27 April 2015

Ruapehu from No. 1 Line

Towards evening, I left the No. 1 Line car park. After closing the gate I turned the car off and took some time to study the view. Beyond the pines, beyond the darkening valley, far off in the last sunlight, Ruapehu crouched. Ngauruhoe's summit peered just above the horizon.

All content © 2015 Pete McGregor

25 April 2015

Autumn, and the orange pore fungus appears

The orange pore fungus, Favolaschia calocera, has appeared along the No. 1 Line track. These small, striking fungi were nowhere to be seen when I climbed the track a little over a week ago; now, they're abundant in a tangle of fallen branches beside the track. No doubt other patches will appear elsewhere over the coming weeks.

All content © 2015 Pete McGregor

15 April 2015

Silver birch; nor'west dusk

The nor'wester — usually mild in temperature, strong in force — blew hard around the house last week, rattling the corrugated iron sheds, thrashing the trees. This silver birch had seen it all before and just took the whipping with equanimity. Eventually the wind eased and the rain came — a heavy, determined rain. The river rose and raged, burying its bed under a dun-coloured torrent. Then the southerly blew in, bringing bitter cold, a little snow to the southern Ruahine. The stag started roaring.

All content © 2015 Pete McGregor

05 April 2015

Evening, Pohangina Valley

A strong nor'wester buffeted the valley yesterday evening, and, as the light faded towards dusk, a momentary, wonderful colour suffused the overcast sky. (A second photograph a few seconds later proved too late to record this remarkable violet light — the kind of light T.S. Eliot must have had in mind when he mentioned it four times in The Waste Land.) With cloud like this, though, prospects for seeing the lunar eclipse seemed slim. Perhaps the cosmos had decided this moment had delivered my share of spectacle for the day.

At about the time the eclipse began, so did the rain. I kept working then turned my eyes and back upward from the desk and went to bed.

All content © 2015 Pete McGregor

03 April 2015

Rata, No. 1 Line track

The most spectacular of New Zealand's rata are those that eventually become large — sometimes giant — trees, like the Northern rata. But smaller species of rata (this is probably Metrosideros diffusa) grow in profusion in many of our forests, and even when they're not flowering they're lovely to look at.

This photograph is dedicated to the memory of Raewyn Hilliard, who passed away last Saturday — the day I photographed this. It's thanks to the generosity of Raewyn and her husband, Kerry, in granting access over their land, that we're able to enjoy the No. 1 Line track.

All content © 2015 Pete McGregor