Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fragile Beauty in New Caledonia

Take Time Today, Because Tomorrow May Be Too Late!

 Today I took time to admire something small and beautiful and fragile.  I'm glad I did because soon it was gone!

While on a lovely walk this morning, Jeff picked up an interesting flower that had fallen from a tree.  It had four petals that you cannot see very well in this photo.  I could tell it was delicate so I carefully carried it back to the hotel because I had never seen anything like it and I wanted a photo (every time I decide not to take my camera with me, which isn't often, I always find something I want to photograph!)  Anyway, by the time we got back, all of the petals had wilted and fallen off and it drooped sadly.  There was a purple file folder sitting on the desk, and I arranged the petals and propped up what remained as best as I could.  By then we noticed the most heavenly fragrance filling our room.  I really wished I would have had my macro lens with me but I didn't.  (After seeing how this photo turned out, however, I'm glad I didn't.)  I photographed this in the natural light from the glass doors with my telephoto lens.  I got as close as the lens would let me get and still focus, about 5 feet away.  This made for a very narrow depth of field creating this soft, out of focus background.  I only had time for a few shots before the flower totally wilted and fell apart.  Now all that is left is the perfume.....and my photo!  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Celebrating My Birthday in New Caledonia

 A birthday to remember at
Nouvata Parc Hotel - Noumea, New Caledonia

Here we are in Noumea for the second time this year, and we are staying in this lovely hotel complex because our contact here has 'connections'.  I took this photo from our balcony with a fisheye lens.  (I think this is the biggest pool I've every seen.)  This lens makes the ocean look far away, but it is very close, just in front of the hotel.

We are here to assist with the organization of the first stake of the church here in New Caledonia.  For my friends not familiar with Mormon terminology, a stake unifies several congregations.  (The word 'stake' comes from Old Testament imagery where a stake holds up the tent or the church.)  What a great place to spend a birthday!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sunrise Rainbow - New Caledonia

I think Heavenly Father loves mornings!  I am not a morning person, but it seems that when I make the effort to be up early, I am often richly rewarded to see the beauty of this world revealed to me in lovely shades and colors of light as dawn signals another glorious day of possibilities.  Sometimes day breaks with cotton candy hues of pastel pinks and corals, and sometimes regal mauves and magentas.   Sometimes the sky is on fire reflecting a blaze of color  and sometimes it bathes the earth in a warm soft glow.  And once in a while, sunrise displays every color of the rainbow!

We are in New Caledonia this week.  I woke up this morning to the brilliant rainbow above.  I grabbed my camera, walked out on the balcony of our hotel room, and shot this scene.  As I was enjoying the view, the sun broke through, lighting up the water, and speck of land at the end of the rainbow.  I had my telephoto lens on, so I zoomed in as far as I could and this is the result:

  It's going to be a GREAT day!

Pretty Birdy

Mystery Bird least a mystery to me.  I took this photo in New Zealand and he/she certainly looks like some variety of parrot, but since I know less than nothing about birds, I really have no idea.  (Where are you Robin when I need you!)  He's sure pretty, though, and he posed nicely for my camera.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunrise, Sunset in Samoa

Sunrise from our hotel in Apia, Samoa

Sunset from our hotel in Savaii, Samoa

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Remembering Gavin

Gavin Celebrates His First Birthday
It is hard to believe that five years have passed since this beautiful baby joined our family, and in a few months four years will have passed since he returned to Heavenly Father.  We miss him and think about him every day, but thankfully our faith tells us that through Jesus Christ we will be reunited and live together for eternity.  We know he lives!  We know families are forever!  We know this mortal life is only a brief separation, then we will be together again!  Happy Birthday, Gavin!  We love you!!!! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dawn in Samoa

If we are lucky, there are moments when we are in the right place at the right time to catch a brief glimpse of heaven on earth.  One such moment was this.....dawn as viewed from 'a little grass hut' on the island of Savaii, Samoa. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Follow the Leader

While I was composing a photo of this church these two young boys walked into the frame so I zoomed in close to get this shot.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Beautiful Boys!

I didn't need to speak Samoan to communicate with these handsome boys.  They wanted to know my name, and they thought it very funny and giggled hysterically when I tried to pronounce their names.  
My sister and brother-in-law travel a lot, and she is a photographer.  Often she takes a small portable printer with her when they travel to remote places and gives the people she meets, pictures of themselves on the spot.  Some have never had their picture taken, and feel like they have been given the best gift.  I wish I would have been able to do that.  These kids loved seeing their pictures on my camera, and their smiles make it all worthwhile for me, but I would have loved to give this photo to their parents.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Samoa Transportation

I took this photo from the balcony of our hotel room in Apia, Samoa.  I took pictures of small and large canoes that were out early morning and late evening most every day we were there.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Head of State, Samoa

His Highness
Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta'isi Efi
Head of State, Samoa

Accepting religious diversity is an issue in some of the Pacific Island countries.  Often only certain religions are recognized and fully accepted.  We have just spent 20 days in Samoa organizing a Law and Religion Conference titled "Managing Religious and Cultural Diversity in the Pacific."  We brought together academics and religious leaders from various countries around the world including leaders from Samoa, to share, interact, and broaden the understanding of this issue.  His Highness was in attendance and gave the keynote address.  I had to catch photos however I could, under horrible lighting conditions, with no flash, and while trying not to be too obvious.  During the conference I sat with a clear view of His Highness, and tried to take pictures without looking through the viewfinder.  This was a lucky shot!  To read about this fascinating assignment check out my recent post at  Our Kiwi Krossings.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Serene, Secluded Samoa

If one is lucky, one might get to stay in a lovely little Samoan resort like this one.  Unfortunately, we didn't stay, I just got to take a picture!  We packed so much work into the week we were in Samoa, it is hard to believe we accomplished what we did.  Since my past several posts of this tropical paradise, we have been back to New Zealand for several weeks, and then returned to Samoa for about 10 more days to complete our assignment.  Now we are back to NZ, exhausted, but pleased that all went well.  I'll tell you about our work there in the next post plus show you some more of this beautiful part of the Pacific.