Silly Saturday: Fasten seat belts, please

Back in November 1995 my job took me to New Zealand again.  While I was exploring the beautiful beach adjacent to the mouth of the Taieri (pron. tie-AIR-ee) River, a little west of Dunedin on the southeastern coast of the South Island during a non-work day, a gravel road that led up to the crest of a hill a short distance from the main road caught my eye because of the speed limit sign that had been positioned there.  Oh, but don’t worry—that’s a limit of 100 kilometers (only about 60 miles) per hour, so there’s really no temptation for a reckless motorist to be driving too fast over a blind hill.

100 kph-Taieri Nov 05On the more serious side, I had visited this beach before and remembered well the wonderful combination of black (volcanic) and golden (shell) sand.  The golden sand is heavier, so when a stiff wind blows steadily from one direction (which is common), the lighter black sand is blown over it and miniature dunes form, in two-tone relief, which can result in some strikingly abstract and delightful forms, especially in the wind shadow of an imbedded object, such as an old shell.
Taieri Mouth Beach 11-07-05


About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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9 Responses to Silly Saturday: Fasten seat belts, please

  1. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    Rather interesting about the sand – I don’t think I’ve ever seen that phenomenon before.

    • krikitarts says:

      I’ve seen it a few times in my travels, but this particular beach seems particularly-well suited for it. Every time I’ve been in the neighborhood, I’ve tried to spend an hour or so there, and I’ve been rewarded several times. It’s always different, depending on the strength of the wind. My first time was back in 1992, while I was carrying around film cameras. One of the shots I made that day is still one of my all-time favorites.

  2. It is as if the sand and the wind are talking to you and telling you stories…Very beautiful photo.

  3. I laughed over the first image, and your description. The second image is very striking. What an interesting phenomenon (the sand and wind), and such a beautiful capture.

    • krikitarts says:

      I laughed out loud when I came across it, and wondered if someone had set it there as a prank. I’ve seen the little dunelets in other places (including, recently, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina), but that combination of the different sands can produce some remarkable results, if one looks very carefully and with a lot of imagination.

  4. Meanderer says:

    I love the monochrome sand image. Such subtle and beautiful patterns. I love the way one’s eye is led to the shell.

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m delighted that you folks are liking this. When I started the post, I’d intended to insert only the gravel road (interestingly, the Kiwis call this a metal road) shot, but as I opened the folder with that day’s photos, the sand patterns gave me a fond nod and asked to be included.

  5. Adrian Lewis says:

    Yes, the mono image is great – Minimalism lives! I know, its me, but … I have a great temptation to rotate it 90 degrees clockwise (and then maybe horizontally flip it) – and to see the shell as the crescent moon in a sea of soft clouds. A :)

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