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Wanaka Nudgee Tree

breath

So, if you do a google search for 'wanka tree' (yes even with the incorrect spelling as I did :) not deliberately either ) google throws you straight to a bunch of spectacular images of the famous tree in NZ, along with a few tours, on the other hand if you google 'nudgee tree' you get a few very nice images and mostly adverts for tree removal services ;)

Hence, here's my push for some tourist love for the Nudgee tree, rather than jostle with the 20 or so togs you will be with at the Wanaka Tree in NZ, you can have this one all to your self and if your feeling a little lonely just omit the inspect repellent fora whole bunch of instant friendships :) you can have it with mud, or in a knee deep water, at sunrise or sunset.. the possibilities are endless :)

Exif love:
two shots blended together using luminosity masks
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 20s and 8 s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL, Lee graduated filter 0.6x

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The Lower Empress

Empress falls is the first real set of falls you find when making the trek down into the valley of the waters, its also one of the most spectacular and (if there could not be any more :) ) its a great spot for canyoning/abseiling.

This particular spot is on the stone steps that pass over the creek and probably the most popular spot where everyone stops to grab a shot. What I really like about this spot is that nature has arranged everything quite nicely for the panoramic shot ;) log in the centre, angled so nicely too, boulder off to the left to bookend the frame, a little glimpse of foggy foggy forest (you need to read kids book to get that joke :) ) off to the left and the ferns on the right hiding that sneaky little path back out of the falls. For those familiar with the spot, you will note that I have omitted something from the frame :) any guesses ? :)

This image was taken a month or so ago, but never processed however I heard in the news recently that a young lady lost her life at the falls just below these (Sylvia Falls), hence came back to have a look, as such, this image is for those who have not made it out of the valley. RIP.

Its a 5 shot panorama, uploaded full res.
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f14
Shutter Speed: 20s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL.

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Weeping Falls

chaos vs falls

Well done Chaos, it was a great walk and excellent effort to make it all the way to the bottom (and back up).

This is the second time I have been to these falls, the other was back in 2014,
https://plus.google.com/+GerardBlacklock/posts/KfyujBwQcfB
its such a great spot and I would love to go back again, needs a bit more water than what was there on this particular day with the girls.

No bad for handheld either :)

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Little Trekker

So, mum wanted to go for a bush walk for mothers day, after presenting the idea to Chaos she promptly choose a the Blue Mountains and more specifically a spot near Blackheath called Mermaid's Glen which we had been to previously. I did say to her, 'thats a long way (in kid terms anyway) to got' to which she responded (quote) ' yeah, but it's worth it'. On that note the trek was decided, with one minor variation, Leura Cascades might be a easier option with Tickles in tow.

Everything did conspire against us, rain, hazard reduction burning and lots of smoke, but we made it and not to be deterred by alittle rain we donned the raincoats and barrelled on down the steps along side the Leura Cascades, its a great spot and such a nice walk even with the kids, both kids made it all the way to the bottom of Bridal Veil falls and even to Weeping falls, where we stopped or some lunch before making the trek back out. Its a fair walk with quite a bit of elevation to be covered, there was some whinging.. 'pick me up' …'pick me up' but all in all, they did very well. Tickles walked about 75% of the way and Chaos about 95%.

Here's a shot from the stairs near the cascades of our little trekker (tickles)

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Out of the Wild

and into civilisation again

Now, you need to look carefully at this image, its fairly large resolution so you can zoom in all ya like – but over on the right side, nestled amoungst the big dunes on the horizon, you can see a big white boundary pole marker… thats where I walked back to civilisation from :)

Whilst you zoomed in there, don't forget to appreciate the amazing sharpness that is my secondhand (A$160) nikkor 105mm f2.5 lens :)

4 images (landscape mode) stitched together – shot handheld
D750 coupled with Nikkor 105mm f2.5 @ 105mm Aperture: f8 and Shutter Speed: 1/1000 seconds
ISO 100
EV -0.7
Out front – a seagull and some lady.

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Ripples R us

Gerry vs mosquito's

gerry: 1
Mosquito's: 1

The tide has turned, both literally and also in the battle between mankind and the flying stinger of pain bug, the mozzie. Last time I came here I got hammered by mozzies, this time, i came prepared with DDT strength insect repellent ;) On that note, the key thing with insect repellent is not he strength of it, but more the application of it, even the low strength stuff has been shown to be really effective.. providing its applied correctly.

You really need to apply it everywhere, even on your clothing since these little buggers sting you thru tee-shirts. This time around, I only got nailed 3 times, which considering i was trudging thru mud ridden mangroves in the dark is pretty darn good, also with only one face plant with a spider too, my guard was down ;)

Another sneaky session looking sneaky lonely trees.

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 1/1.6s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL, Lee graduated filter 0.6x

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Brumby Heaven

In light of the recent discussions and decisions (?) about the culling of wild brumbies in the Apline areas of Australia, i figured this image would be a fitting addition.

I really know very little about the brumbies down in the Kosciuszko National Park (damn that name is hard to spell.. i get to the first 's' and it like wtf…) and to be honest know very little about horses in general, however this talk of the culling got me thinking about it a bit more, particularly when I watched a very interesting doco on the can burner (sometimes called a qantas 737) back from brisvegas. Whilst jammed into row 30 on this sardine can, which by the way.. row 30 is… the last darn row.. with no recline, and a seat pitch of about 3mm which results in me spending a very uncomfortable hour and half with my knees around my ears, thankyou qantas for your automatic seat selection – maybe select seats based on pax size?). Back to the story, i selected this doco on Iceland which had a fair bit of stuff about the icelandic horses, most of which are wild and form a very integral part in the psyche of the people there, interestingly enough the animals are wild and roam the mountains areas (mostly in summer) and are brought back to the lowlands during winter after fowling where the farmers capture and break in new horses.

There are similarities between the horse in Iceland and the apline regions of Australia, both are introduced species and can be, at just about any age, domesticated, thats quite a interesting point, i don't think there is any other animal out there which can be domesticated after being in the wild half or more of its life..very cool (and useful)

Anyway, i don't think I am for the shooting cull of the brumbies in Australia, but obviously where they are damaging the natural environment and threatening other species clearly something needs to be done. Another interesting point about the horses in Iceland, one big reason they keep them wild is because it makes for a stronger more resilient horse than if one were to keep it in a paddock all year round, makes sense.. maybe this is one of the reasons why people want to keep the brumbies in the wild in australia, they must provide a very good stock of wild horses for people wanting great horses ?
I guess the diplomatic response to this would be reduce the numbers to a sustainable level thus ensuring you have some wild awesome brumbies but not enough to fundamentally damage the eco system.
Maybe capture the excess brumbies and send one off to each school in NSW :) I know for sure my daughter would love a horse at school (maybe not that appropriate since its inner sydney :) )

Anyways.. onto the imagery – heres a cool horse having a great time with its owner/rider at low tide.

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 1/25s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL, Lee graduated filter 0.6x

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Crazy Chops Saturday

how much fun can two kids have on a hill?

This reminds me so much of my childhood, we did not have bundles of toys or the latest game console (think original.. yes the original and first nintendo console :) ) but we made our fun on our pushbikes in the parks, bush, local creek or anywhere else where we were probably not allowed to be :)

Its great that in Sydney we do have alot of open spaces and parks where we (and the kids) can go and ride pushbikes and get outside. Sydney park is one of the great spots I reckon, only slightly ruined by the large number of free roaming dogs (and the resulting dog shit from inconsiderate owners…). This hill is a particular favorite of mine, we can watch the NYE fireworks from here, have a BBQ (on the new electric BBQ's), roll down the hill, run up the hill, run around the hill, walk around the hill, sit on the hill, watch planes from the hill, watch other people from the hill, ride bikes up the hill and yep you guessed it.. ride them down :)

on this day, we chose to run up and down the hill, in a exercise that ding-dong daddy (thats me apparently) calls energy extraction No 5. It involves them (chaos and tickles) running up the hill then down to be caught by me and thrown up into the air (that part is called damaging ding-dong daddys back, but as you know we do anything for our kids :) ). and for some multitasking talent I even took a few photos during the process :)

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