Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak
"Spacious Skies"

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lake Wakatipu at Glenorchy

I love trees in all sizes and shapes and the lake trees are the most interesting in how the sunlight, water and climate can affect their growth. 

A Lone Bird Perched on a Broken Limb

The Lonely Tree on a sunny day with its top branches reaching into the blue sky.  Unlike photo images I saw at the art show in Queenstown of Lake Wanaka, the waters were never still.  Reflections of the tree and nearby mountains were broken by the waves.  The wind comes off the mountains and the waves are always moving.  I had a difficult time seeing the bird standing on the broken limb.  His dark coloring blended into the tree like a extension of the limb.  A lone bird perched on a broken limb in the lonely tree.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Lonely Tree After the Rain


Misty clouds settled on the mountains and the lake reflected a gray sky.  The sun did not come out this day. 

Lonely Tree of Lake Wanaka

The Lonely Tree is a Wanaka legend and was one of the top sights that my friend and I wanted to see.  Local Photographers have made the tree famous in art and craft shows in Queenstown.  We meet several couples who planned to search for the tree once they arrived in Wanaka.  If you Google "Lone Tree of Lake Wanaka" hundred's of photo shop images will pop up.  Since I have seen the tree in fog, rain and in sunshine, I know the real colors of the lake and mountains.  Photographers have made surreal images of the tree but I feel the tree has beauty on it's own.  I am from the south and it is not unusual to see trees growing in lakes in Georgia and Florida but this tree has a graceful and solitary feeling in it's loneliness away from the shore.

Paradise Road to Mt. Earnshaw

I wanted to travel to the end of the road but it was not on the tour.  Mt. Earnshaw is in the background and can only be reached by climbing trails or helicopter. 

"Paradise Found" Beorn's Home

I finally found Paradise and I had to travel across the earth to find it in the South Island of New Zealand!  This is the home of Beorn the "skin-changer".  In "The Hobbit" Beorn is a fictional character created by J. R. R. Tolkien. He appears in The Hobbit as a "skin-changer", a man who could assume the appearance of a great black bear.  In The Hobbit film trilogy, Beorn is portrayed by Mikael Persbrandt in the films The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies.

I took a Jeep Safari tour of the locations where the film was made around Queenstown. The jeep's name was Thorin, son of Thráin, son of Thrór, King under the Mountain.  The tour guide was very knowledgeable and we had a tea party in the forest a few miles down the road from Beorn's house.  It was an Hobbit "Adventure!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Road to Glenorchy Gallery

Glenorchy was one of my favorite places to explore.  Beautiful valleys and a quiet small village with no traffic or crowds. 

Morning at Lake Wakatipu



On the road to Glenorchy, Lake Wakatipu is the jewel of the region.  A Gorgeous glistening lake and misty peaks.  Queenstown is a tourist town very much like St. Augustine is in Florida and Glenorchy is low-key and lies at the head of Lake Wakatipu.  It is a 40 mile drive northwest from Queenstown.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Shotover River at Skippers Canyon, Queenstown, New Zealand


Shotover River runs through Skippers Canyon and is popular for white water rafting.  There were five rafts preparing to go down river as we arrived at the bottom of the canyon.

Skippers Canyon Gallery, Queenstown New Zealand


I visited the South Island of New Zealand for two weeks in March.  It was the end of their summer and beginning of fall.  Skippers Canyon was selected as the most dangerous road to travel in the world by Drive Magazine.  I was on a jeep Safari tour of the canyon with my friend Nancy.  The road was steep, curvy and very narrow.  It was a fantastic tour and we had tea and cake at the Skippers Canyon historical school house.