In the autumn sunshine

Yesterday, the last day of autumn … out in the city. And it’s a sunny afternoon. The camera doesn’t like being stuck in the bag; I can tell it wants to get out and play. So here – with a minimum of Photoshop time involved – are the results of my playing in the sunshine.

The orange flower spikes are sampled from the bed of Aloe vera just off Civic Square, behind the City Art Gallery, on the way down to Jack Ilott Green. “A member of the Liliacea family, Aloe vera is a succulent perennial, grows in a clump and has long, spiky, grey-green leaves. The yellow-orange tubular flowers bloom at the top of tall spikes that emerge from the center of the plant. There are approximately 400 species of Aloe, but it is the Aloe Barbadensis Miller, or “true aloe,” referred to as Aloe vera, that possesses the most remarkable healing properties” (from a web site called Way of the Wild Heart).

And the tall plant with the wonderfully curved blade-like leaves … is that some kind of Agave? (If you can identify it from my pix, please comment.)

The wooden wheel is part of the sculptural decoration on the City to Sea Bridge. I hadn’t been intending to stop on the bridge, but the silvery-blue light was just too appealing to ignore.

Back in the 1930s, the St John’s Bar and Restaurant used to be the home of the Wellington Free Ambulance. I mention it because the cabbage tree shown here is among a number outside the handsome Art Deco structure.

Lunch alfresco

Friday 17 April 2015 was a sunny day,  mild, with a light breeze. Civic Square was the ideal place for an alfresco lunch. When I sat down with my BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato), there were a couple of hopeful pigeons, but in time an assembly of sparrows gathered – some of them tame enough to eat from my hand.

These two were hoping for more, so I wiped my hands and grabbed the camera.

Civic Square: work in progress

Civic Square: work in progress (17 March 2015)

Civic Square: work in progress (17 March 2015)

On 16 February the Wellington City Council announced that “The [Civic Square] Portico has been successfully removed!” (see WCC Facebook page) “There will be some finishing work being done to the Portico over the next couple of weeks and scaffolding will remain up for that, but the pathway between the two buildings is clear,” WCC said.

This shot – captured a month later – offers evidence that estimates of the time it would take to complete the project were far from precise.

The Village Green on Civic Square

The Village Green on Civic Square (12 March 2015)

The Village Green on Civic Square (12 March 2015)

When I posted this image on my Facebook page yesterday, a friend asked, “What type of camera do you use?” When I told her, “An Olympus μ800 (8 megapixels … and about 10 years old)”, another friend (who I know has a liking for really old cameras) commented: “Proof that it’s the photographer and not the camera that makes a picture great.” Thanks, Steve.

This all connects with the ICC Cricket World Cup. For further images of the Village Green, go to this link on the Wellington City Council’s Facebook page.

Pennants in Civic Square

pennants in Civic Square (17 February 2015)

pennants in Civic Square (17 February 2015)

On 16 February the Wellington City Council announced that “The [Civic Square] Portico has been successfully removed!” (see WCC Facebook page)

This shot – captured 6:20pm the following day – features strings of coloured pennants, part of the publicity for the ICC Cricket World Cup match between BLACKCAPS and England Cricket.

“There will be some finishing work being done to the Portico over the next couple of weeks and scaffolding will remain up for that, but the pathway between the two buildings is clear,” WCC says.

Portico project at an end

Now there's an end to it (13 February 2015)

Now there’s an end to it (13 February 2015)

Captured last Friday (13 February), when cloudy conditions prevailed, this image is my last shot before the portico was finally dismantled. (See my earlier story for details.)

I’d show you a picture of the gap, but it’s still too messy over there right now.

“The $800,000 project to remove the earthquake-prone overbridge between the library and council office started in November, and was intended to be finished by Christmas,” according to Ian Douglas, owner of The Village Goldsmith in nearby Mercer Street. Mr Douglas’ comments were reported yesterday by The Dominion Post, under the headline, “Overrun portico project ‘damaging retail trade’“.

“It’s been a complete debacle,” [Ian] Douglas said. “Now it is dragging through what is normally our three busiest trading months.”

The news story reports Council spokesman Clayton Anderson as saying there would still be a week or two of “finishing work” but the heavy machinery would be gone and people could again walk through the area to Civic Square.

 

Quake-risk portico: still going

still going (09 February 2015)

still going (09 February 2015)

Vivid colour is not usually a feature of my photographic image-making, but the high-energy scene presented here tells it like it was in Victoria Street a couple of days ago. And, as the job edges closer to completion, the validity of the old eighty/twenty rule is aptly illustrated.

Click on the link here to read my earlier story, Quake-risk portico: going, going, … posted on 26 January 2015.

Quake-risk portico: going, going, ... (26 January 2015)

Quake-risk portico: going, going, … (26 January 2015)