Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

As you may have realised, the photography challenges I leapt into at the beginning of the year have disappeared. A brief period of illness, then travel, then rain, and then travel planning all meant that I just didn’t have the time or the inclination to get out and take photographs. I hope to try it again, or maybe pick it up after our trip. Of course, when we’re away I’m going to be taking pics madly (and perhaps sharing some with you via a new Instagram account – look for TravellingMali), although I had hoped to have had more practice before I left, but isn’t that always the way?

I’ve joined a couple of social media groups – one for the challenges I was doing, and one for my particular camera – and have been learning a lot from them (eg. how little I know), and I’ve also been reading various websites to learn more, so I don’t feel like a complete failure!

It’s possible I might get to see the Northern Lights when I’m in Iceland – though with the nights getting lighter when we’re there, I am by no means counting on it – and I’d dearly love to be able to show you all a photograph of the lights … or a puffin. Ironically, the Southern Lights were visible from Wellington last Sunday, but I didn’t know about it until the next day. Typical, isn’t it, that I plan to cross the world to see the phenomenon, and all I needed to do last week was cross the city!


Read Full Post »

Today is the final day of the Nature Photo challenge. I had hoped to include the major regions of the world that I’ve visited, but doubled up on Europe and omitted North America. That simply reflects the amount of time I’ve spent in Europe, and the number of eligible photos I have. So today, I decided to come home. Right back to my roots, in fact.

The photo below is of the beach paddock on the farm where I grew up. This paddock was right on the coast. Just a stony beach stands between it and the Pacific Ocean. Our house was about half a mile inland, where we could still see and, when the wind was easterly and the breakers large, hear the sea.

I took the photograph just a few years ago when I took my mother for a nostalgic trip back to the farm and the district where she spent most of her life. It looks exactly as it did 40 years ago.

Green paddock filled with sheep, with Hunter Hills in the background.

Read Full Post »

This time in 2009, we were on our first visit to Africa. I fell in love, and – supplanting those relaxing tropical beaches – invigorating but restorative African safaris became my favourite thing to do. I loved the bush – it’s not lush and beautiful like the New Zealand bush, but I adored the wide spaces, the huge thorns, the stark leadwood trees, and of course, the animals. I have posted many photos from our visits to South Africa, but here is one you haven’t seen before. I took this exactly seven years ago today.

Impala looking back at us



Read Full Post »

There are different types of trips. Some are holidays, some are family visits, and some are tours. As much as I love visiting friends and family overseas, seeing local life and imagining, just for a moment, what it would be like to live there, it isn’t really a holiday. Tours are exciting, but often frenetic, moving on every few days, seeing new and fascinating sights, learning more about the world and ourselves. But they rarely give you time to truly relax. So for many years, we’ve interspersed such trips with a true holiday, lying on a tropical beach or beside a pool, where beer o’clock begins about 11 am, and where the most stressful issue is deciding which massage package to choose or what to have for dinner.

I’ve written already, briefly, about one of our favourite holidays here.


dinghy on the beach and a bottle of bollinger,

A perfect combination of a tropical island beach, and a wonderful product of nature (see Day 4).



Read Full Post »

Wine is a wonderful combination of nature and skill. In certain regions of New Zealand, the landscape has changed over the last 40 years from grazing (sheep farming) to hectare after hectare of vines. But in parts of Europe, they have been there for centuries. Here we have a view of the home of prosecco, an area kissed by nature in northern Italy.

Rolling hills coated in vines, Prosecco country, Veneto, Italy


Read Full Post »

Being a New Zealander, the stark, barren landscapes of the Middle East (or at least, the five countries I have visited so far) are always startling. Nature doesn’t bestow its bounty on all the world.

I wrote this about Jordan at the time:

My overwhelming memory of Jordan is the landscape, the sand, and the dust, the dust devils, the endless dust.  New Zealand is not only rich in soil, covering our bones, but rich in coverage as well – our land is draped in green, and beautifully adorned with rivers, beaches, snow, and trees.  Jordan on the other hand feels like a land stripped bare, down to the skeleton at times.  There seems to be nothing holding the mountains together, these mountains of dust and rock and scree.  They appear to be in desperate need of soil, veins of water, and vegetation to pull them together.  It was extraordinary and beautiful and yet painful to see.

Jordan's stark landscape, near Ma'in


Read Full Post »

Today we have a photo from rural southeast Asia. The vibrant green of the rice fields is like no other, particularly in Vietnam, but also in Thailand, Philippines, and Bali. This is an old photo, taken in 1994. But I love the natural and time immemorial combination of humans, animals, and plants.

Rice fields on the way from Hanoi to Hai Phong.

Rice fields on the way from Hanoi to Hai Phong.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »