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: Too hot today to go out until evening. So after dinner we had an eight eel walk with dog alongside …

: To the top of Kaukau this afternoon, where there was a gentle cooling southerly and a feeling that …

: ultra tigger I posted about my new mountainbike a week or so ago, and on Friday I got to pick it up from …

: Looking forward to this fine steed being ready to ride soon. Most of the bits come from my old …

: I think it’s some kind of magnolia, the colour so vivid on a grey day.

: tūī vs rosella It’s spring again! And so our cherry tree in blossom is host to a now-traditional tussle …

: Mr Stabby Being a fine morning R₂ and I went for a stroll to the neighbourhood cafe, taking Èibhneas with us. …

: iNaturalist tells me this is Zealaranea trinotata; back in February all I saw were the amazing …

: On Friday I discovered that the Wharf Inspector’s working vessel is called the…

: Kākāriki So this happened back in November. We do get a few of these rare native parakeets about, but they’re …

: another year, another migration Now migrating my old blog postings across to another platform (to here!) for I think the sixth time …

: This one’s from a couple weeks ago; another fine day riding my gravel bike up an MTB track on the …

: Magpies, ominous; plovers with fake breaks; quails warning zzzt; kingfishers yap agreeably; pipits …

: springer Springtime rolls around once more. Today was a lovely calm day and I remembered that I have a decent …

: Èibhneas is a bit bigger these days.

: weed Not that weed. Just a flower in the grass, after some spring rain. Previous springtimes: 20 …

: outback I’ve been hankering after a new bike for some time. No really good reason other than my …

: distraction You know what? These last 12 months or so haven’t been great for lots of people, and while …

: The big new distraction. Her name is Èibhneas.

: nothing ended, but began again Well, that was interesting, but something we would not want to repeat; here’s hoping. Spring rolled …

: You and me both, mate.

: Kererū in the late afternoon sunlight

: two metres With the government over the last weekend unveiling a new four-stage pandemic alert scale, and …

: Nga mihi o te rā!

: A Yellow Admiral arrived out of nowhere and landed on the pavement beside me. Nature’s capacity …

: A hundred metres from my office building, a pied shag shakes its wings dry. 📷

: In springtime this particular tūī was aggressively defending our flowering shrubs and bushes against …

: Who else is a fan of Californian Quail?

: Here comes trouble.

: Here’s one from Christmastime in the Southern Lakes. 🚴🏼 I can never spend enough time down there.

: Trying this thing out: in the time-honoured tradition of speculative trial use of a new (to me) …

: quick spring snap It was a beautiful morning. Exactly a year to the day since my last spring posting here, I …

: pīpīwharauroa I have R₂ to thank for this one, possibly the bird photo I am most pleased with so far. It was one …

: the birds and the bees Once again, spring returns, and once again our cherry tree fills with the neighbour’s bees. On …

: spring rain I was just about to ride to work in the morning when I noticed that: The blossoms were looking …

: a mission It had been a while since I’d had a decently long bike ride, so a couple months ago I …

: offsite We had an offsite for work at a senior manager’s house in Normandale. I thought I’d take …

: light & shadow I nearly forgot to do my annual spring thing. And once I remembered, I was in a bit of a rush to get …

: spring visitor It feels like spring comes around more quickly each year now. Even so, this visitor is perhaps a …

: a new flag for our wā kāinga We get to select a new flag for New Zealand via two referenda: one later this year to select the …

: the fifteenth spring Well, it turns out this is the fifteenth spring we’ve had in this house. Sometimes I get the …

: a personal take on webstock 14 After each Webstock I return with the idea that I should be doing something better; starting of …

: damp and discarded This year it’s been all upheaval around the house as we had to rebuild the deck, and at the …

: achieving satori First ride with the new bike… it’s a Kona Satori. I may have more bike than I can …

: as the seas rise, so shall the hills uplift After the passing of the mower, a tiny clump of grass emerged with ends frayed but still standing …

: colour I’m always a bit of a sucker for colourful animals of various kinds. It’s a failing. But …

: rūpahu This has turned into a bit of a twitchery bird-nerd posting. I love the sound of bellbirds. They …

: the admiral The forecast did not prepare us for this morning. We had expected showers and grey… but what …

: at El Matador It’s Awesome August in Wellington. Though we are in the depths of winter, there’s …

: in the clear This weekend past, due to a slight scheduling mishap, the Film Festival film we were to take the …

: two birds Back in May I took a day off for my birthday, and amongst other things I went for another look …

: the summer that was This awful weather we’re having. Well, it’s winter I suppose… but it makes me …

: happy trails in (roto-)vegas School holidays… so last week we were up in the Rotorua area, sharing a lovely crib (sorry, …

: flyover country The best bits of having to go to another city for a day trip are without doubt the flights …

: an autumn visit The weather has suddenly gone all settled and warm. This is perhaps not unusual for autumn, but …

: kindling Bear with me while I horribly and lengthily belabour an analogy. The Magic Book Shop Imagine a magic …

: a new path I know it wouldn’t be top of the list for most people, but I’m a bit pleased about the …

: spring, damp and green Unusually for Wellington, today is a day of *vertical* rain. The sun pokes through from time to time …

: how I learned to stop worrying and love the RWC I’ve never been much of a sports fan. This is partly related to the fact that I am terrible at …

: raketa domino Last month I realised I hadn’t yet spent my birthday money from a few months back. This …

: obscurity uncovered (iii) Last year I ripped all my CDs. And I posted about it here and here. The (friendly) advice received …

: two favourite things... (ii) …both of them made by humans. This is the second: So, some of you will have seen this before, …

: two favourite things... (i) …both of them made by humans. This is the first: (Apologies for forgetting to take the camera …

: recurring dream I’ve been having this series of dreams over the last few weeks in which I’m employee number 4 of …

: another coffee experience: Cona Siphon There are many interesting coffee-making methods being employed in cafés around Wellington these …

: korimako This weekend I’ve been back down on the farm for A Significant Birthday (not one of mine). …

: black-spined stick insect Knowing how happy I am to find stick insects, B₂ called me outside this morning to have a look at …

: otago central rail trail Doing the Otago Central Rail Trail as a family was one of the best holiday experiences we’ve …

: chocolate, a reptile of our garden Yesterday we had been watching out the window as the little common skinks came out of the grass to …

: lack of spiders this summer In neglecting this blog I’ve also been neglecting my related hobby of posting arachno-porn. …

: three photos We’re finally back from holiday now. At some point I’ll post a tediously exhaustive …

: along the hāwea river We’re on our annual holiday-down-south. This time, we’re going to spend five days with …

: on the rimutaka rail trail R. had arranged for us to meet up with four other families, originally from our Playcentre, for a …

: Nekisse vs. Sidamo single origin As I’ve posted about earlier, these days caffeine-wise I’m off the espresso and on to …

: green on pink Just as we were dashing out the door, R₂ spotted this. They often seem to get “trapped” …

: megalopsalis Five years ago I came across a very weird arachnid in a clump of grass by the side of the house. It …

: board games (iii) Following on from our earlier experiences, we’ve continued to add to our little collection of …

: kete nui This is a kete nui: Not that a “big basket” was what we were looking for, as we did the …

: rough winds doth shake... …et cetera et cetera, though of course it’s September rather than May. Even so, …

: interview with a falcon Once again, I am the “campaign manager” for the New Zealand Falcon in this year’s …

: phonogram: rue britannia I’ve been reading a lot of comics lately. The Wellington City Library carries a huge range of …

: obscurity uncovered (ii) I’m still ripping my CDs and occasionally finding inadequate cover art for them. After the …

: crooked So I’ve been listening to Kristin Hersh / Throwing Muses for 21 years now. It’s been a …

: meanwhile, back in april... The sunsets here are insanely great. And the days are not far behind. There’s a simplicity to …

: obscurity uncovered I’ve been busy ripping all my CDs so that we can store them away for good. They just fill up …

: going post-espresso with Chemex In the last couple of years I’ve cut out most dairy products after developing what seems to be …

: spider du jour (v) In the bathroom, a lost boy had found someone to fight with: This is a fairly common jumping spider, …

: easy ≠ beginner I’m typing this with one hand. (Please, no jokes.) After dinner my left wrist blew up and I …

: potentially, the next obsession The girls have both started really getting into riding their bikes lately. After they get home from …

: down by the creek Last week - well, the last two rather intense days of last week - were all about Webstock, which I …

: board games (ii) The older we get, the more predictable we men become. Thus it was that in my quest (once more) for …

: spider du jour (iv) A nice thing about holidays is the chance to allow one’s obsessions to take their proper place …

: forest full of cute On the way down here the other day we stopped to do the very short Blue Pools walk. There are many …

: on the road (again) Which is not quite right, because we are Finally Here, and not really On The Road anymore. More …

: garden life Our cherry tree is now in full fruit, which makes it a pretty exciting place for the local …

: the spiders of summer, pt.1 As we get further into spring, not only do we get outdoors more, and at the same time the outdoor …

: after three dozen we lost count... Mantis babies, we’re talking about. Though we never did get around to removing the mantis …

: vote for kārearea! Note: yes, I know that the polls have closed for this year… but I found this draft posting …

: garden workers The workers we have in our garden at the moment have hairy arses. Not through some horticultural …

: cthulhu lives! In the absence of other things to blog about, I present this photo that I took a couple weeks ago. …

: an overflow of word and image Thanks to Owen today I’ve been listening to Humphreys & Keen’s The Overflow - an …

: the city & the city Information: The City & the City, by China Miéville (Miéville doesn’t seem to have a …

: board games The other week was R.’s birthday. As always, I had a bit of difficulty getting that …

: millton The last time we returned from the Eastern Bay of Plenty we stopped on the way. As you do. We …

: mantis ootheca That’s the word of the day. Ootheca. After we got back from lunch I happened to be flicking …

: autumn in the park Just as this time last year we’ve been wandering about in Masterton’s Queen Elizabeth …

: pukaha Having become tired of developing end-of-tax-year reporting at work, and coinciding with some …

: spider du jour (iii) I needn’t let all that listening to Morrissey get me down, as I can always find a friend: I …

: spider du jour (ii) Today’s spider comes to us, once again, from my girls; B₂ this time, who found this lovely …

: spider du jour Today’s wee beastie comes courtesy of my girls, who were amusing themselves tossing small …

: song thrush I guess the song thrush is my favourite among the European import avian fauna (although the …

: a saucy scandal Has anyone noticed a change in Wattie’s Tomato sauce lately? Yeah, OK, so I’m continuing …

: zealandia, or the britain of the south So the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary has rebranded itself to Zealandia, even got in the new Prime …

: sparrows' leavings This is the time of year that I usually post some photo or other of the flowering cherry on our …

: rain rain rain It’s been a bit wet. Although not as bad as up north, it seems. I don’t think the kōtare …

: autumn weekend Last weekend, being helpfully annexed to that most sacred of Australasian secular holy days Anzac …

: the strange wee beastie So this poor beastie wandered inside, and had gotten lost in the hallway, its claws collecting the …

: god's war Information: God’s War: A New History of the Crusades, by Christopher Tyerman. From …

: the leopard Information: The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. From my bookshelf; bought from Unity …

: eleanor Information: Eleanor: April Queen of Aquitaine, by Douglas Boyd. From Wellington City Libraries, …

: the modern world Information: The Modern World, by Steph Swainston. From Wellington City Libraries, Wellington. …

: the spider that launched an obsession I like spiders. I don’t know why. Maybe it started because I knew my mother hated and feared …

: crooked little vein Information: Crooked Little Vein, by Warren Ellis. From Wellington City Libraries. Anytime …

: delizia! Information: Delizia! The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food, by John Dickie. From …

: another spring Spring again. Previously: 10 September 2006 11 September 2005 29 September 2004 2 October 2003 22 …

: tonemapping I’ve been wanting to play around with HDR and tonemapping for a while now. While out and about …

: the first of the insects of summer Almost by accident, as I was trying to photo a tiny wild orchid growing on the retaining wall behind …

: camera safari I’ve been dying to try out the new camera - the more I read and attempt to understand about …

: avian cryptozoology R₂ was asleep; B₂ was watching Nickelodeon (we don’t have SkyTV at home, so this was a bit of …

: wattle moth We’d been keeping a lookout for more blue moon butterflies… but without success. We are …

: harvest moon As we swept around the corner the moon started rising over the hills ahead. It was stunningly …

: why Salticidae is my favourite Favourite spider family, that is. Salticids are more commonly known as jumping spiders. Like this …

: y.a.f.r.w. Yet another, it’s true. This one is special though. It’s my Christmas present from R. …

: tailed spider At a slightly loose end this afternoon (through my own laziness really) I picked up the camera and …

: misha and raisa A while back I mentioned that I had another Raketa on the way from Russia via eBay. Well, today it …

: one badass mofo And as I lifted the camera to aim, the tui said, quite clearly: Don’t fuck with me, boy. …

: hoplodactylus So there I was, charging out the lift doors on a Friday night, off home for a dinner, a couple beers …

: raketa fix A month or two after I got my nifty 24-hr watch the already loose crown started to rattle. Or …

: tv, now There’s a faraway country. It is invaded and submits to the occupier. A puppet government is …

: this year's blossom I have had this habit of posting a photo from each year’s blossoming of the cherry tree on our …

: Cryndod Yn Dy Lais I’ve had a busy week at work. Luckily for me it is socially acceptable there to slam the …

: the second world war, in six volumes In between obsessing about coffee, or even actually working, I’ve been reading Winston …

: the green spider It came in with R., after she’d hung out some washing: the largest of these we have yet seen. …

: out of retirement A gig, the first in many years. Fucked up, no babysitter, so it’s just me, no R., down in …

: nurseryweb Now, is she not beautiful? Please, click on the photo for a really nice close up… Just look …

: the butterfly Four weeks ago to the day, the girls and I watched as a monarch caterpillar transformed itself into …

: the proposition (II) The DVD arrived from Australia on Friday. We watched it last night. Interesting that R.’s and …

: the chrysalis Last year, or maybe even the year before, R. planted a swan plant in her herb garden in the hope of …

: the rapture of the nerds I think the phrase originates with Ken MacLeod, but Charlie Stross uses it too, a lot, in his rather …

: vimeo / piwakawaka Around the house at the farm there’s a plethora of birdlife: mainly because my parents' last …

: within hail before I fired …wrote Captain Berry to Lord Nelson, describing the capture of Le Guillaume Tell. You have to …

: rampant consumerism (slight return) My purchase of the other week finally arrived! When we got in late Sunday night, there on the …

: the dark of the matinée Now that I am no longer a paid up member of modern yoof it is my right to be behind the times in …

: rampant consumerism It started innocently enough. Asked to check a work colleague’s Trade Me listing for bidding …

: garden oddities Out in the garden today: emptying the rat-infested compost bin, and generally cleaning up (while R. …

: the command of the ocean I’m reading the most fantastic book. It’s The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of …

: gratuitous kiwi connection The election, it’s so… tomorrow. I need a break. Every week for the past couple of …

: sprung Well, I guess it’s pretty obvious that it’s springtime down here. And so I must post the …

: bilum bilong beki My cousin Ross lives in Papua New Guinea, working for a conservation NGO. He’s an interesting …

: let me count the ways There’s a photo: a sunny clear windless day in May 1987 on top of Mount Victoria. One of those …

: what was she doing? I had my hands full of coffee, walking back from the Fuel kiosk in Hunter Street, through the …

: novelty vs. nostalgia Last Friday I bought the new New Order album. I don’t know why. I could have predicted what it …

: blue moon Out this afternoon for a walk we were attentive to the Monarch butterflies around the place. …

: covey They scattered away, into the deadfall, topknots bobbing. B₂ on my shoulders, I whispering to her …

: open country song Something inside is singing. The southerly is cold on my face here at 2,000 feet, but the sun, when …

: taunted I’m taunted by the gorse, whose yellow flowers attract a dose of Vigilant but always seem to …

: free ahmed zaoui! This is not a political blog. Occasionally I’ll say things in passing that reflect a fairly …

: stross After reading Idiot / Savant’s reminder of Charlie Stross, I thought I’d better get hold …

: recovery One of the rules I’ve invented for myself is this: That first day after a bout of the flu in …

: kārearea Now this is quite hard to believe… but when R.’s parents were unloading their car for …

: before sunset We did get to see one Festival film this year: Before Sunset. It’s the sequel to a much loved …

: decade Apparently Internet spam is ten years old. This made me realise that I’ve been using the …

: uisge beatha Gryfon lent me the latest Iain Banks. Neither a Culture novel nor some twisted piece of modern …

: the guns of brixton Today’s song. Walking to work, listening to the Clash, and of all the songs on the MP3 player …

: rotk Sarah reckons that The Return of the King “was crap”. With some mitigation: I suppose …

: a new sound In the last week or two there’s been a change in the bird chorus, particularly at dusk. I …

: more macleod Reading The Stone Canal today (in my continuing peregrination through books authored by MacLeods) …

: light ages I’ve been pretty busy at work for the last couple weeks, hence no postings. It was the sort of …

: big and small At the weekend time must be spent outside working against the complete regrowth of the jungle that …

: MAdGE What is this? Is it fetish porn for bored dairy farmers? Is it a teenage boy’s mammarian …

: hanami It’s that time of the year again: Although not quite as spectacular as a Japanese Sakura tree, …

: conrad, melville, and flynn Imagine if Melville or Conrad were writing contemporary novels one hundred years from now. Then they …

: best of british So I haven’t posted anything here for nearly a week. There are several reasons: I …

: phantom power My parcel from amazon.co.uk arrived today, and its contents have been ripped to my iBook and are …

: the crimson petal and the white I’m about halfway through reading Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White. So …

: his dark materials As I finished this trilogy of “children’s” books by Philip Pullman the other week, …

: Karbala Holidays in the Axis of Evil: another very interesting episode this evening as a ballsy British …

: mantis female Here’s something you don’t see that often: a female praying mantis extruding her egg …

: Perhaps a katydid? Here’s a handsome fellow I spotted on the sunflowers we’ve been growing for B₂. …

: pepys Here is the coolest blog I’ve come across lately: it’s 340 years old. Someone called …

: wairarapa This is the best bit of the train journey from Wellington to Masterton. After an endless 10 minutes …

: the two towers We went to The Two Towers on Saturday night. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great film, but …

: Baudolino - Crap, says reader I finally finished Umberto Eco’s Baudolino last week… and to tell the truth it was a …

: shining cuckoo R. and I have started hearing Shining Cuckoos (Pīpīwharauroa). Well maybe they’ve been here …

: riroriro This afternoon I saw my first Grey Warbler (Riroriro). There are quite a few around where we live, …

: blossom It's a nice time of year. Several days in the last week have had that sort of spring warmth that …

: kōtare Walking to work this morning I was reminded of a morning nearly two years ago. It was a similar sort …

: walking It’s just before 8am, and the sun is climbing over the hills of the Hutt Valley, as seen from …

: weta pictures The weta is baaaaack! Only now I’ve got a couple pictures for the benefit of any overseas …

: Attack of the Clones Last night R. and I went to see the new Star Wars movie, Attack of the Clones. I was pleasantly …

: emergent weta Not much later last night R. found the weta. It was in the bedroom on top of her chest of drawers …

: weta We’ve got a weta in the house somewhere. R. saw it last night when she got up to comfort …

: Mainoumi In 1989 I was in Japan for six weeks or so on an exchange trip. During that time I discovered …

: Dry Stone Walls I think that dry stone walls are one of the most charming features of the British countryside. These …

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