Abbie Jury | A hot, dry autumn in Spain and Portugal

Abbie has just returned from a trip through Spain and Portugal.

The olive plantations looked to be corporate farming, much as our dairy farming is headed. The era of the small family farm appeared to be over in much of the countryside that we passed through. Often there were no residences visible for considerable distances and no indications of boundaries to suggest the smaller holdings of old. It was interesting to reflect on the debate at home regarding lifestylers populating our countryside. We had been discussing it before I left and came to the conclusion that, on balance, small holdings and lifestyle blocks add a welcome diversity to the countryside.

The ubiquitous date palm was everywhere in the south of Spain and Portugal Clipping the street plantings of orange trees to lollipops in Cordoba The cordyline australis had seen better days on the Algarve but had done well at some stage to reach this size

Photos: Abbie Jury | read Abbie’s column

Bright day deep shadows and a frost tonight

Collins Road, Melville, Hamilton

I took two photographs today; this is the better. We were talking in the week  – digital v film – how easy it is to get the runs with digital – image capture diarrhoea – too much too easily. I struggle always to be less precious in my image making. Everything here is intentional – the wonky horizon line, the mucking about with thirds, the perspective. That there is a water bottle sitting in the middle of it all – I have just noticed – simply underlines the bad working practise I more often than not indulge myself in – getting the acquisition / edit thing all back to front – less is more. See the image, make / take the photo, move on – it’s not that hard really. This is one of the most satisfying images I have taken in a long while. Time from seeing to taking about 90 seconds – I had to turn the car around! This is so Waikato – I obviously should get out more.

Collins Road construction site on the western edge of Hamilton city, New Zealand.

This is very funny.

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Visit today's gallery

Best of New Zealand Geographic Photographic Exhibition

Best of New Zealand Geographic Photographic ExhibitionStopping in Taupo for lunch today I notice the rather large ‘rustic’ and somewhat surreal sign for the Best of New Zealand Geographic Photographic Exhibition. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit the exhibition which I understand was showing close by at the Taupo Great Lakes Centre.

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The Nikon F90X

Joanna Rushton
Jo has had a rough time of late – and today wasn’t the greatest. Jo wants to pursue photography (with the rationed school time she has at her disposal) through her art. The 90X was retired in 2005 after a full life as a professional camera from new in 1999 or thereabouts. After some too-ing and fro-ing on Facebook and a quick look at what’s on offer on TradeMe – we decide this the best option and a good match.

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Wondering about Waipa?

Cambridge and Leamington combined form one of two major population centres within Waipa District, the other is Te Awamutu. Here are some stats from the localcouncils.govt.nz website. The Waipa District Council website. Waipa is one of the twelve district councils of the Waikato Regional Council or as it is more commonly known and branded Environment Waikato.

Above Waipa District Council HQ building on Bank Street Te Awamutu viewed from Teesdale Street just beyond the cenotaph on Anzac Green to the left. Yes, that is a kauri in the centre of the photograph.

Check this out.

Kaka at Maungatautari Ecological Island


Feeding the Kaka (there are three in this photo – all nibbling on peanuts) at the aviary in the Southern Enclosure within the Maungatautari Ecological Island, this afternoon, Tuesday the 17th of March 2009. Feeding times are 9:30am and 3:30pm daily. BTW MEIT are running a naming competition for these lovable characters. You can enter here – SUBJECT: KAKA COMPETITION.

Have a look here to see how to get there. Or download this MEIT map [PDF].

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The Trons at Hamilton Gardens

The anticipation, the excitement – the music. It’s been a busy week for Hamilton band The Trons. In Wellington for the Fringe and Webstock and now today at Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival (four performances). The Trons next perform on Sunday the 1st of March at Waikato Museum of Art and History Open Day – at noon.

More Links:  New Zealand Fringe Festival page. The Trons very own soon to be website. The Trons Wipipedia entry. BTW seems the museum website is down as well.

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