My entry for a couple of photo challenges: My Place in the world and Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge — Pelican.


Pelecanus conspicillatus splash landing

Pelicans have lived along the Cooks River since at least the Dreaming, I learned from a book I’m reading about the river: River Dreaming. They are called Goolay’yari by the local Aboriginal people and feature in creation stories.

The Cooks River is an important place to me. I live a ten minute walk from these pelicans. I have been picnicking, bird-watching, riding bikes and walking along the river for twenty years. I’ve hosted and been to birthday parties and attended kid’s soccer matches and training in the parks along the riverbanks. I’ve blogged about it numerous times. I even wrote an essay about it for uni.

I love the river, imperfect as it is, so that’s why this post is also a contribution to this week’s WordPress photo challenge: My place in the world. Continue reading

A wife at Gorge River

A Wife On Gorge RiverA Wife On Gorge River by Catherine Stewart

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Catherine Stewart has had an interesting life, but the telling of it is not so interesting. The book conveyed very little of Catherine’s motivations or philosophy – which is surely what you most want to read about, when a person has made the decision to raise a family in such a remote area: in the early 1990s Catherine moved in with her new partner, Robert Long, who was already living in a shack at the mouth of Gorge River in south west New Zealand that is only accessible by air, or a 2 day walk.

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops

Oops — who let the balloon go? Who dropped the bottle top?20151213_190008-seaweed-pollution

On my weekend away one of the children accidentally killed two small hermit crabs by bringing them home from the beach along with other pretty shells.

It wasn’t ‘oops’ so much as sad.

Her mistake was very small, but globally, en masse, we are making much bigger ones.

Our beaches and increasingly barren inter-tidal zones are showing the stress of human carelessness.


Oops. Don’t let go of that balloon.

See more ‘oops’ moments from the Weekly Photo Challenge here


Children like to set themselves challenges, and enjoy the sense of victory that results when they achieve their goal. Like G Ketewa hitching a ride on Abrantie’s bike.


This week’s photo challenge is ‘victory’, but as usually happens, I saw a few responses before I read the actual challenge, so my mind was full of ideas that, it turns out, are far removed from the challenger’s proposal that we focus on ‘that moment of glory and pride you’ll remember forever’. Continue reading

Weekly photo challenge: Off season

Funny how one person’s off season can be another one’s on season.

I mentioned to my neighbour that I was going bushwalking in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney last weekend.

‘Brrr’, she shuddered, ‘too cold’.

Does this look cold to you?



Well yes, ok, this is Australlia. I know our winters would be considered a balmy summer in some countries, but still, it’s what you’re used to, isn’t it? This is our off season. Continue reading

Weekly photo challenge: Foreshadow

ewen-flood A friend and I went for a walk on a rainy day and discovered that the Cooks river had burst its banks. We couldn’t walk any further along this path without getting our feet wet. Continue reading