Sunday, 28 July 2013
There is a large puddle in farmland at the side of the road before the turnoff to the Ohope Spit. Locals have nicknamed it "Lake Ohope." In the middle of summer it dries out completely but after a run of wet weather it could by some stretch of the imagination be regarded as a little lake although I think "pond" is more like it. No matter what the size it always has lovely reflections and there are often ducks, plovers, oystercatchers or stilts there. Never all at once though, and usually just a pair of birds. Yesterday there were herons feeding. Worms I'm guessing. I just had to stop to take these shots.
I've been getting my hands mucky this weekend. Playing around with some flounder as part of my work for The Learning Connexion Art School. My intention is to make 4 or 5 and create a series looking at camouflage. After making my casts from Plaster of Paris I've decided I should have used latex. I'll have another go later on in the week. An interesting thing tho.... I photographed the impression made by the flounder which was a negative space but when you view the photo your brain reads it as a positive form.
I've had a bit of time off from my blog. A bit of time measured in years rather than weeks for one reason or another. Mainly because I thought it had gotten a bit boring due to things repeating. That's what happens with seasons. Early spring there are ducklings, in summer there are cicadas yada yada yada...but actually that's what I like about life. As tenuous as it seems sometimes. So here I go again with my blog but I intend incorporating my art a bit more. I am only months away from finishing my Advanced Diploma with the Learning Connexion Art School which is very exciting. So I'll be adding my thoughts and explorations about my studies.
Posted by Mandy at 00:46
Saturday, 15 December 2012
I think Monarch caterpillars should have been designed much larger as they would be nice to cuddle. They are soft and snuggly but I guess those sucky feet could be a bit off-putting. And they eat so much that they would be difficult to sustain nutritionally if they were a couple of foot long. OK, I concede, maybe they are best small.
Posted by Mandy at 14:36
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Troy and I have just spent two awesome weeks in the South Island. I took a few hundred photos and so far I haven't even begun to sort through them. I'll share as soon as I can. Til then here's the drama that's unfolded in the last few days.
When we left there was a family of young starlings being raised in the oak whiskey barrel sitting on our front porch. I figured they would have fledged by the time we got home but I never expected that a hive of wild honey bees would take their place!
A steady trickle of bees were coming and going in the busy manner that bees have. Now I like bees and I'm well aware they are in a dangerous decline worldwide due to sprays and poisons among other things. Bee stings I'm not so keen on - actually I'm a big sook when it comes to that so I was wary about having a hive three feet from my front door. It was lucky one of Troys best mates Misho is a bee-keeper so between the two of them they worked out a plan to move the hive without the total destruction of our barrel. It was tipped upside-down and Misho cut a hole with a skillsaw (meanwhile we were safely inside cowering in the kitchen - I took this shot through the sliding door.)
However after Misho assured me the bees were not going to attack I was brave enough to get this shot looking down thru the hole in the barrel, the whole interior was covered in bees!!! Double click on the above photo to enlarge, its kinda freaky!
A bunch of bees were collected from the barrel interior and dropped into a bee box. Misho then somehow found the queen amongst all those hundreds of bees and put her in the box then put the lid on. He then collected as many bees as he could and deposited them outside the box. By nightfall they had all moved into their new quarters to be close to their queen!
Unfortunately the honeycomb couldn't be saved but Misho placed the broken pieces in front of the bee box as the bees eat up the honey so they can use it in the new hive! Pieces of the remains of the starling nest were gummed up in the sticky mess.
Some of the honeycomb is used to house the young bees in the grub stage, some is used to store honey and some stores pollen (if I remember correctly.) A few bees got drowned in the honey when the hive was tipped upside-down but all in all it was a successful relocation. I was amazed at how much honeycomb the hive had made in less than two weeks. All in all it was quite fascinating learning how they work. In a couple of days Misho will add another layer to the bee box then take them to his place. And in a few weeks Troy and I will get a share of the lovely golden honey! Mmmm-mmm. A shame we couldn't leave it in the barrel, we could have had whiskey flavoured honey. But then again it would probably have had overtones of starling poop....eeeeyew!