Vancouver Island Wilderness property for sale by owners

Posted by on May 24 2021

In 2016, I embarked on an adventure with my Canadian friends and we purchased 186 acre wilderness property on Vancouver Island. But as our lives changed over the past few years, we decided to sell our section of Shangri-la. This wasn’t an easy decision by any stretch of the imagination, the property was catalyst for many important changes in my life as well as reconnecting me to natural world.

We’ve had incredible wildlife experiences on the property – everything from black bears to cougars, from bald eagles to hummingbirds, from humpback wales to bioluminescence. The 186 acres provides ample opportunity to forage for oyster mushrooms, chantarelles, boletus, salmon berries, thimble berries, blackberries, huckleberries, spruce tips, sea asparagus and much, much more. Take your boat and fish for prawns, salmon, cod, and a variety of sea life.  Of the 186 acres, I can honestly say I’ve probably only explored 1/10 of the property at the most, there are plenty of serendipitous surprises for new owners to discover. I’ve written about my first time living on the property in my Outlier Cartel blog here.

Even though the property is remote, its only a short drive to the Village of Tahsis. Also there is broadband internet available, so remote workers can stay connected (if they so desire). There’s also a large shop and crane (originally for fixing logging trucks), a large generator, 3 phase power, an caravan shelter, a few small cabins, gardens, and much more. Stay as self efficient as you look, and start your own creative projects.

If you’d like to know about 625 Head Bay Road in Tahsis British Columbia, it is listed on Sothesby’s Vancouver Island here.




beach fire in moonlight


fishing near nookta island


moon across the bay


tahsis rainbows


Gossamer Days: A proposal for renaming Indian summer

Posted by on Oct 08 2020

We have choices. Every time we use a word, it’s a choice. Societal inequality litters the English language but where we know about it, we can choose not to keep reiterating it. Helen Zaltzman, Allusionist 122. Ghostwriter

gossamerdays1As a six-year-old growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I remember one particularly crisp and delightful Autumn day. I vividly recall the musky sweet scent of autumn leaves, the golden rays of sunshine, and just how perfect everything was. My mother told me that days like this were called Indian Summer, and in my heart, I wished that every day could be like that.

40 years later, I experience another Indian Summer in Canada, just weeks before I return to my adopted home in Auckland, New Zealand. But the experience of this Indian Summer is different. The weather is indeed warm, and there are mad splashes of colour amongst the deciduous trees – the tell-tale signs of the fabled second summer. However, some things seem off.

The air is no longer crisp, it has now been marred by for a second time by wildfire fumes, leaving the hazy outline around the sun, and the skylines of both the mountains and the Vancouver city-scape. But there is something besides the acrid air that is bothering me. It is the name of my favourite time the year.

So why is the phrase “Indian Summer” bothersome? The first is that the use of ‘Indian’ is both incorrect and ignorant of both Native Americans and Indians from the subcontinent. Secondly, in many cases, Indian was used as a disparaging term to denote their dishonesty, such as the term “Indian Giver”. This can imply that an Indian Summer is merely a false imitation of the real summer, instead a time of wonder that can stand on its own.

Very little is known why Indian Summer came to be popular. The phrase originates from North America, and several theories include that it was a time Native Americans did their best hunting, conducted raids, or that the phenomenon was simply more common in indigenous territories. It was first recorded in a French written letter by a Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Crèvecoeur:

“Great rains at last replenish the springs, the brooks, the swamp and impregnate the earth. Then a severe frost succeeds which prepares it to receive the voluminous coat of snow which is soon to follow; though it is often preceded by a short interval of smoke and mildness, called the Indian Summer. This is in general the invariable rule: winter is not said properly to begin until those few moderate days & the raising of the water has announced it to Man”

Though the phrase, was North American in origin, it’s use spread through Britain and the commonwealth. Susan Fenimore Cooper, a noted American naturalist, stated:

The same soft atmosphere of the Indian Summer warmed the woods Windsor, year after year, while Geoffrey Chaucer roamed among their glads, the English would have had a word phrase to express the charm of such days, before they borrowed one from another country

Luckily there are many options to replace the phrase.

What are the alternatives to Indian Summer?

In her article, Let’s Choose a New Name for ‘Indian Summer’, Sarah Lackow reveals many excellent alternatives to Indian Summer. Similarly, Here is a short list of alternative phrases, most of these terms are from Europe, but a few come from other parts of the world:

  • Saint Luke’s Summer – after Saint Luke’s Day on October 18. Great Britain.
  • Saint Martin’s Summer – Saint Martin’s Day fall on 11 November. France.
  • Pärttylin pikkukesä – Finnish for ‘little summer’ and associated with Saint Bartholomew
  • Britsommar – Swedish, Named after Saint Bridget who was canonised on the 8th of October
  • Fattigmanssommar – Swedish, poor man’s summer
  • Altweibersommer – German for old wives Summer
  • Nazomer – Dutch for late summer.
  • kranenzomer – Dutch for summer of the crane birds.
  • grävlingssommar – Swedish for badger summer
  • An hanv c’hraden – the summer of ferns, bracken – from Brittany, France
  • koharubi 小春日 – A Japanese word, Koharu 小春 means a little spring and biyori (hiyori 日和) a fine day any time of the year, literally meaning the sun is at peace.
  • babie lato (Polish) babí léto (Czech), babje ljeto (Russian). These are Slavic terms that roughly ‘Grandmother’s Summer’.
  • veranillo – Spanish for ‘little summer’, also Veranillo de San Miguel (Patron Saint of the 29th of September)
  • atvasara – Latvian for summer again, or resummer.
  • pastirma yazı – Turkish for pastrami summer – indicating the perfect time of year to make pastrami.
  • donkey summer – Greek γαϊδουροκαλόκαιρο, perhaps describing summer’s stubborn insistence to stay longer?
  • Gypsy Summer – Bulgarian, Циганско лято
  • Tigers in Autumn – Chinese 秋老虎 (qiū lǎohǔ) – Hottest days of Autumn, or Tigers in Autumn

Some of those terms are humorous, some are strange, and few are parochial and others are simply bigoted.

However, my favourite term is a term whose definition is not defined as Indian Summer, but whose etymology is a reference to those ephemeral, golden days of autumn: gossamer.

The case for Gossamer Days

Gossamer as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary is:

A fine filmy substance, consisting of cobwebs, spun by small spiders, which is seen floating in the air in calm weather, esp. in autumn, or spread over a grassy surface: occasionally with a and plural, a thread or web of gossamer.

Its origin is from Middle English, gosesomer, or literally “Goose Summer”. Gosammer may also have its origin in the old Scottish go-summer, which was another word for Saint Martin’s Summer. Gossamer also has connections to German sommerfäden, Dutch zomerdraden, Swedish sommartråd, all which mean ‘summer thread’.

Let’s look at the reasons why “Gossamer Days” is an excellent replacement for “Indian Summer”:

It is the language of Chaucer & Shakespeare.

Some of the earliest references of gosammer come from Britain’s greatest writers. As early as 1386, Chaucer wrote the following in the Squire’s Tale (part of the legendary Canterbury Tales):

On ebbe, on flood, on gossomer, and on myst, And alle thyng, til that the cause is wyst.

In 1599, William Shakespeare penned his arguably most renown work Romeo and Juliet, in which gossamer makes and appearance:

A Louer may bestride the Gossamours, That Idles in the wanton sommer aire. And yet not full so light is vanitie.

Shakespeare’s use of the word includes my favourite spelling of this word, borrowing the latter half of the word from the French word for love.

It is topical.

Gossamer also means light, flimsy, and/or delicate. What better way to describe our not only current climate status but the state of flux the world is in. Our planet seems much more fragile than it once was. Hearing the word gossamer reminds us to be better stewards of the environment, and also means that we should not take this time for granted.

Adding ‘days’ to end gives it the phrase more depth.

By calling it ‘Gossamer Days’ it gives a nod to ‘Halcyon Days’, a period of calm weather occurring in winter; also a period of calm, peace, happiness, prosperity, or success. It also gives it the flexibility to when this period can occur, instead of fixing to dates signified by a saint or festivals. Finally, there is book titled “Gossamer Days” by Eleanor Morgan, which is about human and spider relationships. Its usually during these final warm days of autumn when spiders spin their gossamer webs.

It is not ignorant.

gossamerdays3As a child, I was ignorant of the meaning of Indian Summer. I wasn’t old enough to question the phrase. However, as an adult, a certain cognitive dissonance set in; how could I still use this term? Particularly when the time of year that I so enjoyed was associated with such a loaded word. For me, it became a personal choice and helped align a beautiful time of the year with an equally beautiful phrase.

Renaming such phrases needn’t be difficult if one can make a personal commitment to do so. It can be something done with joy, and free from any external social or political friction. So whether you choose to say gossamer days, koharubi, or atvasara; choose a word that that is befitting to this wonderful time of year.

I for one, I am looking forward to another set of gossamer days in when I return to New Zealand!

References and credits:

How to Choose a Polaroid Camera

Posted by on Sep 27 2020

[Note – this was originally publish on Squidoo (now Hubpages) over 10 years ago. I’ve decided to move it as an effort to consolidate content content that I wrote. It was located here: ]

Its been sunny news lately for Polaroid – after going out business at the end of 2008, the Impossible Project has re-introduced the famous line of film again. However, because many different types of film available – it can be very confusing to choose what to choose. I’ve written this guide as quick start guide for those who are jumping into this wonderful form of photography.

I’ve put together this guide to help other on their journey with Polaroid & Instant Photography I hope you enjoy it as much I do!

Choosing Your Polaroid Camera

The main decision to what kind of instant film camera you should choose is based upon what kind of film you use. There are two types – Integral and Pack Film.

Integral Instant Film

This is the most popular type of instant – the kind that slowly forms in front of your eyes. It was popularised by Outkast’s song ‘Hey Ya’ which the lyrics told user’s to shake it like a polaroid picture. Here are popular types of integral that are available today:

600 integral Film – These are used by cameras such as the OneStep. Click here to see a list of Cameras that use 600 Integral Film. The expired versions of these films are still available today, although quite expensive. These films should be re-introduced in 2010 by the Impossible Project. Ebay is your best bet to find deals on this film. Check out Flickr Photos for 600 integral.
SX-70/Spectra Film – These are used for a wide variety of SX-70 Click here Cameras that use SX-70 Film. The expired versions of these films are still available today, although quite expensive. This film is known for its ability to be manipulated. These films should be re-introduced in 2010 by the Impossible Project Ebay is your best bet to find deals on this film. Check out Flickr Photos for sx 70 integral pictures.
Fuji Instax Wide Format – These are used for Fuji Cameras such as the 210. This Film is NOT compatible with Polaroid cameras, it can only be used on Fuji Cameras. The Wide Format is larger format that Fuji came out to compete with Polaroid when it was in business. Click here for information on this film, and here are some Cameras. This film and camera can be easily found on ebay and other sources. Find Instax shots here on Flickr.
Fuji Instax Mini Mormat – These are business card sized photos that can be only be used Fuji Mini Cameras. Click here for the film information, and some cameras. This film and camera can be easily found on ebay and other sources. Find Instax Mini samples here on Flickr.

Pack Instant Film

Pack Film – Pack Film is peel-apart; you pull the film out of the camera, wait an alloted time and then peel the negative from the positive image. These films tend to used by more often professionals and certain types can produce beautifully sharp and colour saturated images. I tend to shoot more Pack Film today, its just my preference. There are tons of different pack films out there, but I am going to talk about 100 style Pack film here, as this is most common in use today:

Polaroid 669: This ‘standard issue’ Polaroid Pack Film. Find examples of 669 Film here on Flickr. Not being produced anymore but can be found on ebay.
ID-UV: This film had ‘Polaroid’ mark written on it when held to ultraviolet light. Despite being produced for industrial ids, it has own following and is well know for its purple hues and artistic flair. Not being produced any more, can be found ebay. Find examples of ID-UV here.
Studio 125i: This is another Pack Film that has pretty standard look to it, but its excellent to do image transfers. Not being produced anymore, can be found on ebay.
Fuji FP-100c – This the only Pack Film which is still being produced. Sadly, This film is the only pack film currently produced. Fuji film is much sharper and more colour saturated than its polaroid counter parts. It is more consistent than its polaroid counterpart. Polaroid film, especially expired film can be very unpredictable – which makes Fuji Film a better choice when on an important photo shoot. Here are some examples of FP 100c. Tranfers are very difficult with this film.

Here is a master list of cameras that can take the above films:

Integral VS Pack Film

Now that you know a little about the film, which is the best for you? Here’s a quick reference (that is completely subject to my opinion – feel free to disagree):

Most people will start out on integral film and graduate into Pack Film. I love both formats, and continue to shoot both. People who have only known digital photography will find that Polaroid is the perfect gateway into film photography.

Here are some great resources for getting started into Instant Film:

Flickr Polaroid Group – pay close attention to what user QueerMountainMan says – he is an encyclopedia of knowledge of all things Polaroid.
Moominsean Blog – plenty of good information on films, cameras and Polaroid experimentations.
RWhirled – Ultimate list of Polaroid Cameras and the film they take. The domain expired, so this is a link back the files, this is still one of the best resources for Polaroid cameras on the internet.

Polaroid Books I recommend

The Polaroid Book offers a great selection of Polaroid photos to inspire you. The Transfer book is an excellent hands on manual of how to do Polaroid transfers and emulsion lifts. Highly recommended!

The Polaroid Book on Good Reads.


17 years, 7 websites, 965 posts, to one domain.

Posted by on Sep 24 2020

Our internet lives can be incredibly spread out. This my story of my content and how and why I reeled it back to this domain.

Ironically, I had moved away from WordPress over 10 years ago due to a vulnerability in WordPress plugin that hacked the commenting system. This plugin hack poisoned my website to search engines – it linked other hacked WordPress websites with spam ‘Viagra’ links. It was easy to restore the content, but it has taken years to recover from toxic links (note to others: google disavow was not a magic bullet).

At one point this little website got as many 35,000 visitors a month, I put a lot of effort to the content, especially my New Zealand photography, on this website. That all went down hill with the hack. Currently, this sites toots along with about 150-200 visits month, which I am pleased with.

I decided that it would best to spread out my interests amongst a lot of different sites, along certain themes (analogue photography, personal blogs, post apocalyptica).  For the most part, I enjoyed writing semi-anonymously on these platforms, and it scratched a certain itch.  I could write about weird stuff that interested me, and take quirkier photos that didn’t really fit the ‘New Zealand Landscape Photos’ that my site was previously popular for. I still held on to, thinking that maybe I would use it again.

Here is a history of the content on my websites: websites.

Blogger was my blogging platform of choice from 2007-2014. I was prompted after my website (this one) was hacked due to a vulnerability in wordpress software that I was using.  I actually still think this is a decent platform; moving from it was more a statement against Google’s survellience capitalism than it being a bad platform.

  • – This was my first blog, I used Google Blogger for this, the dates active for this blog are from 2003 – 2008. This was my first attempt at blogging and also came at a time where I was teaching myself a lot about photography. Most of the content is poor, short, and not really worth reading. They are mostly short ‘facebook’ style posts of what was going on in my life. All 94 posts from this blog were imported to my site in September of 2020.
  • – This was a themed blog, first hosted on drupal, then on blogger. It documents my photo outings to Port Waikato – active from 2005 to 2009, when it was imported to Click here to see my Port Waikato Blog and Gallery . 95 Posts from this blog were imported here in September of 2020.
  • – This was an anonymous blog that I started in 2007 and did my final post in 2013.  The name came from my friend who called me ‘Markus Zegarkus’. This was a more serious attempt at blogging, there are some posts there that I am proud of, other posts which were pretty silly. I did own a domain for this but I let it lapse and it got picked up by a domain spammer. Click here to visit the zegarkus blog. I imported 118 posts from this blog in September of 2020.
  • – This is my New Zealand analogue photography blog – active since 2009. This was hardest decision on whether to import or not, because I loved this as a stand alone domain. However, I wanted to make my life simpler so I decided it best lived here. Some 177 posts were import here. It is still active, the domain now lives at
  • – This was my first themed blog – I was really into (and still am!) the Post Apocalyptic genre! This blog was active from 2009-2017. Apocalyptic Post can be found here on my website.128 posts where migrated here

Static Websites.

I had two websites that used a static website generator. These were fun to manage, they were simple, however, at the end of the day I thought

  • – Similar to above, this was a blog I created in 2018 for art projects, including a year of sketches I made with the sketch a day app. I also used this blog to do some technical posts on some programming languages I was experimenting around with. The last post was in April of 2020.  Kraxn is Viennese slang for a old car, machine or device that is barely operable. See my entire year of sketch-a-day drawings, and visit the blog here. This was my biggest import into the site, roughly 375 posts migrated here.
  • – This blog came forth as a long reflection in technology.  Asylon comes from the Greek word sanctuary: It combines the prefix a, without; and sŷlon, right of seizure. It means all which can not be seized or plundered. This blog was active from 2019 to early 2020, there were only 10 posts, but the they were all long, in-depth articles. Go to to read more.

Other platforms:

These were other platforms. For most of these, they were not really worth pulling into this blog – the content simply was either too bland or it already existed in some form on this website.

  • hubpages – I imported a couple of articles about photography from this platform. This site used to be known as squidoo, it was interesting when I first tried it, but its another platform.
  • geocities – I did have a couple of pages on Geocities, but it was mostly nostalgic, I decided not to import them here though they are currently found on OOcities. These date back to 2004 –
  • flickr – Most of my photos from flickr are already here, so there wasn’t so much to do. I haven’t decided whether .
  • – Sadly this Polaroid site is mostly dead and inactive. Many (amazing) photographers have withdrawn their accounts. It used to be prestigious for its ‘Shot of the Day’, but it is a sad former shell of itself. Most of my photos there already live here.
  • Facebook – I deleted my account in 2016 but I didn’t have any worthwhile, except a profile picture worth migrating over here.
  • Twitter – Same as above, I don’t have a twitter account anymore. I think I only had 3 or 4 tweets.
  • Google + I actually used this for some travel photos, but removed my account before it shut down. Nothing to migrate.
  • Tumblr – I had a personal account I used to reblog things from work and some of my photos. These photos were already on my blog and the work content was not really worth bringing aboard here.

Lost forever

There are some the unhappier moments from this great consolidation:

  • – unfortunately there was not even an backup of this. I had dedicated several thousand words to practical polaroid photo taking here. I had it hosted on Google sites; when I deleted my Google account for the site, I completely forgot that I had this content there. This is completely my fault, I didn’t plan to make any backups. I know I put several months of work into this project, but got sidetracked. C’est la vie.
  • PhotoBucket – I had a photo account which became got lost when PhotoBucket got new management. There were a few digital photos that I didn’t have a proper back up, and when photoBucket changed hands, these were lost. In particular there was a shot of horse from a wedding at the Savage Memorial near Mission Bay that I really liked, but is gone forever. Rest in peace.

Post Mortem.

In 2019 – I started blogging again, mainly spurred on by my 365 day sketch-a-day project. I also created new site about my interest (against) capital surveillance. Not long afterwards, I started to tally my projects and realised they were just all over the show. Secondly, while I didn’t write anything controversial, I didn’t feel comfortable having my blogs hosted by company mired with poor history privacy (Google). So I began thinking about moving them again to a central place, making them easier to manage. In this case,

However, my site has been on wordpress since 2015. While I did have some content on the website, I just thought of it as a holding page. Fortunately, wordpress is much more security oriented than it used to be. Also importing from blogger has been breeze. The worst bit was importing from another wordpress site; most of the lauded migration tools are just bloatware. After trying 5 different plugins, I reverted to a manual import – which took me all of 10 minutes, and worked perfectly.  All 7 sites were imported during September of 2020; representing 965 posts spread over 17 years. Not bad.

This massive import reflects a tiny slice of internet history ranging from Geocities to Blogger, from Facebook to Flickr. It feels good to be (mostly) independent of these companies though while it can be daunting to have ‘all the eggs in one basket’.  Now that everything resides here, it will certainly be easy to manage – where possible all of the former domains redirect to the appropriate page here on

From a personal viewpoint, it was really fascinating to see what interested me over the years, and many times I probably wouldn’t agree with my former self. It’s also interesting to view my posts as a timeline of my life. Here’s a quick yearly breakdown – its interesting that 2019 and 2009 were my most productive years, accounting for 70% of my posts the last 70 years.

Year Total Posts
2020 23
2019 371
2018 7
2017 1
2016 1
2015 4
2014 1
2013 4
2012 16
2011 27
2010 64
2009 305
2008 38
2007 30
2006 20
2005 28
2004 28
2003 3

Here’s to a few more years of writing and being active on the internet; technology changes, and perhaps the world wide web will even cease to exist in less than 100 years time. These pages will become digital relics, while this author will happily fade into oblivion.

header for, my film blog


apocalyptic post, my apocalyptic themed blog.


Portwaikato – my first themed website/blog


Vonnagy.Blogspot, my first blog


Zegarkus – my first serious attempt at blogging



logo for Asylon, a privacy blog


Develop your own film

Posted by on Sep 21 2020

[Note: this was an unpublished article from Jan. 2015 I had on Hubpages, I’ve decided to go ahead and publish it here with a few minor corrections]

Why not develop your own film?

As an avid film photographer, I am quite happy to see rebirth of analogue photography such as Polaroids (see my related article on choosing Polaroid Cameras). However, a recent purchase of Holga Camera left me scratching my head. The instruction said to take the film to Lab to get developed. One of the great joys of film photography is developing your own film negatives. Its every bit of fun as taking the photo!

Sadly, more emphasis is placed on taking the photo and entirely neglected on the developing the photo. Would you really trust a lab with your treasured photos? The myth is that developing film negatives is a hard process and requires a darkoom. The fact is, that is its a fairly simple process. In fact it sometimes less time and effort to develop a batch of film that it takes to grade some digital photos in photoshop! And with certain film development tanks you don’t even need a darkroom.

One of the most amazing experiences of photographer that I’ve experience was developing my own negatives. Its quite a magical feeling to know that blank roll of film has now produced images that you’ve taken!

Here are some simple things you’ll need to get started, aside from the chemicals and development tank, the rest of the items are household.

  • A roll (or rolls) of exposed film
  • A Development Tank or Daylight Box like the Rondinax
  • Chemicals (can be bought individually, or in kits).
  • Running Water
  • Fridge (for cooling chemicals – black and white film)
  • Hot Water (for warming chemicals – colour film)
  • A thermometer
  • Beakers/Measuring Cups for chemicals
  • Bulldog clips to hang your negatives.

Here are some other things to consider about film development

  • You can not ship film chemical outside of the USA, which is not problem if you live the USA. If you live outside of the USA, I found that the United Kingdom is a very good source for chemicals. Regarding shipping from the USA, the above what most photographic stores have told me; however I think it has to do more with volatility of certain chemical compounds such as silver nitrate and other potentially unstable compounds. I
  • Though the principles of developing black and white and colour films are the same, colour film requires more rigorous temperature control.
  • You can reuse the chemicals, although each use degrades your chemicals.

Black & White vs Colour Development

What I am about to say is a simplification, as there are more than one to skin a cat, or do film development. Below is very general, as to give an overview. ALWAYS read the directions on chemical themselves.

Black and White is the simplest film to development as you only need cool water – this is typically between 20 and 22 degrees Celcius (68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit). Generally its:

  1. Place film in light proof box
  2. Pour in the developer and agitate at the right temperature for set time. This is what actually exposes the film.
  3. Pour in the fixer and agitate at the right temperature for set time. This is what stops development and sets the image
  4. Final Rinse and let negatives dry.

There are several variations to the above. When I did my first roll of black & white film I actually skipped step three because I had no fixer. There are several different types of chemicals. Also there are several protective rinses you can use after final rinse.

Developing with colour film is similar, but may have extra steps. Below is for common colour negative film known as C-41. The difference being that this uses hot development temperatures instead of cold.

I feel that there is alot of misinformation about colour film; most forum experts scream that if you don’t get your development done at 36 degrees your film will fall into shambles. I’ve development hundreds of rolls over the past few years and found that colour film is very very forgiving. Yes – don’t get sloppy and go for a few degrees off the mark. I but I found that that up to 2 degrees off the prescribed instructions will still render quality results!

[note this is where the originally article ends (I just ran out of steam!), however I would encourage you to check out my article ‘Zen and the art of Rondinax  Developing‘]