparently they were all at Lake Tekapo instead.  Sigh!

Undaunted, I set up the tripod and  took a few trial pictures.  Hmmm that cloud cover was a  bit tricky but at least I could see the beautiful moon intermittently ithrough the clouds.  It was still early as yet so there was still a chance it would clear so crossing my cold fingers, I set up the intervalometer and waited.  This was to be my first attempt at capturing a lunar eclipse. As per normal, I had decided on a capturing multiple exposures of each stage of the eclipse – a tad ambitious in hindsight. 

So here are my embarassingly pathetic images. But at least I tried….!

I did manage a few photos of the penumbral and the umbral shadows stage but very foggy so focusing through the clouds was a major issue.  Then the first camera battery died (of the cold).  Changing the battery meant taking the camera off the tripod first so that ruined the continuity of focus and composition. I waited a while and tried again. 


Several images later, the moon had almost reached totality – and you guessed it – the second camera battery also died (of the cold).   Me too, I grumbled to myself. By this time the clouds had almost covered the skies and the temperature had dropped to Minus 4 degrees. I drove back to camp through the ever-increasing fog and drank a comforting glass of red wine (which looked redder thats the Blood Moon).

Bloody Moon

And the very next day:  Social media were filled with images of the penumbral shadows, umbral shadows, partial and totality eclipse. I was very envious. 

But wait – there is another almost total lunar eclipse coming up 19 November 2021…. watch this celestial space!