Thursday, September 19, 2013

New Zealand

September 19, 2013
The first part of the journey has ended, but not without leaving me with memories of some of the nicest people I have ever met in my travels. The people in New Zealand were down to earth, kind and grateful to help you to the extent of taking you to your destination if you wanted or needed them to. They live simply and most are farmers of cattle or sheep, own a cafĂ©’, a holiday park, an artist trying to make a living or have a job that they are grateful to have. They serve you with a smile and will take the time to sit and chat a while with you about anything. New Zealand is clean and the water is the prettiest blue/green color I’ve ever seen and clear.
We flew into Auckland, spent the night in a hotel there to regroup from the long flight and collected our campervan the next morning which would become our home for the next 23 days. Small, but it was big enough for the 2 of us. We had a sink, stove, microwave, a small fridge and a bed. We also opted for the additional heater/fan, and we’re glad we did! The weather was rainy a lot in the beginning to the point I wondered if that was all it ever did there in New Zealand. It was also cold as the seasons are opposite of ours. The heater kept us alive at night!
We traveled the north island first to the top at Cape Reigna. There was a lighthouse there and it’s where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Oceans meet. We arrived late at night to the carpark and were unable to do the hike down to the lighthouse that evening, but the view of the stars in the carpark was amazing! We camped down the road in another carpark , awoke early and went back there to photograph the sunrise and hike down to the lighthouse that morning.
The road was winding most of the way up there and on the way back down the island, we went to check out 90 mile beach. The sand was so packed hard that we decided to drive down the beach a bit….we passed every exit till we couldn’t drive any further! It took us a lot less time than it did on the way up the island. I was really glad about that as while out visiting Russell on the way up island, I threw my back out carrying all my equipment. That was the beginning of a really rough week for me. I had to lay in the back of the camper for an entire week. I hated it, but had no other choice. I also had a major flare up with my arthritis. I had brought a heating pad and a power inverter which got me through that week as well. I still got out to photograph every opportunity. (!) The heating pad was awesome till it caught fire one night. I had with draws after it was gone, but I survived. Another thing that got me through that week was geothermal mineral pools in Taupo. We stayed there 2 nights to help me get back on my feet. During the days while there we visited a place called Craters of the moon thermal activity area, Aratiatia Rapids, The Wairakei Geothermal Power Station and a bee and honey place.  You’ll have to come to the show to see the images of these very interesting places!
We drove to Wellington to ferry over the Cook Straight to Picton. We stayed in Wellington for the night in a Holiday park that was the back carpark for a motorlodge. Not one of the better camps we stayed in, but we were in the middle of a bad storm and could no longer drive. Let alone, we had a booking for the ferry the next morning. The campervan shook all night and morning. We later found out we also had a 5.2 earthquake that morning. We thought we had felt something, but figured it to be the storm!
The ferry ride was rough. There were 10 foot swells, maybe larger. There were people getting sick all around me. I just laid there, unable to lift my head. At least I never got as sick as the passengers all around me.
We arrived in Picton, spent the night at a camp, then headed to the top of the south island, the Farewell Spit. Another winding road, up & down & around the mountains, all the while me still laying in the back of the campervan. But, it was beautiful. We traveled through little towns, far and few in between. The coolest little town had to be by far for me was Collingwood. It was a little hippy town that I could fit right into! We had lunch, shopped & bought goodies from the bakery there. Eventually we made to Farewell Spit.
We arrived late and missed the sunset so we decided to shoot for sunrise. We left in the dark to hike down to the beach that was supposed to be a 20 minute hike. Lesson learned. Always take a light and more water than you think you’ll need. We hiked through sheep pastures in the mountains till sunrise for an hour and 45 minutes till we stopped. We turned around and hiked back a bit till we found another trail. Getting lost turned out to be a beautiful thing as I never would have seen what I did had I just done the 20 minute hike! It turned out to be one of the best hikes of the trip! The beach had huge rocks, arched rocks, caves and we even found a seal pup!
That was just the beginning of the South Island! There were fur seals all along the coast, a waterfall that the seal pups traveled up to and played in the pools at the bottom all day while their parents fished for food, 3 different species of penguins, Moeraki  Boulders on the beach, snow capped mountains and then there was Doubful Sound. We have seen some spectacular sights in a place that started out as just an after thought for me in the beginning of the planning stages. I never would have thought this to be a place that I would have fallen in love with the way I have.
I can honestly tell you one thing, it was mostly because of the locals I met along the way. They sent us to some of the best places on these 2 islands.  These aren’t even half the stories! New Zealand was truly an amazing adventure, one of the cleanest places I’ve ever been to, and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering it as a travel to option!
We arrived in Australia yesterday morning. New Zealander’s…you were right(!), it sure is different here!
I’ll write again soon! It’S busy here trying to take it all in and keep up with it all. As I always say…It’s not easy being me! Living the life and loving the life I live…till next time my friends…take care of yourselves and each other.
I’m off to see some friends in Australia!
Much Peace, Love & Happiness, Holly
P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER CRISTA JOY! You truly have been the Joy of my life! I’m so proud to be your Mom! Thank you for all you’ve been doing for me! Love you BUNCHES! XOXOX

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Passage of Time...

I have had several days of extremes. I have lived, I have loved & I have laughed....& I have cried. For whatever part you may have had in it, I thank you. It was all worth it. You are all so special to me in so many ways.
Today has been a roller coaster kinda day, it had it's up & downs from early morning till the present moment.
Tonight I had dinner with a friend from long ago. I walked into the restaurant to find her in the back room sitting at a table with a very large gift on the tables beside her. I was told I needed a drink before I was allowed to open the package. (& I think this is the part where we got really funny!) It may have been several drinks later when I began my quest. The box had 3 holes on the top. She gave me a note pad & said "This is your life". You have to write everything you find in this box on this piece of paper, then we'll go over it.
The 1st thing I wrote was a puppy, but I knew it couldn't be one in there because the box never moved while we were drinking beside it. (I watched) I later crossed it off.
So I had to put my hands in the box & feel around. Here is the 1st paper she read to me when she began, my list & the one she went over afterwards...
So it's your birthday....Here's what we are going to do...
You see I am pretending to be an artist
(just like you)
I have made you a sculpture of sorts
Symbolizing your 50 years!
You make a list of what is in the box...
and then I will elaborate
And perhaps bring you to tears...
I wrote on the top of the paper "This is my life". I have to tell you I was a little afraid of putting my hand into the box.
My list:
something furry / wildlife
belt (this could go in many directions)
wine glass
flip flop (beach)
photo album
piece of tire
bolt from my halo
picture frame
cassette tape
hiking boot
halloween mask, very old(!)
bottle - beer
Here's what she said to me....
Straw hat...shielding the many hours outside walking and picking in the warm sun
wine glass...need I say more
cd...for the music that has recently rocked your soul
hiking boots...need I say more
a dog collar...for all your faithful friends that have accompanied you
a plant...that was grown by your own hands
flip flops...need I say more
a bolt...that was once screwed into your head
cassette...for back in the day when we rocked and danced the nights away
seashells...need I say more
beer bottle...for the old days before wine
soft fur...for THE ONE who has walked & pet lions!
hiking boots...need I say more
photo book...for those lives you have magically captured
tire tread...for the many miles "On the road again"
seeds...for the start of many new seasons
cork...need I say more
a picture frame...for that amazing Holly image
a trough...that you have dug so often into the earth
a sticky wash cloth...that has gently washed your next generation
Happy Birthday my's hard to find one object for friendship so...
my symbolism of friend ship is in this box!
For only very...very...good friends know so much about one another...
This is who I am, (and so much more!!!).
I will cherish this the rest of my life.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Brigantine ~ Hurricane Sandy

What an spectacular day! I spent the afternoon in Brigantine. I began at the historical society, which was closed for the winter, but spoke to a couple of people at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center about the ruins that have surfaced on the north end beach. I keep getting the same answers about the ruins, but, not the specific answer I'm looking for. So far, I know it's one of these four things...Coast Guard Station, Life Saving Station, (no, not one in the same,) train station or a hotel with a boardwalk. The good news is, I am making progress and found the person I need to speak to. I'll call him this week and will let you all know who are as curious as I am.
From there, I went to a friends house on the north end and helped empty her shed that had flooded during the storm. This was not her only damage. I feel this is such a small contribution in the large scheme of things, I wish I could do more. And, if nothing else, sharing some of what's out there with all of you through my vision and imagery I hope has made some difference in your world. This is our history and I am a recorder of moments in time. My hope is to bring to you what I see through the eye of my lens. There is alot out there that I can't photograph, the yards and streets are lined with people's lives and people are cleaning up everywhere. I can't do all of it all of the time. It's different information than I am used to sharing. I've had conversations with people on the sensitivity of this issue. Not every image out there is every photographers shot.
Everyone is weathering one storm or another in their lives No one knows how deep your water is. Just remember that we're all in this same boat together. If you feel yourself going down, reach out for one of us, we'll throw you a line. We all need one at some point and time or another. 

There has been a major increase with work these days. Not just in our homes and yards, but in our neighborhoods, our communities and our shorelines. People have been helpful and kind and alot of credit goes out to the lineman, telephone, cable companies and the men and woman whom worked tireless hours for aiding everyone in their journey to being put back on the grid. You know we all have stories!
There are many hard working people in our area and with doing some homework, you should be able to find someone that will fit your needs. Keep in mind, some are licensed and insured, some are not. Bottom line, have some sort of agreements before any work is done spelling everything out. Keeping it local will stimulate your local economy and citizens and should be given much thought to. I know alot of good hearted, honest, talented tradesman that would love the opportunity to work for you.

These past couple of storms, Hurricane Sandy, then a nor'easter with anywhere from a couple of inches to a foot of snow in some places along with a minor earthquake in northern Jersey, have made us stronger than we were going in. It was a crazy record breaking week.
Mother Nature is very unsettled lately. We know climate changes exist, but we have accelerated this to a place in time that was predicted to happen in the future and it's happening now. I've had opportunities to speak to many of you about being prepared for future natural disasters. I've been preaching the speech for a long time and environmental changes are happening, there is no denying we all need to get on board. Just prepare!

I met a young woman, Allison Anholt, whom works with The Division of Fish and Game and is involved with New Jersey's Conservation on the beach today. I hiked down to the end with her as she explained her research on the Great American Oyster Catchers and other migratory birds. We shared alot between us and I hope our paths shall cross again. She reminded me alot of myself in younger years! She's a free spirited soul.

I found a couple of old bottles up on what used to be the dune area, one still had the cork in it. I'll post images in an album on facebook when I finish editing from today's shooting. This past Monday I found an old railroad spike between the ruins and the shipwreck, and today I found what looks to me to be an old anchor.

I had then met up with another photographer / Library II owner, that I had met some time ago, but I haven't seen for awhile, Bruce Claypool,  He's so full of life and it was an interesting, although short, time spent with him. Check out his site if you get the chance, his work is beautiful.

I have posted several albums on facebook recently regarding Hurricane Sandy. In the past week, I had received several emails from friends with a link to a slideshow of images on another photographers website. Many of these images were mine and the only place the images could have come from was facebook. Although she did state on her site that she didn't take any of the photographs. She also had a statement regarding copyright laws referencing the use or purchase of her work.
I know many of you "share" my images on your posts, these are the times we live in. I don't mind sharing, but I do ask you include my "Copyright Holly Horner Photography" credit line on any of the images you share. It's only fair for this is what I do. I know I'm in a virtual cyber world now, but give the credit where the credit is due. This isn't just for me, it's for all artists and craftsman out there. We value our creations and want our names on them. We never know where our next lead is!

I hope and pray this post finds you all well and you are enduring any and all storms in you life.

Much Love, Peace and Happiness, and take time to hear the music..."Dance like no one is watching"

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Latest Adventure & Schedule

This past weekend we celebrated my grandson Mason's 11th birthday. Although his birthday was February 20th, I didn't book it till, well, this past weekend.
His birthday adventure was to Landcaster to stay at The Red Caboose Motel Mason has been a huge train fan since I think the day he was born! I've always promised him a night at this place. There were 46 sleeping cars, a restaurant, gift shop, a silo with spiral stairs inside to the top, & miniature horses, amongst other attractions on or around the property within walking distance. The train also passes right along the properties edge.
We stayed in car 24. Very cool space to spend the night, although, I would seriously consider booking maybe 2 or more nights as there is so much to see & do there within only a short distance away.
There are a few images here & the rest are in an album on my Holly Horner or Holly Horner Photography facebook page.
As usual, I have serious editing issues, but did as best I could! As most all of you know, we shoot a lot with digital. Okay, maybe that's just me! But I did limit it to just this selection.
During the Wings & Water Festival at The Wetlands Institute, I had recieved 2nd Place in the Coastal Scenic division for my image on canvas of "Ghost Ship" taken on the skeleton coast of Namibia in Africa...I'm grateful for the honor of receiving this award!

This week:

Celebrating 50 Years Ocean City Arts Center's


8th-13th Streets
Fri Aug 3, 10am-8pm
Sat. Aug 4, 10am-8pm
Sun. Aug 5, 10am-6pm

I'm in space #182, between 9th & 10th This is one of the best local art shows around with a variety of awesome artists.

August 18th ~ Beachfest II ~ Long Beach Island, Beach Haven

November 3 & 4th ~ Noyes Museum, Oceanville, New Jersey
My note cards are currently available at the Noyes Museum

Please check back for any schedule updates.

As usual, much Peace Love & Happiness my friends :)

Come out & see me if you get a chance! I love catching up with those of you that I may only see once, if that, a year when we get a chance!

Hope to see you soon in my travels!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Schedule this week

Wings & Water Wildlife Arts Festival ~Wetlands Institute (see below for location details)
Thursday, July 12, 2012 & Friday, July 13, 2012
Time:10am till 4pm ~ both days
Location : Avalon Community Hall
30th Street at the beach, Avalon, NJ  (exit 13, Garden State Parkway)

Beachfest I Arts & Crafts Festival
Saturday, July 14th, 2012 
Location: Bicentennial Park

Engleside Ave, Beach Haven , LBI, NJ
Time: 9:00AM to 4:00PM

On another note...Ashley is now going to have her own collection of notecards! She had been added last year to my notecard collection & has been selling really well! So, I've decided we would do more of her. A suggestion has been made to have her even do a signing (!) I kinda thought it would be a great idea! I'll have a ink pad, put her paw in it & then stamp her cards!!! (lol!)...We'll see!

This week it's going to cool down a bit & people will be getting out & about! Be sure to stop by & say hello in your travels!
As always, be safe, be happy & stay well!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July

Happy 4th of July folks! Although it doesn't seem like the 4th today with all that has been going on around us, I've decided I'm going to make the best of it. I'm digging out all my red, whites & blues around the house, hanging flags everywhere & will make it as festive as if I'm having a party. I will go to shoprite, pick up a few things, make salads, pies & frozen drinks & party like it really is…. the 4th of July!

I'll have 5 grandchildren for a sleepover by 4:30.....I'll make firefly cages out of plastic mayo jars, take them out on the boat to our island to watch fireworks from 8 different locations, let them swim under a full moon & float on tubes. We'll let off wish / sky lanterns & what we have left of some old fireworks.

The mess will STILL be here tomorrow. I'll work on it more then. Today, it's time to celebrate being an AMERICAN! To celebrate our FREEDOM, FREEDOM of CHOICE to come & go as we please & the FREEDOM to make our own DESICIONS. I have been to many countries that we may never see in this lifetime ever come to know any of this.





Don't ever take for granted any of these things. As rough as it can be now a days, we still have it better than most countries. Visit a 3rd world country sometime & you will come back with an entirely new perspective. Oh, & make sure you take your children for they know no better than for what they only know. They think the world owes them. Let them get the visual of what it's really like out there.

Happy 4th of July my friends!

Celebrate Your / Our Independence!!