Autumn in Alexandra

Leaves are everywhere here right now. The landscape is naked.
The sky is a steely grey. Maximum temperature is about 7 degrees C.
The fruit trees are almost bare.

Thursday 17th April

Today I drove to Queenstown airport to pick up two Auckland friends. They are both coming to stay with me until Monday.

On the way to the airport I made a detour near Cromwell, into Bannockburn, a famous wine growing area. There were some sluicings there to see. By sluicings I mean an area of land that had a large hose turned on to it in order to seek out the gold. The result is that the landscape looks like the end of civilisation. There is even a vineyard nearby called Mt Difficulty. The sluicings are now a reserve, I recommend a visit.

The top photo is one that I took today near Bannockburn.
I think that it is an improvement on what I have taken over the last few days. Certainly a contender for the calendar that I putting together.

The bottom photograph was taken by Vanessa,
one of the Devonport friends I picked up from Queenstown today. This photo was taken from the front of Henderson House, where I live while we looked over the Clutha River, the largest river in New Zealand. Largest I think means volume not length. I like her photo. The colour is exactly right. It really did look like that. At present the landscape can at times in this Autumn light, look almost on fire.

Autumn Colour

Not only is this area famous for its rock formations but also for its spectacular
autumn colours. As you can see in the top photo, the leaves on these willows are beginning to turn so I do not have long to work with them.

Willows and poplars are the dominant trees here, willows being so dominant
that in some areas they have taken over waterways to such an extent that they
have to be poisoned or cut down. The ones in the bottom photo have been poisoned.

These photos are not necessarily ones that I want to keep, but as I often see with my work, they are congruent. One could easily fit over the other one.