The nice thing about being a hybrid is that you can claim whichever part of your diversified ancestry you choose for different occasions. Today I will celebrate my Irish Eyes. :) We are all in the 'Springtime of our Lives'.
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling - Olcott and Graff (1912)
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure 'tis like a morn in spring. In the lilt of Irish laughter you can hear the angels sing, When Irish hearts are happy all the world seems bright and gay, And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.
There's a tear in your eye and I'm wondering why, For it never should be there at all. With such power in your smile, sure a stone you'd beguile, And there's never a teardrop should fall, When your sweet lilting laughter's like some fairy song And your eyes sparkle bright as can be. You should laugh all the while and all other times smile, So now smile a smile for me.
For your smile is a part of the love in your heart, And it makes even sunshine more bright. Like the linnet's sweet song, crooning all the day long. Comes your laughter so tender and light. For the springtime of life is the best time of all, With never a pain or regret. While the springtime is ours, thru all of life's hours, Let us smile each chance we get.
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) created this woodcutting around 1831. It is known as The Great Wave OffKanagawa, and it illustrates that the violence of nature can be as dramatic as it's beauty. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan.
It's not difficult to take a nice photograph in New Zealand - everything is beautiful and dramatic, or quaint and lovely. I managed to take over 4,000 photos - of course, many of those were trying different aperatures, shutter speeds, or just different perspectives. Imagine hundreds of images of beautiful flowers, whimsical Bed and Breakfasts, stormy seas, art festivals and interesting people, unusal sea birds, miles of pastures and mountains...well, anyway - you get the idea. Here are a few:
Abel Tasman National Park - Bay at Trail Head
Located next to this Bay is a wonderful little eclectic cafe where I found a beer I actually liked - Tui Beer. I haven't been able to find it in Iowa...
'Percy' the Black-Billed Gull (Larus bulleri) was quite tame and perched on our kayaks for awhile. Black-billed Gulls are the most threatened of our gull species and are only found in New Zealand.
Some folks find love throughout this long journey....
Pathway to Franz Josef Glacier.
My camera appreciated the red coat and cap. :)
Rough seas and stormy skies - along the West Coast Bluffs north of Point Elizabeth.
Kayaking in dense fog in Milford Sound - Fiordland National Park.
This seal pup is actually very far away and down a cliff - but he could see me and was very curious about what I was doing!
I took this for Patty T-B. :)
It's always a treat to paddle with seals in their natural environment.
Yellow-eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) is the third largest penguin in the world and found only in certain parts of New Zealand. New Zealand has no native land animals - and many of the birds grew large and flightless over time because they had no need to escape from predators. Introduced species have resulted in the rapid decline, or in some cases extinction, of many of the native birds and plants.
This adult penguin had just emerged from the sea to feed her chick who was waiting in the cliffs (photo was taken with a 400mm telephoto lens).
Kayaking to Taiaroa Head at the end of Otago Peninsula - I would have taken some more interesting photos of the sea and swells once I was past the Point, but if I had stopped paddling I would have drowned!
Fox Glacier - it's BLUE, as is the melting ice and water creating beautiful cyan-blue lakes and rivers.
Curious Little Sheep.
I especially liked the sheep.
Lake Wakatipu - Queenstown, New Zealand
This ski town reminded me of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
And finally - Why DID the chicken cross the road...?