Sunday Stills – Springtime stories in Closeup

Whilst I didn’t rescue these creatures solely so I could capture some macro/closeups, it was good to at least get the chance to capture their stories in close up detail.

The little bee I rescued from a spider’s web. It was fascinating to watch it trying to clean up the sticky goo from its sting. It was good to see it fly safely away ready to go about its pollinating business again.

Bee rescue

A few days later, as I wandered along the muddy road inspecting the recent storm damage, I noticed a little ball of fluff stuck in the mud.  Carefully, I picked it up. It moved weakly.  It was a tiny fledging baby bird, most likely  blown out of its nest in the stormy night.  I held it gently in my cupped hands and took it home.  

Feeling  overwhelmed and unsure of my bird nurturing skills, I texted my ‘bird whisperer’ friend for advice. Following her suggestions, I placed a hot water bottle underneath a makeshift nest and covered it gently to recover in the dark. An hour later, she called in on her way home from town to inspect my little foundling. 

By this time I had decided I was not the ‘best nest’ for this little baby. I gladly released the bird into her skilled hands. Her many years experience of being a ‘bird rescuer’ came to the fore.  Over the next several weeks, she tenderly cared for baby bird, feeding it with an eyedropper, cleansing its sticky eyes and keeping it safe and warm. She sent me updates every few days. Then the good news came.

“Wax Eye update. Doing well. Now in outside cage during the day. Feeding himself.  Will release as soon as his tail feathers grow”

Our halos are shining bright!

Wax Eye baby

I celebrated by capturing some spring flowers in close up – and found a tiny green fly. It must surely be Spring time.

#SundayStills – Spring has sprung

Nothing says Spring to me as much as the daffodils and blossoms bursting forth and shining bright all around me.

Except maybe the territorial Tui who tumble and savour their way through the kowhai trees, sipping nectar from the yellow flowers.

Territorial Tui tumbling through the trees, 
One flies in and the other flees,
Sipping on the nectar,
Flying near and far.

It is such a delight 
To see them take flight
Soon they will build a nest 
To prove which bird is the best.

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.

SundayStills – March 21 Color Challenge: Spring Greens

But we are heading into Autumn!!  

The snow is melting in the northern hemisphere
The spring sap is greening the leaves of the trees
Whilst  here down under deep in the South
The leaves are changing, colouring and falling

Winter is coming, it is time to reset the clock
So these few glimpses of Springtimes long gone
Are all that I will have to keep me cosy and warm.
Oh what am I to do? 
Yes- its back to an archive or two.

I really don’t mind a trip down memory lane 
As I have many unedited  images languishing in vain.
So I try to stay  ’focused’ on the task ahead.
And play with those images to shine their light in this thread.
The changing  seasons of our lives
Are captured through lenses that remain bright
Seasons are just a bringer of a different kinds of light
To illuminate our days or shine moonlight through the night.

And if we are lucky the sun will send 
Lady Aurora to bedazzle our skies.
So even on a cloudless, moonless night, 
there will still be green lights
Skies of green

With this in mind, I remembered this song from 1965.. still relevant in these pandemic times maybe…


To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sow
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late.

"The Byrds, 1965"

So until Spring next graces us with her presence 

I’ll set my mind on finding the light wherever it may be