Magnolia Dream

20200114_201852.jpg‘Magnolia Dream’


The soft, creamy hues of the magnolia flower with its opulent scent – summer signifiers.

So grateful to have a large tree in our backyard, and I took and made this picture last night after some evening rain had fallen.

The distinctive aroma of the flower was magnified by the warm, moist air.

When the tree was planted by us 20 years ago, this image was the dream in my mind…


A Fine Ensign


The ensign of The Royal Akarana Yacht Club furls in the breeze at Auckland’s Okahu Bay on a fine Sunday afternoon.

Simply, ensigns are naval flags.

I do enjoy a good flag, and especially the value they have to groupings of peoples as symbols and signifiers of their commonality.

Elsewhere on this blog I have discussed how symbols boil down to the essence of what is important to someone and lay that out in simple, readily understandable terms to others.

“This is who I am”; “this is what we are”.

This one ticks a few boxes with its triangular, sail-like shape and crown composed of sails and boats.

On the day I took this picture, there was practice for some international regatta, and I saw young Irish and Italian sailors at work . I could first tell where they were from by their flags!

Footnote: Akarana is a Maori transliteration of Auckland, using the phonetics of that language to spell out the English word. There are no “l” or “d” sounds in Maori, so the closest Maori sounds are used. Also, Maori words resolve in vowels.


So I May Know Where I Stand

Trig Station, Orakei, Auckland, NZ

Just behind Bastion Point in Auckland ,and up the hill by the marae, sits a trig station.

One of thousands over the country ,on often high vantage points ,acting as geodetic reference  points. Once, and sometimes still used by surveyors for precise bearings of latitude and longitude.

It caught  my eye this morning, with its stark black and white markings against the cobalt blue sky.

As a child I thought they were totally cool and somewhat mysterious. Maybe aliens had planted them there.To ascend to the top of a hill and then clamber up the trig was to be lord of all you surveyed(excuse the pun).

A symbol, a signifier, a marker. Like a compass, objectively true.

Sometimes its enough to know exactly where you stand…