Monday, 30 April 2007

Wicked Autumn

On my walk today I took this photo of the sun as it slipped behind the hills known locally as Flagstaff. The inlet was at full tide. No wading birds feeding tonight. Maybe there was a pale octupus zooming unseen along the silty bottom. Last week there was a photo in the newspaper of a small girl who had discovered one in a stream that flows out of the inlet and into suburbia. Imagine. An octopus at the bottom of your garden. (Unfortunately it didn't survive its adventure.)

The house is quiet without M and his dog Jedi around. I'd got used to Jedi's ways; her groans as she settled her arthritic frame down on to the floor. Her avid interest in what I was preparing for tea. Her jealous looks at the cats sitting on our knees. The evil eye she'd give them as she stalked their progress from lounge to the washing-machine's closed lid, where their food was placed out of her reach. Her heart-wrenchingly begging glances at our plates as she watched us eat each crumb. Her excitement when she realised there was going to be a bone or scrap for her; the skid on the wooden floor as she raced across the kitchen and out the door to eat the treat ...

But it is not too quiet. C is here crashing about with his broken ankle and crutches.


Yesterday I spotted this monarch butterfly on a blanket hanging out on the clothesline.

However my attempts at capturing a (South Island) Red Admiral, were not nearly as stunning as my sister's capture of a (North Island) Monarch (see below.)

Monarch butterfly
Originally uploaded by mcdinzie.

I was happier with this photo of our strawberry tree. The fruit must be poisonous because the birds don't go near it, despite how tantalising it looks.

Another poisonous tantaliser in our backyard ... a toadstool so large and top-heavy, it had toppled off its stalk.

Autumn it seems is wickedly fruiting and festering. It is all burnished-amber and flamboyant- scarlet manifestations of death. Decay in all its glory. The last flames as nature readies for the still restoration of winter.

Is it just my imagination or does this leaf look like a pair of full, smiling lips? Plumped full of autumn's collagen maybe?


Katherine Dolan said...

Luscious post! I like both monarchs -- the SI one has a world-weary, dark-prince sort of look.

Perfect description of Jedi, too. I could see every one of those expressions.

paris parfait said...

Thank you for sharing these stunning photos!

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Chief, I Love Love Love these pics, also the wedding ones. How great it is to see you all together looking so happy! I wish the new bride and groom well. (Love the green sneakers!)

And your piece about prolific, poisonous autumn rivals Annie Dillard!

Carmen said...

hey chief, don't be silly, the cool thing about the non book meme

is that you can interpret it any way you want. have fun with it!


Buffy said...

The toadstool gives me the creeps.

Becky Willis Motew said...

Autumn's Collagen!!

What a great title for something.

Perhaps an essay by Cher.

Beautiful photos, CB.


herhimnbryn said...

Wicked indeed! Your words and images conjure up Autumn in all it's rich widow's weeds.

Jedi sounds like a good companion.

wendy said...

yep...pout enhanced lips!

Anne S said...

Great photos CB and the commentary as well!

Kay Cooke said...

katherine - Somehow luscious is just the right word for autumn. Dark prince butterfly is great!

pp - Thanks - Tho' my photography can only hope to (at best) to be a pale imitation of yours!

pepek - Thanks for that. The green sneakers were surprisingly apt. As for the Annie Dillard comment ... well ... I take it as the highest praise. :)

camille - I will. But I still think your wonderful writing has set the benchmark too high ;)

buffy- Thanks for dropping by - I love your writing style. The toadstool gives me the creeps too!

becky - Ha! Totally!

herhimnbryn - Widow's weeds - yes!

wendy - isn't it amazing - these lips just sitting there - Hotlips Houlihan, eat your heart out!

anne - Thanks, that's encouraging.

Kamsin said...

What wonderful Autumn colours!

Kay Cooke said...

kamsin - Hey - I've just been over to see you!

S. Kearney said...

Beautiful! :)

Catherine said...

Isn't your "South Island monarch" a red admiral? The monarch butterflies I have seen in the south island look exactly like the north island ones :)

Kay Cooke said...

Catherine - THANK YOU! You are quite right of course! Silly me ... when I look I can see (I was only joking about the South Island v North Island ... I thought they were actually the same variety and my photography hadn't caught the light the same, I was just teasing my NI sister. Oh I can be so blonde! I will change the info immediately!!! :)

McDinzie said...

teasing me!!!! I would never fall for that :)

Get walk through a non book...loved it.....misty grey days have their attraction too it seems :)

what a rich looking admiral...boy he must have been cold!!

natalie said...

Lovely pictures! I especially like that first one. Sunsets can be so dramatic, or soft and much variety! I can see the lips in the leaf as well... colorful leaves are one of my favorite things to photograph in fall! :-)

Kay Cooke said...

mcd - Ha ha!

natalie - Thanks - how are the plans for YOUR wedding going? :)

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