Thursday, February 22, 2018

Napier Art Deco 2018

Art Deco Week in Napier 2018
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Visitor: Thousands of people. Glad I came.
.
Resident: Quite a show, isn’t it.
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Visitor: Got to dress the part. 1920s. 
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Resident: Learn the Charleston and arrive in a vintage car.
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Visitor: Spiffing fun, what.
.
Resident: What?
__________
Voice-over
.Napier, New Zealand.
Rebuilt in 1931 after a Magnitude 7.8 earthquake.
Reinvented itself in the 1980s as Art Deco City.
...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Waikaremoana Road


Highway 38...
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Navrilov: It takes 4 hours to go 160 kilometers.
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Neo: Twisty?
Watch for wandering
cows and horses
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Navrilov: Very. And gravelly. Slips, Rocks. And wandering animals.
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Neo: Desolate and dangerous compared to the main road. So why did you?
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Navrilov: Spectacular. I’d never done it.
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Neo: You prepared?
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Navrilov: Sleep. Food. Tools. Insurance.
___________
Voice-over
Not for the nervous.
Not if you’re pressed for time.
Not if you’re worried about dings on your car.
But to see New Zealand vegetation before farming landscape wiped it out.
And to have done another thing on the bucket list.

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss, but that it is too low and we reach it. Michelangelo
...

Monday, February 5, 2018

Butterfly tree

The tree fell down and was tied up again...
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Milkweed aka swan plant
Elizabeth: Why don’t you just pull it out? It’s such a raggedy growth, not pretty at all.
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Victoria: I know, but it’s the only food the monarch butterflies eat.
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Elizabeth: Can’t they eat something else?
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Victoria: They like the swan plant, it’s got toxins, scares off the predators.
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Elizabeth: Where do they go in winter?
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Victoria: Good question. Some do migrate. Fly from Eastern U.S. to Mexico. Some take three or four generations. In New Zealand there aren't such distances but some say that monarchs overwinter in Christchurch or Tauranga.
_________
Voice-over
Monarch butterflies. Brilliant introduced species to New Zealand, a land rather poorly inhabited by colorful winged insects. And yes, the swan plants bought from the nursery in small pots do look better formed, but an aged tree is a protectorate of multiple caterpillars.
...

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February White Rabbit

Rabbit is pleased
To send you all word
Of how well the year
Is progressing.

Undoubtedly due,
Wouldn’t we agree,
To a monthly
brisk triplet of rabbits.

WHITE RABBIT WHITE RABBIT WHITE RABBIT

Monday, January 29, 2018

Framing views

Focusing attention…
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Gustave: A view can look better framed.
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George: I see what you mean. Looking through the magnolia at the sea.
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Gustave: Shaded too. And over here, across the lawn.
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George: Aha, a perch for birds to check for cats before drinking.
______________
Voice-over

The art of gardening draws on the art of framing. Repoussoir in the sea view and foliage-vignetting in the birdbath scene.
...

Monday, January 22, 2018

Throwing away old people on the mountain

Photos on the ski slope…
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Toshi: If you tilt the camera at an angle, it’ll look like I’m speeding downhill.
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Waka: You’re too old to speed downhill. You’d have to call the photo “fake downhill skier”. Trees are not standing up either. Standing still at the top of the ski run on your skis is more honest.
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Toshi: This is my final ski trip. I need to leave a lasting impression.
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Waka: How about I piggyback you up the slope?
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Toshi: Meaning you are ditching me on the mountain obasute-style?
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Waka: Your choice. Either you ski downhill and collide with a tree, or you lie down up the hill a bit, drift off into a sleep and they find your bones in the spring.
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Toshi: Just tilt the camera.
_________
Voice-over

The old Japanese custom of senicide may well be a myth or at least not widespread. But visiting the ski slopes with wobbly balance and creaky knees prompts a reminder that one’s body is not what it once was and triggers shivers of mortality. Especially since younger companions veer between sympathy and tolerance; others barely mask an “oh my” rolling of the eyes as they wave and swish off down the advanced slopes, and you stay on the less challenging descents.
...