Friday Photography - After The Rain

We’ve had two extraordinarily heavy and sustained rainfalls in the past week, after 4 months with nothing more than a couple mm. Last night was one of them, and I am thankful my house hasn’t slipped down the bank. Slips are a real concern here in the Waitakere Ranges because of it’s rugged and largely clay terrain. Aucklands water reserves are finally growing after the lowest they’ve been in 25 years.

I hope you guys are experiencing calmer weather. At least it's dry inside and warmed by the fire.

Enjoy the weekend all.

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snoopydawg's picture

Charlie fell in love with this dawg

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I fell in love with this tree

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Our skies have been so clear since COVID arrived

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The camera on this phone is awesome, but I’m gonna get the new iPhone that has an even more incredible camera on it. I’m done with smart phones that are anything but. The one I have now has an aversion to the Internet. Power went out and I couldn’t check it. My internet went out this morning and....ugh.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

dystopian's picture

@snoopydawg I love your dead trees SD! Birds love them too, and man seems to be on the warpath against dead snags, among a million other things, which are great natural bird nest sites. Guess I should say Bare Trees and post a Fleetwood Mac link. Wink

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

janis b's picture

@snoopydawg

I'm so glad you captured that image for our enjoyment. It's so sweet.

From what I've seen from a photographer friend's samsung phone camera, I marvel at the quality.

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snoopydawg's picture

@dystopian

This tree was awesome in living color and I’m happy with how the photos turned out, but you should see it in real life. It’s much larger than how it shows here. The bark was bright white and very smooth.

@janis b

‘Twas love at first sight for Charlie. I’ve never seen her react to any dawg like she did that one. Must have been pheromones or something that made her do that.

Yes the Galaxy 7 phone has one of the best rated cameras. Look how it handles close up and depth of field. I’m impressed.

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4 users have voted.

"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

janis b's picture

@snoopydawg

of the bark. I would enjoy seeing it close up with your samsung galaxy phone camera. The close-up of the flowers is impressive.

Dogs just know best, don't you think. With a dog's sense of smell we humans might go less awry ; ).

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lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg  
I see flags and plaques — that reminds me of Punchbowl (the National Cemetery / “Arlington of the Pacific”) in Honolulu, where many U.S. military WW2 dead and veterans are buried.

I remember Sunday rides in the early 1950s, in the family Plymouth, when my dad might take a slow drive around Punchbowl cemetery. They still had crosses (and the occasional wheel of dharma or six-pointed star) on the graves, later done away with favor of plaques because the crosses made it too time-consuming to mow the grass. This was before the place was revamped and they put up that big statue representing Columbia or whoever.

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snoopydawg's picture

@lotlizard

I have been walking at the one by my house for well over a decade rain or shine, but not when the wind blows hard during the winter. I skip less than 5-10 days a year and walk twice during the summer. I have permission to walk there from the owners and as you can see others walk theirs too. Charlie has designated herself as the official greeter and she can tell when someone is grieving. She will cautiously walk up to them and see if they are open to a hug.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

Bollox Ref's picture

a shot of a maple from last year. Unfortunately, I cropped the top off. Oh well.

Here's flag of the week:

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6 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

dystopian's picture

@Bollox Ref What a beautiful Maple BR! Way down south here they are real finicky about turning red, and even orange... Have to have dry weather with cool nights to get good color here. One guy here that everyone will tell you is the smartest guy in the valley, and is rarely shoed, says some are genetically pre-disposed to be red, or orange, or yellow, beyond the climatalogical reasons for various color levels. GREAT color you captured!

Nice flag too!

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2 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

janis b's picture

@Bollox Ref

I never would have noticed that fact. The colour is blinding. I want a bottle of that syrup from that maple.

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Socialprogressive's picture

That second image looks like black lightning streaking out of the ceiling.

The San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park were open to members three days last week before opening to the general public on Sat. It was good to see the animals again.

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I picked the wrong pandemic to quite sniffing glue.

janis b's picture

@Socialprogressive

I'm happy for you and the animals to meet each other again. We need to reinforce that contact whenever possible. Your photos capture many emotions, thank you.

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lotlizard's picture

@Socialprogressive  
We all come from a long line of Bilateral animals, but the tiger’s fur almost “seams” to have a definite joint or crease between his or her left and right halves, like a plush toy.

The stripes don’t match up right across that seam, either, as if some underpaid sweatshop seamstress in Mother Nature’s Third World workshop had been rushed and pressured into doing shoddy work — ow! I kid, I kid.

Seriously though, those tiger photos are simply tops.

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Socialprogressive's picture

@lotlizard
A tigers stripes are just like snow flakes, no two are alike and come from skin pigmentation. If you could get a tiger to sit still long enough to shave off its fur you would see the stripes in it's skin.

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I picked the wrong pandemic to quite sniffing glue.

dystopian's picture

Amazing photos SP! Beautiful, awesome stuff. Did the animals miss the people? Wink I see a couple of my relatives there...

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3 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Socialprogressive's picture

@dystopian Yup. A few of my relatives too.

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I picked the wrong pandemic to quite sniffing glue.

dystopian's picture

Beautiful photos Janis! It looks wet. That clay is dangerous when it gets wet, it can just take off if too well lubricated. That pedestal is neat looking too. Is it marble or alabaster or somesuch?

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2 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

janis b's picture

@dystopian

Clay is pretty slippery stuff.

That is a porcelain vase, which does have, in its slightly out-of-focus nature, a feeling of marble or alabaster. I would love o have something sculpted of alabaster.

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dystopian's picture

Hi all, How ya doin'? Hope all are well! I have been too busy to stop by much the last couple weeks. Did recently catch the pair of Eastern Bluebirds that use a nest box we have out on the fenceline at the birdbath.

First the hard working female.
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Then the male, which like most birds and people, get worse looking the wetter they get.
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Play it safe, be well!

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5 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Socialprogressive's picture

@dystopian

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3 users have voted.

I picked the wrong pandemic to quite sniffing glue.

janis b's picture

@dystopian

but their primary colours are still just as outstanding and attractive.

Your love and enthusiasm for all of nature and beauty is limitless. It means a great deal in the possibility of our dystopian future. Thank you.

Stay well and strong

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so no pics of either. The orchid research, growing facilities, and retail/shipping center, Ecuagenera, in Gualaceo was supposed to have their June open house from the 18th - 22nd. It has several displays from all over this part of South America as well as a show in normal times. It is one of two huge sales of the year with 30-50% off of already ridiculously low prices. The June show is always the best with a much wider variety than in November.

That's normal times and these times are anything but if any of you have noticed. No show, no displays, and few people showed up. We went last Friday and the usual area behind the retail showroom wasn't even open. We picked up four outstanding plants but there were almost none of the small orchids we love so much and none of the others like tillandsias and bromeliads were available. We went back on Monday and waited around until there was enough staff to go down into the back. It was worth two trips. June is the time when they have lots of the "monkey face" orchids. We weren't disappointed.

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Rats. Anybody know how to rotate them here? This is not how they're saved but were rotated during upload.

These are of the Ecuagenera facility itself. The ramp comes down from the retail showroom along the highway and turns left towards the river and the show space. Along the right side is a cloning lab. Further down are apartments for visiting botanists and academics. Pepe the owner has people from all over the world come in to help educate and support their programs to find new plants and produce commercially viable numbers. It's a really nice facility in a very pretty location. This is a mix of photos from June 2018 through November 2019.

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janis b's picture

@vtcc73

"Rats. Anybody know how to rotate them here? This is not how they're saved but were rotated during upload."

What about going to 'file' or 'edit' and 'rotating'. Maybe simpler would be for us to turn our laptops or phones, or heads 90 degrees clockwise ; ).

Thank you for posting images of what is natural and of interest in your unique environment.

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3 users have voted.

@janis b is correct on my hard drive but for some reason displays like this after uploading here. They all look correct in the image browser on C99 too. I'll play with it later. Thanks for the suggestion.

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janis b's picture

@vtcc73

you probably wouldn't have that problem, all sides being equal.

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snoopydawg's picture

@vtcc73

My galaxy phone made my photos post sideways no matter the orientation on my iPad, but I can just do a slight crop and it fixes the problem. I learned this by accident.

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3 users have voted.

"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

@snoopydawg I'll give it a try.

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travelerxxx's picture

@vtcc73

A day late, but....

Love the orchids! Used to grow violets and some tillandsias and bromeliads. Lost them all when I got divorced. Bummer. Still don't have violets but have one each bromeliad and tillandsia. I've always been interested in orchids, but never have grown them. Just found out a couple of weeks ago that there is a family growing orchids commercially about a mile from the house! I'd go visit them, but they're shut down until the microbes chill out.

I did some looking about. Is this the place you're talking about?

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@travelerxxx @travelerxxx There are the four major centers around the country as well as research sites all over Ecuador. I think each is owned by a different family although they work together and cooperate to find and propagate new plants. They ship all over the world. They are a part of a network of orchid growers and researchers around the world.

I don't know about plant or shipping costs but they are seriously cheap here for high quality orchids. The plants on our back kitchen counter, first photo, and several more totaled $235. There are plants in that collection that would have gone for well over $100 in the US.

My wife had orchids, bromeliads, and tillandsias in the US too. Tillandsias and bromeliads (orchids too really!) we pick up on the side of the road here cost over $50 in the US. She sold all of the really nice plants before we moved. I think she ended up getting about $5000 in total. Her collection was a small fraction of what she has here.

This photo was the start of mounting bromeliads and tillandsias on the fence 18 months ago. Windows isn't cooperating with me right now or I'd put up a current photo and some of the really nice big Bromeliads.

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travelerxxx's picture

@vtcc73

Thank-you for the confirmation of the site. I could spend a lot of time (and probably cash, too) at that place!

Love your fence! I'm afraid that if we did that where I live, the plants would vanish overnight – even with the white bowser guarding. Sigh...

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@travelerxxx along our road. (There are now 2-3 times as many tillandsias and bromeliads on the fence now. A few cactuses have also joined the neighborhood.) Nobody else has anything but my wife has gotten away with doing a nice bed of a little bit of everything. Things don't disappear unless roving bands of chickens are involved. Bastards. We had the whole area covered with malla, chicken wire, for a few months after she started the bed. Once the plants got bigger she replaced it with a foot high strip of bird netting. Why chickens respect open top netting I have no idea. They didn't respect the malla.

People respect the plants too. I think it's because anytime she's working out there and someone comments or is interested in a plant, she gives them some if possible. It's not hard being a good neighbor.

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orlbucfan's picture

Glad to get back on schedule. Smile
Rec'd!!

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Some yahoos make me want to change species!