Weekly photo challenge: the Kiss

Nothing like a mother's love

Nothing like a mother’s love

This morning, camera in  hand, I took myself off to Wellington Zoo. I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t been there for years – since my now adult children were little! We’ve had such a gorgeous spell of weather lately and I decided that, in my ‘between jobs’ state, I should see for myself all the changes that have been made at the zoo in the intervening years.

I was not disappointed. In fact, I was totally entranced. I ended up spending the best part of three hours there vowing to myself to make regular visits from now on.

I could ramble on and on about the fabulous events Wellington Zoo offers, but it’s best to check out their website if you’re interested. I was prompted to go today because of an article in this morning’s Dominion Post about a baby Royal Penguin which had been found on Sunday at Tora Beach on the Wairarapa Coast. The sick penguin, after being cared for overnight, was taken to Wellington Zoo. Royal Penguins, the article tells us, live about 2000 kilometres distant on Macquarie Island where the temperatures is around 8 degrees celsius. A far cry from our recent temperatures in the high 20s.

When I arrived at the zoo, I was told that the penguin would be undergoing surgery in the Animal Hospital this morning. The Animal Hospital (called The Nest) is open viewing. The vets (microphones on) operate behind a large viewing window and describe what they’re doing and why. We watched as our little royal penguin friend was gently anaesthetised and and ten operated on. A large group of young school children sitting on the ground in front of the window watched in awe.

We all hope the wee fellow makes it; his chances aren’t that good.

Not far away, all the other animals either frolicked or lazed in the sun.

I hope you like this picture – there were two baby chimps in the enclosure, both being lovingly nurtured by their mothers. There were also some toddlers getting up to normal toddler mischief – they reminded me of my kids!

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Weekly photo challenge: Unique

Poetry on the waterfront

Poetry on the waterfront

You’ll have to come to New Zealand to read the poetic inspirations dotted around Wellington’s waterfront – known as the Wellington Writers’ Walk. The challenge for tourists is to find all the quotes …

The series of large, concrete, typographic ‘text sculptures’ designed by award-winning Wellington typographer and graphic designer Catherine Griffiths are sited at various points along the waterfront.  Each sculpture contains a quote by a well-known New Zealand writer with strong Wellington connections. There are currently 11 text sculptures.

This sculpture features the words of Denis Glover (1912-1980).

from the pen of Denis Glover

from the pen of Denis Glover

Weekly photo challenge: Love

Enjoying Wellington Harbour, 29 Jan 2013

Enjoying Wellington Harbour, 29 Jan 2013

We love summer!

I went down to Wellington’s spectacular waterfront today to have in ice-cream. Being a diabetic, ice-creams are not recommended. However, having decided to treat myself to one (why not?) – it had to be the best on offer. If you’re going to sin, you might as well sin in style! An ice-cream from Kaffee Eis – plum to be exact. And it was worth every loving lick!

To compensate, I went extended my walk.

Photographed at lunchtime today – just one of the many people enjoying a brilliant summer’s day on the Wellington waterfront.

Weekly photo challenge: Beyond the Pohutukawa trees

From the summit of the Mount

From the summit of the Mount

In New Zealand, the red blooms of the Pohutukawa tree herald the arrival of summer. The theory goes, that the early the flowering, the longer the summer.

This summer the Pohutukawa flowers have been spectacular. So has the summer – intermittently

I took this photograph while climbing to the summit of Mount Maunganui (on the Coromandel Peninsula) early in the morning on New Year’s Day. I was not alone; many other walkers and runners started the year with the same good intention.

I loved our few days spent in Mount Maunganui. Great beaches, great surf, great food -surrounded by beauty. Hidden by the tree on the right hand corner of this image is Tauranga. Mount Maunganui Beach is to the extreme left, with Pilot Beach (lined by Norfolk Pines) is centre.

Pohutukawa blooms below.

New Zealand native Pohutukawa ... close association with Christmas and summer

New Zealand native Pohutukawa … our Christmas flower

Weekly photo challenge: Beyond the tread

Early morning n Matarangi Beach

Beyond the footprints on Matarangi Beach – early morning

In this topic, I feel spoiled for choice, so I may just have to post a daily photograph.

This photograph was taken on Matarangi Beach, which is on the Coromandel Peninsula – North Island, New Zealand. I was blown away by the beauty. Early morning walks were my favourite times of day – a time to absorb the air, the sounds and the silence.

Weekly photo challenge: Illumination II

Latticed illumination

Latticed illumination

It had been a miserable day, with unrelenting rain, so last night we went to Wellington’s Embassy Theatre to see Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. 

The Embassy is a theatre, which was opened in 1924 and was refurbished in 2001, in time for the world premiere of the first of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The theatre is gorgeous – an very stately old dame. As you enter her wide doors on Cambridge Terrace, you ascend to the first floor via elegant curved stairways with beautiful art deco tiles in deep blues and greens lining the walls. She always takes my breath away.

Last night I searched for the tile I’d heard about at a recent funeral. One of Wellington’s beloved, an extremely kind and generous philanthropist, funded the tiling of the walls. All he asked for in recognition of his generosity was for one tile to be placed honouring of his parents. I found it exactly where I thought it would be, very simple and discrete – with only a christian name for each of them and the initials of their surname – perfect. I felt so moved by this one simple gesture that I wanted to hold my fingers to my lips then press them gently against the tile.

Choc-dipped ice cream in hand, I settled into my sumptuous leather seat, sponsored by another well-known Wellington identity. The lights went down plunging the auditorium into near darkness but for the latticed domes on either side of the screen. After a one-handed scrambling at the bottom of my handbag for my camera clutching my ice-cream cone in the other, I managed to take just one photo. If I’d had more time, and two hands, I would have tried to show the magical lattice effects on the surrounding walls and ceiling.

Next time.

Weekly photo challenge: I-loo-mination

Putting the loo in illumination

Putting the loo in illumination

These dresses were part of the annual New Zealand Fashion Week which includes a category for young designers to design and construct a cocktail dress made only from toilet paper. The results, many taking hours and hours of painstaking work, are clever and stunning.

This year’s winner was spectacular! You can check it out using the following link: Toilet paper dress designs

I have a couple of other photos taken at this parade, but they only show one dress at a time. This one at least gives you an idea …