Wellington: #1

MortimerGarage

It’s steep here.  Really steep.  This “garage” is just down our “street” – technically we live on a “terrace” – Mortimer Terrace.   I wouldn’t even walk into that garage, let alone park my car in it, but this is life here. Somebody does. This neighborhood of Wellington where Emily is staying makes past hilly places I have stayed – Certaldo Alto, Arbuckle Driveway, and Maiori on the Amalfi Coast – look as flat as Kansas.  Continue reading Wellington: #1

Windbreaks

WindBreakSkinny3

It is windy here. I broke my rule of lying fallow and gave myself an assignment:  Spend the day driving across the South Island and photograph windbreaks. They are everywhere – all encompassing, huge, long, and captivating.  Perhaps I am entering my Color Field Painting phase – should last about a week… Following is a lot of photos and just a few words. Some of the images might work better if you click them and fill your screen.  Continue reading Windbreaks

Silence and Airplanes

SilenceSky

Except for one day flying from Australia to New Zealand I haven’t seen a plane high in the sky since early December.  No commercial flights flyover Tasmania – where would they be going?  Same with South Island – there is just no where to fly to. Neither of these places are on the path to someplace else unless it is Antartica.   It is actually noticeable after awhile.  And the silence is spectacular, – deep and encompassing.  No way to give the experience of silence through online media.

Land of the Long White Cloud

Lake Brunner
Lake Brunner

We are winding down our 2 week reconnoiter of the South Island.  It has been rainy, cloudy, and socked-in for most of that time.  Even though we were in, on, over, through, under, around the Southern Alps and had some amazing times, we never really saw much of them.  This funny post from last week gives a hint of what we saw, versus what we could have seen. So, though we never saw the tops of any mountains, we did see New Zealand and Aotearoa.  Continue reading Land of the Long White Cloud

Enamored with this Signage #1

SignExclaimationPoint

We are smitten with the caution signage here in New Zealand and Australia.  It is just a bit more personal, alive, real, casual, emotional. A human made these. We need more of this in the States.  How can you not pay attention to an exclamation point on a deserted rural road?  And it is flexible.  It folds in half.  The top folds down.  It closes up. I guess sometimes it isn’t an Exclamation Point Day and some worker comes along and folds it closed.  Then a few days later he stops by again and declares it an important day. He opens it – probably with immense seriousness.  I want that job. People think us nuts for pulling over on roads and taking photos of signs.  !

Continue reading Enamored with this Signage #1

Which View Did We See?

EmRainWetHike

We spent the day in Fox Glacier in the midst of, I guess, a fairly typical 20″ of rain in 24 hours.  Undeterred, Em and I went for a hike renown for its terrific views of the Southern Alps and Temperate Rain Forests.  Which view did we get?  They are both from the same spot on Lake Matheson that showcases Mt. Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand.  Continue reading Which View Did We See?