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.
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.
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.