I’m two weeks into my escape from late winter in Nebraska to late summer in New Zealand, and it’s high time that I brought you an update. Last week we had an excursion to an area that I have not visited before, recommended by Squiddy and Batty. We drove northward out of Auckland for a couple of hours, under overcast skies with intermittent rain, and made our way along ever-smaller and -steeper roads until we reached the Waipu Caves. There are no artificial lighting, boardwalks, or guard rails, so one must bring footwear suitable for slippery surfaces and a good flashlight. There were only a few other visitors, so we were free to explore at our leisure. I didn’t have my serious tripod with me, so I was limited in what I was able to do in the extremely-low light inside the cave, but I was able to rest my camera on a convenient rocky outcropping to make a shot of Squiddy examining some glowworms near the entrance.
After exploring the cave and emerging from its dark depths back into the wonderfully-lush surroundings of the limestone cliff under which the stream that carved the cave exits, I made three careful consecutive images, which I have been able to stitch together to produce this panorama, which conveys some of the magic that infuses places like this.