01 November 2008

Pohangina Valley, Spring 2008

Pohangina Valley, Spring 2008A view across the Pohangina Valley from the road in front of my place. Beginning of October, 2008.

All content © 2008 Pete McGregor


Michael said...

Such a romantic landscape. And a beam of light, just for you. For us.

Emma said...

Looking at this calls to mind the very sweet-smelling air in many of the less populated parts of NZ that H and I traveled through. Lovely.

Anne-Marie said...

I often find myself looking at the clouds in your photos, Pete. I don't recall you've ever written about clouds but you do seem to have a fondness for them. They're often a dominant feature or a focus of your photos. That's not necessarily the case in this photo [there's lots else to look at - the green, the river, the hills] but they are still fairly dominant.

A great photo, I love it. I can smell valley air when I look at it!

Bob McKerrow said...

I am a cynic Pete. I saw your new blog the other day and I thought, "Why do people change things when you are just getting used to them ?" I didn't even look at it. Then today I decided to have a peek. My cynicism has evaporated. They are bloody superb photos mate ! It bring back so many memories of when I lived in P Nth and used to take my kids up the valley to Maurice Field's house, the old school house and they used to play with the lambs or sheep, swim in the river and we had rip roaring all night parties at Maurices. He probably died of alcohol poisoning. I'd really be interested to kmow where he is today, if he is still alive.


Relatively Retiring said...

How amazingly British. I didn't realise that you lived in the Wye valley!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
I love the photo, as Anne_Marie writes the clouds capture the moment very well. Yet the prior comment makes me both content and unsettled that I know what this valley really looks like not far away from here. The British have a lot to answer for. No offense to any party intended.

pohanginapete said...

Cheers Michael. I could see the patches of light drifting across the valley; it was a matter of waiting for the right moment.

Emma, sometimes the air doesn't smell so sweet — it's rural, after all, and not all rural smells are delightful ;^)

Anne-Marie, clouds seem to be endlessly fascinating. And, as with Emma's comment, I assume the smell you refer to isn't that of the road-killed possums... ;^)

Thanks Bob! I remember some time ago I promised to see what I could find about Maurice; I'llmake a point of it. Might turn up some interesting stories ;^)

RR, Ha! It does have that look about it. The valley seems to combine what's best about landscapes from various cultures. In fact, the darker vegetation on the right hand side of the photo contains much manuka, totara, and other native trees and shrubs (as well as the pines and banana passionfruit!).

Robb, I'm not sure that the fact that many of Aotearoa's European colonisers were British is the important point. I can't think of any newly colonising culture that hasn't imposed itself on its new land, generally with devastating impacts. In the nineteenth century when the worst of the land clearances took place, our understanding of what we now call ecology was virtually non-existent; the environmental ethic we now hold so dear was rare and largely confined to a financially privileged elite. If anyone questioned the 'cut, burn, & sow' pioneering attitude then (and I doubt anyone did), they'd have been ignored. Moreover, by the time the valley was being deforested and converted to farmland, most of the perpetrators would have been descendants of original pakeha settlers; in other words, there's a strong case to be made that those responsible for the landscape change were not British, but in fact New Zealanders. I take your point that there's great poignancy in returning from the Ruahine to the valley and realising what's been lost (I sometimes imagine whio calling from the river below my house, against a backdrop of tall podocarp forest alive with birds), but what's done is past. Blame, if any is appropriate, should be attributed not to the British, but to colonial attitudes, and in particular to those who now know better but still persist in applying those attitudes (for example, those complicit in the fouling of our waterways).

(Also, from an historical perspective I'd have to admit complicity myself — one of my ancestors was a key player in the introduction of trout to the South Island!)

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
Point taken, and I guess I was referring to the effects of colonialism more than taking a cheap shot at the British as opposed to any other group of colonizers or appropriators. In any case it is a beuatiful photo.

Avus said...

My eye was immediately drawn to the flash of light on the trees to right of centre.
It is the waiting that very often "makes" a picture.
As to the Wye Valley, England..we do not have those billowing, soft downlands looking like a quilt thrown at hazard over a bed. But I guess they are the result of volcanic tufa settling over it all?
Very unpleasant at the time, no doubt.

pohanginapete said...

Cheers Robb!

Avus, I rather ashamedly admit I know little about the geomorphology of the valley, but I think you're right. If Ruapehu decided to blow in a big way, I'm afraid that'd be the end of the blog, and a lot else besides. A lot would be ruined in a moment. (You're right about the waiting, too).