The Time Has Come (the Walrus said) Archives

Glacial

Todays Friday Photo is still from New Zealand South Island – and like last week, this is just around the corner from the eastern side of Mount Cook.

When you make the drive in to the eastern side of Mount Cook, there is a small, unmade (gravel) road. Not especially well sign posted, narrow, and somewhat hair-raising, this eventually leads to a glacial lake.

The day we were there, it was hot – about 35 degrees, dry, very sunny and slightly windy. All in all, not that pleasant. There was about a 1/2 to 3/4 hour walk from the car park to the lake; of course this meant the same duration to get back again. The landscape on the way varies between a strange low wilderness of prickly acacia-like bushes, to a barren lunar landscape. The difference between summer and winter is obviously stark, with only the toughest of plants surviving. The movement over the years of the glacier, and the flowing waters from the lake also take their toll, which is why as you get closer to the lake it looks like some giant god has come along in a fit of anger and thrown handfuls of rock around – some as giant boulders, and a great deal of it crushed to powder.

The lake provides a welcome relief from the heat – the water is full of tiny particles of ground rock; a moving glacier grinds everything in its path, until eventually the particles drop out in the melt water. Of course, the lake is also cold. Perhaps something to do with the lumps of ice floating around in it.

Glacial Lake near Mount Cook

(Click for full size)

Friday Photo

Todays Friday Photo continues the NZ trip (which I will describe in excruciating detail in another post).

Today, though, we have Mount Cook.

In the South Island, Mount Cook is the tallest of the mountains, and has permanent snow in a good year. When we were there in early December, there was certainly snow at the top.

Roads in the South Island tend to be a little sparse – vast amounts of NZ simply have no access, except perhaps by a dirt road in summer if you get lucky, or by helicopter. A range of mountains on the western side means that the prevailing winds pick up moisture over the oceans, and rise over the mountains when they hit NZ. The western side of the mountain range is vastly different to the eastern side, simply due to the huge difference in rainfall.

The western side of the South Island has something like 3000 mm of rain per year (some parts are even more!), and a drought is called when there are more than 3 days without rain. The other side of the mountain range is a different matter; the rainfall drops dramatically, and some parts are closer to that of parts of Australia: about 750 mm or less. The arid “bad-lands” in the middle of he South Island are strange, barren, bald-hill places. The difference is chalk-n-cheese.

Mount Cook is one of the few places that can be viewed from both the western and eastern sides.

Here then, is Mount Cook, from the eastern, more arid side.

Mount Cook

(Click for full size)

Phriday Photo

Today’s Friday Photo is a trip down memory lane…

A little over a year ago we were in New Zealand, and spent nearly 3 weeks travelling around the South Island. Fortunately for us this was a stable period in between the numerous Christchurch Earthquakes.

Lake Tekapo is one of those mountain lakes (just another, there are rather a lot in NZ) in between bald hills. The hills seem to capture low clouds and slowly release them as the sun goes down. By about 8pm, as the shadows come over, the cloud pokes out of a pass in the mountains like a giant tongue.

Lake Tekapo

Click to embiggerate.

Friday Photo(s) – Late Again

Today’s Phriday Photo’s are late – yes – posted on Saturday.

Today I’m doing a batch – from my wanderings at Port Adelaide of a month or so ago. The theme today is a bit woolly. Yes, that’s right. Sheep and how the nation made a motza flogging fleeces to The Empire, or perhaps that should be, Empahh.

Port Adelaide had, and still has, vast Wool Stores. Many of these were built in the 1930’s or before – as best I can find out anyhow. They vary between the elegant and the utilitarian tatty.

Today’s photos then, are a selection of wools stores.

Wool Store 
Wool Store

Wool Store 
Wool Store

(Click for a full size version)

Friday Photo

Yep – its running a bit late.

Today the Friday Photo is the Workers Memorial at Port Adelaide. Whilst vaguely interesting in itself, the early morning light gives deep shadows, and bright light where the sun is – overall the impression is striking.

The Workers Memorial

(Click for the full size version… go back a photo for William Russell – Sail maker and Ships Chandler.)

Friday Photo

Todays Friday Photo comes courtesy of a wall at Port Adelaide – painted with an old advertisement for M. Donaghy & Sons – ropemakers of Geelong and Port Adelaide.

Sign

(Click for the full size version… and if you go back a photo once there you can see why I might have a few reservations about The Central Hotel.)

Friday photo

Today’s Friday Photo is still from the recent Port Adelaide series.

The chap above the door on the town hall is, well, striking. What a grumpy old sod, he makes me look positively cheerful.

Grumpy? Me?

(Click for the full size version… and if you go back a photo once there you can see the delights that Bernie The Butcher has to offer.)

Friday Photo

Yes, the Friday Photo has made a comeback (on a Saturday, I might add).

The other week, before the Dreaded Lurgy struck, I had to run Oldest Son down to Port Adelaide each morning for a few days. On the last day I remembered to grab the camera before leaving.

So today’s Friday Photo is the first in a series, which I’ll pop out over the next few weeks, probably a couple of photos a week.

Port Adelaide is interesting, because unlike many of the other cities of the old colonies, the port is some 10 or so miles distant from the city; so the character of the port is quite different to the character of the city.

The port has also been left behind in the development stakes, though things have gradually been changing there over the last 10 years or so. Right now, a huge development push is happening, so the character will be completely changed again over the next few years.

This series, then, is a bit of a snapshot of the port of today – bits of the faded grandeur,  bits of the tacky and run-down, and bits of the warehouses that stored the wool that created much of the wealth of the early colony.

——-

Today, though, is indulgence: The end of winter, the clear blue sky, early morning long shadows, and the effect of parallel lines of trees and buildings make for an interesting effect.

Light, Shade, Perspective - Port Adelaide

(Click for full size)

Friday Photo (on a Sunday)

Todays Friday Photo comes from Lucerne (Luzern), Switzerland.

We spent a day in Lucerne about 20 years ago, and liked it so much that we had to go back. That, and it was an easy jumping-off place to head up Mount Titlis.

Switzerland is expensive.  Food is expensive.  Hotels are expensive.  And the old town part of Lucerne is simply stunning.  Each Saturday, two markets appear – a food market on one side of the river, and the bric-a-brac (aka junk) market on the other.

We were staying right on the waterfront – alongside the river, so the food market appeared overnight, right outside our window.  Everything appears very quietly – it wasn’t until the Saturday morning that I opened up the window and found bustling market outside!

It was fascinating walking along the side of the river,  looking at what is on sale, and looking at the people.

So today’s Friday Photo is the horse dog at the riverside cafe. Flick back and forward through some of the other photos so see more of Lucerne.  I’m still adding these, one per day, so all of Lucerne will be there in about another week.

Lucerne

Click to embiggerate.

Friday Photo

Today’s Friday Photo is again brought to you on a Saturday thanks to the miracle of wordpress scheduled posts being broken.

But it does have the advantage that I can take my time in choosing something I want to show, whilst sipping on a nice coffee, with the heater roaring away.

Our current Adelaide winter is finally here, cold, and wet. The most rain we have had for several years. Today will be raining – and it is forecast to be much the same for the next week. Right now, the rain has stopped and the sun streaming in the window is rather nice.

All of this puts me in mind of this:

Sunset at McLaren Vale

(click to go full size)

Which looks terrible in a tiny little shrink-pic, but bigger…

The winemakers of the McLaren Vale region, south of Adelaide, produce some of the outstanding wines of Australia. Region is small, and fairly easily overlooked. Spending some time there gives a different perspective. The photo shows the (rather small, and incongrously named) Mount Lofty Ranges in the background, and the tops of the posts and vines, lit by the setting sun during Autumn. I like the subtle range of colours.

Friday Photo

Todays Friday Photo is brough on a Saturday (again).

The Malls Balls

(click to go full size)

Rundle Mall, in Adelaide, is THE shopping street. And Bert Flugelman’s Big Silver Balls have been a fixture for about 30 years. The sculpture is known, somewhat unkindly, as “The Malls Balls”. Or in my case: Bert’s Balls.

If you look carefully, you’ll see the subject in the reflection… hunt carefully for Borders Books.

Friday Photo

Wordpress has a bug which means my attempts to write the Friday Photo in advance are failing miserably.

So Friday Photo today comes on a Saturday.

Today’s is another sequence – today we have the journey to the top of the world. Or more specifically, up Mount Titlis (and don’t giggle – THERE IS A REASON it has that name) in Switzerland.

Todays link is only to the first in a sequence of about 10. Each has a small commentary. Mouse over / find the navigation arrow buttons to move through the pictures. The picture below is about half way through the sequence, when we are at the top of the 10,000 foot mountain.

The Journey Up Mount Titlis

Friday Photo(s)

Today’s Friday Photo comes courtesy of my former work colleague and distant relation (by marriage to a 17th cousin 9th removed, or something like that) David B, who produces Mataro Road wines from Hope Valley in South Australia.

Each year he also usually has an Autumn Jazz-Out-The-Back day – with lunch, wine, and about 4 hours of performance from a local Jazz Group.

So this week – we have – Mataro Road Wines:

Mataro Road

I especially like the reflected colours in the bottles.

And, a few of this years Jazz Day performers:

Peter The Professor

The Big G Sax

Click each to go to full size.

Unerringly unblurring

We found some articles in a photography magazine about software that can remove blur from photos – to handle either motion blur or when you didn’t quite get the focus right.

Two of these are freeware, one needs a small payment.

So far, 2 of the 3 programs have had a test run with very mixed results.

The one you pay for has done an outstanding job on one of 3 test photos (and been completely terrible on the other 2). Of course, the best results were on the very first image tried – leading to elation and thoughts of “oh wow this is great lets rush off and try and fix lots of others and gee this is good and I better tell everybody about it and…”. Then the let down when it did a terrible job on the next few tried. And it has the user interface from hell.

One of these programs that is free seems to be immensely powerful, with all the functions of Photoshop, and all sorts of goodies. But, there is no help, and little to tell you what to do. A hackers paradise, but painful, oh so painful, to try and figure out what it does. Results so far, on the test photos, have not been enough to warrant further consideration. This could be that those photos just can’t be rescued, or it could be finger-trouble, not knowing how to drive it.

And program #3 is a java program – which has until now been a disencentive to try it. Perhaps it’s worth a go anyhow. Just have to make sure Java is installed first.

These things… they are meant to be easy. Oh bliss! Far, far from it.

—–

EDIT: Well the Java program aint all that flash either. It’s slow, the user interface is terrible (a standout worst of the three), and it’s clunky to start it up.

On the plus side, a lot more fiddling with the free-program-that-has-no-help does seem to be yielding results – another photo so far has been refocussed quite well with it. Still a pig to drive though.

Recommendations so far:

Focus Magic: Costs US$45, works well for some things. Easy to drive until you want to tweak and then does not have keyboard accelerators. 4 million mouse clicks is not nice.

Image Analyser: Free. Good for geeks. Needs lots of searching on-line to find how to use it. Seems to be immensely powerful. Test / Preview modes don’t seem to work very well.

Unsharp: Free. Needs java. Slow. Awful user interface. Works better on defined size square images. Other sizes cause conniptions and make it run slower.

So far I’m leaning toward Image Analyser (and a lot of fiddling… refocussing photos is very time consuming).

Friday Photo

Todays Friday photo is a cult phenomenon. Russells Pizza at Willunga. Open only 2 or 3 nights a week, and book in advance (or BYO table). Want a candle? No worries, it comes in a jam tin. Cutlery? Hmmm… Pizzas? Divine!

Russell's Pizza

Click to go to full size.

And the previous photo (click the “Previous” label after after following the photo above) is also at Russell’s.

Friday Photo

Todays Friday photo is a bit late. It’s appearing on Saturday.

Water

Seems appropriate seeing as we now finally have some rain.

Click to go to full size.

Friday Photo

Today’s Friday Photo is a pair…

Cricket practice:

Cricket Practice 1 Cricket Practice 2

I particularly like the facial expressions :)

Click to go to full size.

The photoblog

OK, after a few Phriday Photos, the time has come for the photoblog to be activated. I’ll gradually be putting photos up, and will link a featured photo from here each Friday.

The previous Friday photos are now re-linked to the (new) photoblog. The image sizes are now all a uniform 800×600 pixels (instead of the previous thousands), the files are smaller, and the images will load A LOT FASTER!

The photoblog is here.

Friday Photo

Sculpture in the Hobart Botanic Gardens

The Huon Pine sculpture in the Hobart Botanic Gardens.
(Click for full size)

It’s now a photoblog, and the images there are smaller and faster to load. And you can navigate them!

Phriday Photo

Vegetables at the Willunga Market

Vegetables at the Willunga Market

Friday Photos

In another change here, I’m planning on running a weekly photo. Not quite changing to a photoblog – the usual ranting and raving will be here as well. But Fridays will be photo day.

Each photo will be a small web-pic, which, due to the wonders of modern technology will be clickable – yielding a picture as large as your screen can make them. Beware, though, the full-screen pictures will be big files!

To get things started, here’s a preview:

dsc_01451

** Update** It’s now a photoblog.

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