Photo Journal: Some Favorite Landscapes of the Past Year

It has not been the most productive year in terms of blog posts. So instead I will look back at the past year with some favorites, while I have started uploading more extensive collections to my flickr account. Other posts to come will cover flowers plants and trees, and one for objects and buildings.

A trip to Dunedin Peninsula

A trip to Dunedin with the family and stayed in a little batch on the Otago Peninsula. What an amazing environment. On the way there we had the inevitable visit to the Mouraki Boulders. Regardless of the boulders, the beach is a beautiful spot in itself, but the boulders do make it a very special place.


The scenery around the Otago Peninsula can be described as plain spectacular only.




One evening my oldest son and I stayed out to watch the spectacular skies that come with a northwester wind and a sunset. Like here in Christchurch it proves for very colorful skies.


An afternoon to Little River

On  the way to Akaroa you pass Little River. On the way back home, the sun was starting to go down and heavy weather was coming in. I ended up in between the sunset and severe clouds around Lake Ellesmere. It resulted in very beautiful strange light scenery.





Visiting our friends near the Nelson Lakes always great times and always spectacular scenery. My favorite old tree on the back paddock and the rainbow over one of the lakes absolutely breathtaking when you are there.



In and around Christchurch

It is easy to forget how much amazing scenery there is in and around Christchurch so here some of my favorite spots.









Is it not amazing that this is all within a half an hours to 45 minutes drive away from home.


Akaroa and Birdlings Flat

No year seems to go by without at least one visit to Akaroa and on the way thereto or from Akaroa: Birdlings Flat.





Guy Fawkes day, here I am ready to shoot fireworks over the bay in Wellington. As it turns out the event was postponed to the next Saturday som more people could come. Still beautiful there at night though.



Photo Journal: To Muntanui, a walk through native bush

Recently we had the pleasure and joy to go and visit our friends Niki and Ewan at their new home and perma-culture adventure Muntanui. Situated in the Nelson Lakes area near St-Arnaud, the Rainbow ski-field and Lake Rotoiti around the corner there is plenty to see and do.

What an amazing place and what great people. I suggest you go and read about their adventure here >>>. Besides having a great time catching up, it was great to have a walk through the native bush that covers part of their land.  In this time of the year the colors were just amazing with the mosses growing on the old trees providing for amazing bright greens, the views and the birds, that could be heard all along the walk. The forest is a great place to walk in any event but this native bush had such a different atmosphere, the old trees, the mosses and fungus, the ferns covering the floor. Amazing to walk through a part of New Zealand’s natural history.

More photos to follow on my flickr photostream soon.

Photo Journal: Being in the right place at the right time

This week, going up and down to and from Governors Bay we were treated with amazing sunsets as a result of the ash in the sky. The view from the Sign of the Kiwi parking over the Canterbury Plains was amazing on both the Monday and Tuesday afternoon, also the sort of magical landscapes earlier in the morning around the bays, with sun slowly showing made for some awesome views.

Earlier that morning the combination of mist, low sun and cold made for some almost magical views and I guess it reminded me that to a large extent making a special picture is all about being there in the right place at the right time.

Most spectacular however were the ash filled skies over the mountains during sunset. Christchurch, although hit by another severe aftershock looked beautiful, impressive and alive.

Now one does not need much talent to shoot a picture like this, and I bet that with a mobile phone the result would have been equally beautiful. It had nothing to do with me and all with being in the right place at the right time.

The next day I was prepared and decided to go and be there at the same time. The sky was not as impressive, but patience and seeing how the light was changing rapidly made a difference. And seeing the light change from


On the way back later that evening I stopped one more time at the same place and saw the city below like this.

A strange sense of peace came over me. Christchurch may be shaken, stirred, hit hard, damaged, ravaged and whatever negative qualifications one could think of, at the same time the sea of lights below me indicated that Christchurch is also very much alive, and a city with a bright future. If a city can shine like this after a massive aftershock than imagine what it’ll be like after restoration. Enough reason for me in any event to stick around.

Photo Journal: This is the day the Lord Has made cont.


“(J) wow look at those colors over the water. Is it not just amazing!?
(A) Oh ok I’ll stop here, go shoot some pictures I know you want to.
(J) No no, I was just making noticing how beautiful it looks
(A) Right, but now get out and shoot some pictures as it is indeed beautiful (smile)

In the previous post I left with a gallery of sunrise photos but as indicated I can also really appreciate beautiful sunsets. The one  we saw fall over Golden Bay was quite a great closing finale to a great day out and about.

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Photo Journal: Christchurch Earthquake, Getting to Grips With Things

This afternoon we went for the first time since the 22nd of February to the beach at Sumner and we ended up driving through town just to get a feel for what it is really like.

Even though this is a photo journal I can but say that no picture can do justice to what it is to physically experience the sight, smell and noise of piles of rubble for as far as you can see, your own city cordoned off by military, almost damaging the car because the road goes like the surf of a beach.

Sumner: Shag Rock Turned Shag Pebble,
Cave Rock Caved In

The road to Sumner was open and although not too bad the cracks and bumps are still there for sure, and it requires you to pay even more attention that usual.

Substantial parts of the road were protected by containers  so as to avoid rocks falling on the road and cars.

Shag Rock at Sumner is one of those iconic little spots here: was I should say. Last year I took this picture.


And yesterday, this is what I found:

The reserve on the other side of the road is now covered in rocks that came down from the rock face. We could not help but wondering but wondering whether there may have been some unsuspecting people covered under there: perhaps going for a little walk through the reserve, perhaps having a quiet lunch in the sun out of the wind.

Cave Rock, further down the beach is a place of good memories for me. It is the place where I had my first beer on the beach with the family and friend Jason Wilcox. I remember well how cool I thought it was to be able to be sitting in the shade of a small cave, what a change from the crowded beaches in the Netherlands.

To give you a feel of what the beach looks like on a sunny day in the Netherlands see the picture on the left side.

All that is missing is a guard blowing his or her whistle  so we can all turn at the same time to sunbath our other side. That same little cave at Cave at Cave Rock caved in.

I guess when you arrive at the place from the parking lot you get a good indication of what to expect straight away.

The City

On the way back we went past the city center and as it is cordoned off, you can’t come to close and get yourself into trouble. But it was there where it started to hit in how enormous the damages really were.

Road may be open but that does by no means mean that they are still qualifiable as safe roads. It was as if we were riding the surf.

We drove up towards one of the fences that mark the cordon and when I walked out and looked at what seemed to be endless amounts of rubble, with a building here and there I simply was not able to shoot any picture and not feel like a complete @#$%&*!

Most of all it was then that I realized that no picture could ever do justice to what I was seeing there. My oldest son grabbed my hand and like me he was not able to say anything. Sure enough most of it can be replaced but I have serious concerns not just for those who have loved their loved ones in all this but also for those that had their livelihoods, their businesses (small businesses) in the struck areas: the dairies, the small boutique little businesses, coffee shops and restaurants that have been kept afloat by these courageous people with a vision, with a passion and which made Christchurch the lovely place it is. And I am sure it will be that same great place again but the road ahead, the road to restoration of people, lives and property will probably be long and steep.

Enough said, time to pray for the city and time to prepare for guitar students coming in. And in the complete faith that nothing is impossible with God, I pray for restoration of the people and city of Christchurch.