A Serendipitous Story:

Autumn Poppies-231

Marilyn at SERENDIPITY has started a new challenge. One of adding some form of words to our photos:

I like telling stories linked to pictures. To help the process along, Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll publish a picture and write something about it. Some days, it may be long, others day, just a couple of sentences. You can use this picture — or one of your own — as the prompt. Link it back to this post (pingback) so other people can find it.

You will have to forgive me if I miss a day here and there, or if Thursday is comes out on Friday.

Feel free to jump in.


Story. Words. Poetry, prose, fact, or fiction. A couple of lines, a fanciful tale.

Pictures. Video if that’s your thing. Scanned pictures from your scrap-book. Weird pictures from the internet. Cartoons. Pictures of your family vacation and how the bear stole your food. Any picture you ever took and would like to talk about


Your trip to Paris. You flight from Irkutsk. You favorite dog, cat, ferret, cockatoo. The weird boyfriend you had in high school. The last book you read, the next book you plan to read, why you don’t read books (but you write them)(don’t write them)(would like to write them).

Television shows, movie stars, classic film, history, language. Fiction, non-fiction. Everything, anything as long as you include a picture and some text.

No, I didn’t write all this, I just cut and pasted it from her post explaining all this today.

When I first started this blog I found it hard to write too much.  And now, with my Monochrome of the Day I don’t add any words.  I let the images and the image title do the talking.

But I usually write about what I was thinking or doing when I take my photos.  And so it is today.

After taking my group of 3 lovely women for my Social Snappers group I headed towards Frimley Park.  The weather was weird.  Some drops of rain alternating with sunshine.  I knew that the poppies would be starting to really pop. And sure enough some were out, along with the bees.  When I see bees, I think, oh oh.  I am allergic to bees.  But thank goodness for zooms.  It means standing back in relative safety and zooming in and focusing on what I came to do.  Take photos.

Actually it is getting rather late for the year for poppies.  There were some very worn looking blooms.  They open up and die within a day or so.  Sad really.  I think that the council had wanted to have some around for ANZAC day.  But we have also had some rather cold nights last week which didn’t help.  Normally we don’t have frosts until well into May.  I think Mother Nature decided that she would prove that global warming was just a myth.

Well, Marilyn.  How is that for my first attempt?


Copyright Raewyn Forbes

P.S.  If you think that there is something odd about the exposures of my photos, please let me know.  This computer’s screen has a very poor quality resolution.  So I am not really too sure about whether something is too vibrant or not.  If you have any sort of advice, please write and tell me.  This is great as I can now use Photoshop without it crashing but then there is this downside.




A Photo a Week Challenge: Wide Angles

Wide Angle Pines

This week Nancy from nancy merrill photography has asked us for our wide angled shots.

So here  is a wide angled shot looking up through some pine trees at Pakowahi Park.  Using the wide angle makes for dramatic images.


I won’t be visiting your awesome blogs this morning.   I am holding my very first Social Snapper’s group at our Women’s Centre.  Thanks to Leanne from Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY for giving me this idea. I will try and catch up with everyone this afternoon.  I am a bit nervous so will see how it goes.  The weather isn’t too great but our first day is mainly introductions and outlining the basic composition and lighting rules.  Then then we are just taking 100 steps and taking photos.  There are a lot of great statutes around the centre – there is our main art gallery next to the centre so it should be fun.

Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Geometric Shapes


This week Cee from Cee’s Photography has asked us for our geometric shapes.

This image is actually a mattress.  A couple of weeks ago our neighbour was clearing out her house.  The tenants had done a midnight runner and left everything behind. I mean everything.  I even scored a sofa and easy chair out of it. Anyway these mattresses were lined up on the fence.  If you don’t want to waste money on taking these to the rubbish dump you just put them out on the front lawn, and any good stuff would be gone by the end of the day.

This mattress wasn’t that good so that it took a while for it to go.  But I loved the shapes and patterns on it.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Geometric Shapes



Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Friday’s Floral: Pohutukawa


Good morning from a cold and foggy Hastings.

In keeping with my New Zealand theme for this month here is a native floral.

The pohutukawa tree (Metrosideros excelsa) with its crimson flower has become an established part of the New Zealand Christmas tradition. This iconic Kiwi Christmas tree, which often features on greeting cards and in poems and songs, has become an important symbol for New Zealanders at home and abroad.

In 1833 the missionary Henry Williams described holding service under a ‘wide spreading pohutukawa’. The first recorded reference to the pohutukawa as a Christmas tree came in 1867 when the Austrian geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter noted that settlers referred to it as such. The pohutukawa, he observed, ‘about Christmas … are full of charming … blossoms’; ‘the settler decorates his church and dwellings with its lovely branches’. Other 19th-century references described the pohutukawa tree as the ‘Settlers Christmas tree’ and ‘Antipodean holly’.

In 1941 army chaplain Ted Forsman composed a pohutukawa carol in which he made reference to ‘your red tufts, our snow’. Forsman was serving in the Libyan Desert at the time, hardly the surroundings normally associated with the image of a fiery red pohutukawa tree. Many of his fellow New Zealanders, though, would have instantly identified with the image.

Today many school children sing about how ‘the native Christmas tree of Aotearoa’ fills their hearts ‘with aroha’.

Pohutukawa and its cousin rata also hold a prominent place in Maori tradition. Legends tell of Tawhaki, a young Maori warrior, who attempted to find heaven to seek help in avenging the death of his father. He fell to earth and the crimson flowers are said to represent his blood.

A gnarled, twisted pohutukawa on the windswept cliff top at Cape Reinga, the northern tip of New Zealand, has become of great significance to many New Zealanders. For Maori this small, venerated pohutukawa is known as ‘the place of leaping’. It is from here that the spirits of the dead begin their journey to their traditional homeland of Hawaiki. From this point the spirits leap off the headland and climb down the roots of the 800-year-old tree, descending into the underworld on their return journey.


Tomorrow is ANZAC day which is our day here in Australia and New Zealand for honouring the sacrifices made by our fallen dead.

Friday's Florals

Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

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