Auckland - West

Mainly West of Queen Street - seen through my lens

Month: August 2010 (page 1 of 4)

Gargoyles?

Two Black Backed Gulls

Two Black-backed Gulls

On my recent visit to the gannet colony at Muriwai I also caught this finely choreographed display of two black backed gulls (Larus dominicanus) screeching in unison at the edge of the nesting platform of the gannets. Looking up from Flat Rock.

Taking Off

Taking Off

Taking Off

In a moment this bird will be gliding from the height of the nesting platform – Australasian Gannets (morus serrator) have a breeding colony at Muriwai. For the next 8 months or so, they will be here, before flying off again to Australia. Clumsy as they are on land, they are elegant fliers and amazing divers.

Freak of Nature

Artful Contortions (Phormium Leaf)

Artful Contortions (Phormium Leaf)

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

This is a leaf of a dwarf cultivar of NZ Flax (phormium tenax, probably ‘surfer’ or ‘elfin’). I found it in a clump of somewhat overgrown vegetation in our garden. Some of the leaves of that plant and several others were quite misshapen, but this one was the most extreme, and just beautiful. I think that the twists and twirls are the result of insect activity (maybe mites), interfering with the normal growth process. If anybody can shed more light on this, I would be very interested. (The whole curly part is about 3-4cm.)

An expert told me that this is an instance of fasciation — fascinating!

The images date back several years, and I have not seen much of this phenomenon in recent times. But I like the top picture a lot (it is a natural sepia toning anyway, so a good candidate for black and white), and the story is intriguing. Three more examples below.

   

Curly Brackets

Swans at Karekare

Swans at Karekare

The synchronized swimming of swans is a thing of beauty and elegance. Seen in the wetlands near Karekare Beach.

Find more weekend reflections at James’ Newtown Area Photo.

Looking Down

From Waikowhai Lookout

From Waikowhai Lookout

The view from Waikowhai Lookout over the Manukau Harbour towards Ambury Farm Park and the volcanic Mangere Mountain.

Check out the Manukau Coastal Walks.

A Skywatch Friday photo. More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

Seen on the way to Muriwai.

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

Painted Boxes: Fruitvale School Children

Painted Boxes: Fruitvale School Children

Painted Boxes: Fruitvale School Children

(Wednesday is for painted boxes.)

This transformer is found in Croydon Road, not far from the gates to Fruitvale School. It was painted by Judith Moore-Chisholm in 2010, depicting children’s scenes. As the artist told me, the faces are those of actual children at the school.

Painted Boxes: Fruitvale School Children

Painted Boxes: Fruitvale School Children

Little Huia

Little Huia

Little Huia

This ageing boat house watches over the outgoing tide on a grey and misty morning. It is located at the end of Huia Road, where Whatipu Road leaves the coast to cross the ranges. The hill rising behind the building is Te Komoki (Jackie Peak).

Pah Homestead

Pah Homestead from the Park

Pah Homestead from the Park

This is the Pah Homestead, the new home of the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre mentioned in yesterday’s post. Built between 1877 and 1879 for the Auckland businessman James Williamson as ‘gentleman’s residence’, it was one of the largest houses of the period. An impressive mansion, housing an impressive collection of contemporary New Zealand art. All this surrounded by Monte Cecilia Park.

(More information on the website.)

Pah Homestead, Detail

Pah Homestead, Detail

 
View towards East

View towards East

Everyone’s an Art Critic (Richard Wedekind 2008)

Everyone's an Art Critic  (Richard Wedekind 2008)

Everyone's an Art Critic (Richard Wedekind 2008)

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

Last Sunday, the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre had its opening day at the Pah Homestead (72 Hillsborough Road). This grand mansion has become the new home for a remarkable collection of contemporary New Zealand art. Above is shown a sculpture by Richard Wedekind in grey painted steel, entitled “Everyone’s an Art Critic”. It is found in the garden outside the “Morning Room”.

The above shot seemed ideally suited for high contrast black and white treatment.

A picture of this sculpture in a different setting and in colour can be found in the database of the Centre. I am grateful to curator Nicholas Butler for pointing me to this page.

The picture below shows how the citizens of Auckland embraced the new amenity – a few more visitors than you would like for a gallery viewing, but just fine for a great celebration. The sculptures in the alcoves are by Paul Dibble, left, and Terry Stringer).

Go visit the place, it’s good and it’s free!

TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre Opening

TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre Opening

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