No, Emily and I haven’t been affected by all the major earthquakes in New Zealand this last month. However, it is extremely windy and cool here. Finding warm places out of the wind here apparently leads to behaviors that other cultures would find strange. Continue reading Fresh Northerlies and Earthquakes
We had a international Valentine’s Day dinner at the house where Emily is staying. Her apartment is directly below this living room and has the same view. Continue reading Valentine’s Day Dinner
Unlike Dorothy, the Tasmanian scone maker who hides behind cash registers, Jaqui Tutt from Wellington will gleefully prance down her steps should you want to take a photo of her purple house. Continue reading Ms. Tutt, Sea Slugs, and Mauve
Walked around Wellington today on a hot summer day and thought about everyone on the east coast of the US freezing. Just 3 shots for humor here. Continue reading Wellington: ET, Beehive, and Changing Light Bulbs
All the Fulbright Scholars (and their families) were welcomed by the Maori at the Waiwheti Marae (gathering place) which is just outside Wellington. Emily has done a great blog post describing this event. Here is a link to it. The only thing I can add is a few photos and descriptions of the overnight and events. Continue reading Powhiri: Maori Welcome Ceremony
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
At a museum in Wellington I saw the original coin, the silver dollar, the gold piece of the Money Shot. The icon of New Zealand. This started it all. 1960. Brian Brake Continue reading Fiordland: The Money Shot Part 2
I should just stop after this title and photo. It says it all. Continue reading Living With Parrots
Those are sea kayaks against mountains that go up over 5,000 feet. And the kayakers aren’t floating 15′ above a nice flat sandy beach bottom. Those mountains continue their incline straight down. The waters are deep. This post builds on the two previous ones about Fiordland: Milford and Doubtful Sounds Continue reading Fiordland: Trying to Scale the Sounds
The most expensive road to construct in New Zealand is unreachable by car. You can’t drive to it. You can see it as a small white line in the above photo of Wilmot Pass at Doubtful Sound. It is 12 miles long and is not connected to any other roads. Continue reading Fiordland: The Expensive Road You Can’t Drive To
Mitre Peak (the one on the left with the little cotton cloud toupee) in Milford Sound is the most photographed thing in New Zealand. It ranks close to Big Ben, Eiffel Tower, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. So I went to Milford Sound and paid my respects. I took the money shot. Continue reading Fiordland: The Money Shot
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
Note to Self. As you transition from your 3rd decade to your 4th decade of commuting on Baltimore’s westside beltway remember the traffic jams in the Otaga region of New Zealand as you photographed wind breaks. Hours without seeing a car. Silence. Or remember Continue reading Westside Beltway
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.
It all comes down to people and I have been missing the people I spend hours a day with. The IRC gang. Not that I did a great job, but I tired to take a photograph for each.
For Lee: I have started to agree with the Kiwis, Everything here needs an Exclamation Point after it.
I found the end of the Long White Cloud in Milford Sound. The weather broke. It took 10 days. The smartest thing I planned months ago was to stay an extra 4 days on the South Island while Emily started settling into Wellington on the North Island. Continue reading End of the Long White Cloud
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
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. !
Perhaps Shakespeare can make eating elk a bit easier… Not that I have declared it a mission, but I am trying the different meats here. So far I have had curried wallaby and grilled kangaroo steaks. We’ve been seeing a lot of venison farms here on the South Island: wapiti (elk), red deer, and antelope. Decided to try some Elk. Continue reading Down-Under Meats
Roadkill. I will spare you the photo she is taking, but the story and insights I am happy to share. I love tagging-along on this biodiversity adventure. Continue reading Touring on Holiday with Emily
We are learning and loving the New Zealand accent. They do remarkable things with vowels. Continue reading Snakes and Fish Tails
Starting in the mid 1800s Tasmania had a large industry of growing hops. This has tapered off over the last few decades, but there are reminders – Oast Houses. Continue reading Beer Cathedrals
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?
Carolyn’s brother lives next door and has been joined by a couple, Justin and Aynoa, who work on the property. They are living in something that I would call “The Peace Bus to the Third Power.” We felt right at home walking around their version of the Peace Bus and thinking of Cubed. It got even better when we met Benjamin and Alexa. Continue reading Peace Bus Cubed