DP Photo Challenge: elemental

Close up shot of rocks at Langs Beach, NZ with sea, sky and islands in the background. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Rocks at Langs Beach, Northland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Air, water, earth; the visible elements in my landscape. But the strongest force to shape Auckland and Northland is its largely unseen, but ever-present volcanoes — fire in its most extreme form.

Daily Post Photo Challenge | elemental

Phoneography Challenge: lulled by nature

A benign Mt Ngaruhoe; central plateau. North Island NZ

A benign Mt Ngauruhoe. Central Plateau, North Island NZ

Evening; Mt Ngaruhoe. Central plateau, North Island, NZ

Evening; Mt Ngauruhoe. Central plateau, North Island, NZ

Clouds closing in; Mt Ngaruhoe. Central Plateau, North Island, NZ

Clouds closing in; Mt Ngauruhoe. Central Plateau, North Island, NZ

Where I live, nature is in general fairly benign – at least on a day-to-day basis.

Until the major earthquakes in Christchurch in 2010 and 2011 (followed by many months of on-going and terrifying aftershocks), it was easy to forget that New Zealand is one of the most seismically active places on Earth.

Mt Ngauruhoe is a relatively young volcano – first erupting about 2,500 years ago. It’s technically part of the larger Mt Tongariro. Mt Ngauruhoe erupted 45 times in the 20th century. The last eruption, in 1977, spread ash around much of the North Island. I remember my dad hosing it out of our gutters.

What I like about these photos is that they show vastly changing clouds – and weather – over an apparently stable mountain. The issue is one of scale. As I go about my life, things like rain and sunshine affect me on a daily basis. Today is cloudy and grey and I feel a bit blah. But on another scale – that of the planet – whether it rains in Auckland today or not is a bit irrelevant. A volcanic eruption is not.

These photos were taken on an iPhone4 and edited with Ultimate Photo Editor Lite.

Thanks to Sally at Lens and Pens by Sally for her cool weekly phonography challenges.

Word a week challenge: mountain (part two)

Mt Ngauruhoe is another story-book volcano. Rising steeply from the tussock of the North Island’s Central Plateau, it – like Rangitoto in Auckland – is almost symmetrical. Unlike Rangitoto, Nguaruhoe is a very active volcano, last erupting in 1975.

Mt Nguaruhoe, Central Plateau. North Island New Zealand.

Spring afternoon; and a snow-covered Mt Nguaruhoe contrasts with the surrounding landscape.

Spring afternoon; and the snow-covered mountain contrasts with the surrounding landscape.

Mt Nguaruhoe, Central Plateau. North Island New Zealand.

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Evening cloud; Mt Nguaruhoe.

Hard to know what is cooler; the mountain or the clouds.

Hard to know what is cooler; the mountain or the clouds.

Morning cloud over Mt Nguaruhoe

Morning cloud over Mt Nguaruhoe

Soon the mountain will disappear in the clouds.

The weather begins to close in and soon the mountain will disappear in the clouds.

last mountain

Soon the mountain will disappear into the clouds.

Word a week challenge: mountain

My home city,  Auckland is built on over fifty volcanic cones. They vary in size and height (some are lakes and lagoons) but although they’re mainly less than 15o metres high, we tend to put “Mount” in front of their English names.

Our newest mountain – until recently thought to be only 600 years old – is also Auckland’s most iconic. Rangitoto sits in the Hauraki Gulf, and being quite round, looks pretty much the same from all parts of the city. What’s more it looks like a volcano – gently sloping sides, with a dip at the top indicating the crater.

It’s irresistable to photograph.

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Twilight; Milford Beach

rangitoto2

Rangitoto sunrise: Campbell’s Bay

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Rangitoto at sunrise; Takapuna Beach

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Rangitoto sunrise; Takapuna Beach