Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak
"Spacious Skies"

Monday, May 30, 2016

Milford Sound - Gallery I

These are photos from my one night cruise through Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea.  Fiordland National Park is New Zealand's rawest wilderness area of jagged mountains and forests.  It was cloudy and rainy in the evening so the sky was not clear enough to see the Fiordland's pristine skies.  The Southern Cross and Milky Way can be seen on a clear night. You have to be in the Southern Hemisphere to see Crux – the Southern Cross – in all its glory. Bluish Acrux, aka Alpha Crucis, is its brightest star.  I will probably never have the opportunity again.  Rain, Rain why didn't you go away?
Constellation Crux photo by Christopher J Picking in New Zealand

Te Anau Milford Highway

Driving to Milford Sound was probably the most nervous driving experience I had.  The sharp curves was a challenge for someone who is inexperience driving on the right side of the road.  I learned very quickly!  These photos were from the road side before heading up the mountains.

TSS Earnslaw Cruise Lake Wakatipu


The TSS Earnslaw is a 1912 Edwardian steam-powered boat where I took a 90 minute round trip cruise to the Walter Peak Farm.  It was a slow and pleasant experience of what steam boat transportation was like.  It is the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the southern hemisphere. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Scenic Flight Over Lake Pukaki

Traveling to Mt. Cook Village in the South Island of New Zealand, I drove by Lake Pukaki.  How many shades does mother earth have of blue?  I call the color of Lake Pukaki Blue Ice.  I looked up the color "Blue Ice" and here is an explanation.

Blue ice occurs when snow falls on a glacier, is compressed, and becomes part of the glacier. Air bubbles are squeezed out and ice crystals enlarge, making the ice appear blue.

On the scenic flight, we flew over Mt. Cook, Tasman Glacier and Fox Glacier.  Lake Pukaki is the largest of three parallel alpine lakes running north-south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin.  The glacial feed to the lakes gives them a distinctive blue color, created by glacial flour, the extremely finely ground rock particles from the glaciers.