Milestone 4C

On this occasion of my 400th post, I wanted to present something really special, and I’ve been considering a sunrise to herald the dawn of next hundred, climbing toward the half-thousand mark, on the one hand, and a sunset to commemorate the completion of this milestone of posts past on the other. And the thought came—why not both?  As I reviewed a folder of favorites that I’ve set aside for consideration, these two seemed appropriate, in part because I made them within a few miles of each other…

For my sunrise, I’ve chosen a memorable day on which, actually, there was no sun to be seen at all. I had spent the night in Akaroa, a little French settlement on the shore of Akaroa Harbour in Banks Peninsula, which was formed eons ago by two volcanoes, now long-extinct, and juts out into the Pacific Ocean just south of Christchurch on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It was a weekend, but I was awake before dawn, ready for adventure—but I wasn’t prepared for what was waiting for me. It was the 5th of July, 2003, and so, of course, midwinter, but as the local climate is normally much milder so near the coast than farther inland, thanks to the proximity of the Pacific, snowfall at sea level is rare (I later heard that it happens something like once in 50 years). But on this breaking day it was falling steadily, and at least an inch had already accumulated. I had a quick cup of coffee and headed uphill in my rental car, my intended destination being the Summit Road, which I knew well from past experience. But it was not to be. As soon as the gradient of the road I chose (East Bays Road) steepened, this is what I saw.

East Bays Rd 07-05-03One driver had attempted the climb ahead of me, and had had to turn his steering wheel first left, then right, repeatedly, in an attempt to maintain traction, and had given up in despair. (Keep in mind, please, that I was aiming my camera uphill at a considerable angle, and it’s actually much steeper than it looks from this perspective.) I wisely changed my mind and decided to wait for better conditions. The rest of the day is another story…

For my sunset, here’s a shot I made several years earlier, but very close to the spot where East Bays Road joins the Summit Road, in the Ellangowan Scenic Reserve. This time it was autumn (April 6, 1996), and I had spent several hours enjoying the views of the land sloping down to the Pacific coast on the one side and to Akaroa Harbour on the other. As the sun descended to the western Horizon, its low rays reflected off the water in the distant harbour and back-lit the lovely grasses and silhouetted the few nearby trees.

Ellangowan 04-06-96-14After it had set, I made my way back down to the same motel (the Criterion, in case you’re interested) that was to be my future starting point for the adventure above.

If any of you out there ever have the chance to visit New Zealand, try to include the South Island (it’s wilder) and Banks Peninsula in particular. You will treasure the magic of this amazing place for the rest of your lives. (If you’d like more detail, just click on the image.)

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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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27 Responses to Milestone 4C

  1. Vicki says:

    I love both images, but the sunset is really special.
    Congratulations on your 400th post. Hope there’ll be many more into the future.

  2. lauramacky says:

    I also love both images and the stories that go along with them! Congratulations on your 400th! Looking forward to more….

    • krikitarts says:

      Yup, the stories are an integral part of the whole, and the feedback that they are appreciated is welcome indeed. Otherwise it can be sort of like entering some gallery off the street with no attempt on the artist’s part to establish any special rapport with the viewer. Thanks for taking the time to read the background. Not everyone does, and I sometimes worry that I might be writing too much. But then again, good folks like you provide the justification.

  3. Congratz! And the photo’s are wonderful. Wish I could visit New Zealand.

    • krikitarts says:

      I know I’ve said this before, Harrie, but I am very privileged to have been able to visit no fewer than 50 countries so far, and New Zealand is my favorite. It is very well worth the planning, effort, expense, and time in-flight to get there, and it should be a priority on the wish-list of anyone with a serious penchant for photography, adventure, hiking, fishing, etc., etc. Just do it!

  4. wolke205 says:

    Congrats :D I like the sunset photo a bit more :)

    • krikitarts says:

      So do I, to be honest, but I actually remember the snowy day far better. In fact, I really should do a post dedicated to it. I can’t say it was one in a million, but considering the odds that I’d be there on that day, it might well be one in a thousand. Hmmmmm…

  5. Meanderer says:

    Congratulations on your 400th post, Gary. What a lovely way to mark it. I especially like the snowy scene.

    • krikitarts says:

      You seem to be in the minority so far, M, and I welcome you to it. My memories of that morning are so strong that I can recall them in an instant and relive the wonders that the weather had in store for me. I can see that I need to plan a recount of that day’s adventures, possibly including direct quotes from my journal, which I kept faithfully. I’ll keep it well in mind for when this upcoming family reunion is behind me…

  6. Dina says:

    Congratulations on your 400th post, Gary! Great photos.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks very much, Dina, and thanks also for taking the time to let me know that you like them. They reflect a couple of snippets of time in one of the most magical places I know.

  7. Congratulations Gary, looking forward to the next 400! :)

    • krikitarts says:

      What? Only 400 more? I have plans to be around and posting well beyond that! On the other hand, I freely admit that I can’t wait to see what I’ll be able to bring you in my next 400! And the next 400, and…

  8. Congrats on your 400th post and here’s to 400 more!!!

  9. Rondje says:

    Congratulations!, keep it up!
    All the best, Ron.

  10. Adrian Lewis says:

    Beautiful landscapes, my friend – and great stuff! on the 400! Adrian

  11. Emily Gooch says:

    Congratulations Gary on your great achievement. Thank you for sharing your talent and friendship. I know I haven’t been around much but your support for me is forever etched in my heart… :)

    • krikitarts says:

      Ah, Emily, it is so good to hear from you again! How is everything going for you? I hope you have found the stability and good luck that you so richly deserve and are basking!

  12. seekraz says:

    Congrats, Gary….good for you! And that second photo is a beauty. :)

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