Tag Archives: 46 S EnZed

Purakaunui Bay

In late January, I was able to dash over to The Catlins for part of a day to a place that I hadn’t yet visited – Purakaunui Bay, which is just downstream from Purakaunui Falls. I love to look at topographical maps, Google Earth and any resource like that where I can get a bit of a view of the land and a sense as to whether it might be photogenic. And, in this case, while we were visiting Curio Bay once, I asked a Department of Conservation warden where her favorite places to visit could be found, something that might be a bit off the beaten track, and she mentioned Purakaunui Bay.

The weather in Invercargill was wonderful that day – blue skies, warm and a bit of a breeze blowing in from the Southern Ocean. Driving to Purakaunui Bay is only about 75 minutes on the main road, but then another fifteen minutes or so down some gravel roads. The closer that I got to the coastline, the more low-lying clouds and fog that I could see hanging over the sea. I was beginning to think that maybe my trip was for nought…

Oh, but I was so wrong!!! Yes, I didn’t get the spectacular landscape vistas of which I’d been dreaming, but I did find a very interesting, eerie, ethereal setting – and it was wonderful and inspiring! The cliffs, waves and beach were coming into and going out of view depending upon the thickness of the fog. The creative side of my mind recognized the non-landscape, non-nature possibilities of this setting and I was not disappointed.

In the following gallery, yes, you’ll certainly see nature and landscape photographs. But, I also felt the “tug” to go a bit more “zen” on these photographs and I’m quite pleased with most of the results. Enjoy and if there’s one that particularly speaks to you, stop the slideshow and just breathe it in…

46 S. EnZed signing off….

Posted in Catlins, Invercargill, New Zealand, Purakaunui Bay, zen Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Lake Marian

Just a few days before Christmas and a couple of days after Muir arrived (and, he still had a bit of jet lag), we took a day trip to Fiordland National Park with the intent of tramping (hiking) to Lake Marian.  In October, we had hiked to Marian Falls, which was only about a half mile, but we got drenched in the process.  Hiking to Lake Marian has been on our radar ever since.

  

So, we loaded up the car and made the three-hour drive to the trailhead.  One of the nice parts of the hike is that there’s a suspension bridge just as you begin that crosses the Hollyford River and gives you a little early excitement. The hike is “only” about two miles, but it felt like it was a little longer than that.  We were surrounded by the forest much of the time and didn’t realize (until recently – more in a later post) how much of an uphill trudge it was to get to Lake Marian.  Another reason that the hike seemed a little longer is that I was carrying my heavy load of camera equipment as well as food, water and some spare clothes (the weather did seem a bit cool and dodgy that day).  The Lake Marian Track is a very popular route in Fiordland National Park as evidenced by the trail erosion.  And, another factor in the trail erosion were the couple of very obvious rockslides. It’s very easy to locate rockslides on New Zealand’s trails – they have signs that say “DO NOT STOP FOR THE NEXT 200 METERS!”

  

After about an hour of sorta strenuous hiking, all of the sudden we came out into this opening with a very large glacial cirque/bowl that’s filled with a beautiful turquoise lake!  There were only a few other trampers/hikers at the lake and it was absolutely gorgeous place to enjoy a picnic lunch and lighten the rucksacks.  I think that Muir enjoyed one of his first major tastes of New Zealand’s landscape!  I hope that the gallery at the end of this post does justice to Lake Marian.  And, Lake Marian provided a beautiful setting for a very special family portrait.

  

  

After hiking down from Lake Marian, we “forced” Muir to ride to the end of the road and see Milford Sound and he did seem to be a bit impressed.  I was also able to capture one of my favorite photographs (so far) from New Zealand.  This photograph was taken looking west from near the Homer Tunnel entrance and down the Cleddau River Valley:

  

 

  

After enjoying Fiordland, we stopped in Te Anau and enjoyed supper before driving home.  Surprisingly, on the way home, Muir quickly fell asleep – so much for being a high-energy young adult (with jet lag).

  

And, we understand that our friends Jolanta, Asta and Gedis also enjoyed the Lake Marian hike when they visited Fiordland in early February – it’s a truly special place and hike!

  

  

46 S EnZed signing off…

    

Posted in Fiordland, Lake Marian, Milford, New Zealand Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

The Weather…

It seems that one of the most common ways to start a letter to a loved one is to tell them about the weather.  Heaven forbid that we might discuss something meaningful…

 

 

Anyway, the weather here is meaningful.  Actually, it’s quite pleasant, compared with the heat wave that we experienced in Madison and are not now missing.  When we performed our research on Invercargill, we knew that we’d be arriving in winter, and that the weather here is generally cooler and wetter than our Midwestern weather.  However, I have been very pleasantly surprised with the weather!

 

 

If we were in winter in Wisconsin, then “now” would be about mid-February weather – cold, likely a foot or so of snow on the ground, ice all over and about three grey, gloomy days for every sunny day (or, am I being generous?).  The temp would likely be below freezing most, if not all, of the time.  The trees would be bare and brownish-grey.  The Wisconsin winter world is generally a mixture of white & grayish-brown.  Oh, and there’s “snirt” everywhere – you know, that dirty snow mixture.

 

 

In our week in Invercargill, the weather has been very pleasant!  Everything is relative of course – the Invercargillians/Invercargillites/locals may not agree.  The grass and bushes are generally green.  Spring flowers are coming up!  I’ve seen daffodils!  Trees are starting to bud.  We’ve had a couple of rainy, sorta gloomy days, but we’ve also had at least three mostly sunny days.  When it is cloudy, it seems that there are patches of thick, grey clouds interspersed with blue sky – not the sullen, grey blanket that covers Wisconsin so much of winter.  The temps are in the 40F-55F (3C-11C) range, and the humidity is high.  We’ve only had frost a couple of times and it’s “soft.”

 

 

And, people here dress “appropriately” for the weather, if you will.  You can see people all bundled up in their woolies and down, while someone else walking down the street might be in shorts, flip-flops and even barefoot!  Personally, we tend to be a bit over-prepared for the weather, wearing several layers and adding/subtracting as needed.

 

 

OK, this is the first installment of 46 S EnZed.  If you have questions about our experiences here, please feel free to write and ask – I’m always thinking about the next topic…

Posted in New Zealand Also tagged , , , |