An observation: Things slow down in winter. An enforced change of pace due to foul weather, less daylight hours, airborne bugs and other burdens. But although we're in the thick of our coldest days, the sap has started rising. Lambs are being born. And the kaka beak is flowering with unsurpassed vigour and rampant enthusiasm not often seen in the middle of July.
Last month the Patea Planting Trust and friends put another 1300 natives in along our river. Its a simple and rewarding project that feels good. Nurture the future. When digging the holes, these sci-fi gems popped out of the ground, all screwed up. Then they just kind of open up, like magic. Fast-motion footage, but actually in real time. Weird, white and latticed; smelly, slimy and spore covered. Ileodictyon cibarium, commonly known as basket fungus is endemic to New Zealand. The basket is the fruit.
Last weekend a couple of mates from Wellington came up to stay a few days to shoot a documentary about some of the things that I do up here in Patea. It will be a learning resource for students at the art school where they work.
It was quite odd being in front of the camera. Initially, it seemed like a narcissistic sort of self-conscious trumpet blowing. Then I got over myself and into the process of telling a story, sequencing and continuity. I let them get on with it and did what I was told. They shot me cooking dinner and drinking coffee. They shot me at the beach, under mountains, at galleries and Old Folks Halls. They shot me driving, walking and talking and pointing at quite a lot of different things.
Photos below by Vanessa Patea (who has her own story up here) featuring Kate Logan, shooter extraordinaire.
This is home. Jim, me and the paparazzi. I look forward to seeing it all come together in a few months. Cheers.