I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

It doesn’t matter what the weather turns on in New Zealand.   Blue sky and sunshine can be delightful but clouds add drama to a landscape.  My first post of photos from a two week trip in March celebrates the beauty of autumnal weather in Aotearoa – The land of the long white cloud.

High on the Port Hills overlooking Christchurch with Matthew – husband and travel companion.

From Christchurch we travel to Waitati, near Dunedin.  Here is Blueskin Bay.

Blueskin Bay patterns – land, water and sky.

Matthew and our sister-in-law, Clare, walk ahead of me.  Huge tides mean that later, all this expanse of sand will be covered with water.

Residents of Blueskin Bay in a haze of morning mist and sea spray.

The weather closes in as we explore the Otago coast.

A southerly cold-front blasts the South Island and temperatures plummet.

Next day, on the trip from coast to mountains, I take this photo out of the car window as we drive in the rain.

Pine Cottage, our accommodation at Lake Pukaki (near Mt Cook). Matthew would like it to be known that it is 4 degrees C.

Sheep, snow and clouds on the high country sheep station where we stay.

The Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo.

Matthew in his soul place; Mackenzie Country.  The clouds part a little for Aoraki Mount Cook.

Matthew on the braided river-bed where icy water flows from glacial melt of Tasman Glacier.

The milky-coloured water contains ‘flour’ – particles of rock ground down by glacial action.  Above, the clouds seem to be a boiling mass.

A rainbow over the Rakaia River at Coleridge.

Just us at Lake Coleridge.

Into the eye of the sun, Lake Coleridge.

“That’s a bright flag”, says Matthew as he drives. Simultaneously I am photographing the scene from the passenger seat.

“A drive to the end of somewhere”, is Matthew’s description of our wanderings.

Mountains framed by clouds – revealing, concealing.

A cloud’s attraction to a mountain…one so ethereal, the other so solid.  Opposites attract.

“Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air / and feather canyons everywhere, I’ve looked at clouds that way…”  Joni Mitchell

The weather wasn’t totally inclement.  There was sun – and there were birds (OH! THE BIRDS!!).  So more photographic essays will follow shortly.

20 thoughts on “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

  1. Mike Stewart

    For the first couple of months after moving back here to Canterbury I had to keep stopping when I drove anywhere, to photograph the cloud-scapes. Still do in fact. Your pictures make me realise I could do with some lessons on composition though. Beautiful.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Matthew tells me to say hi from him to you. We didn’t get quite get to your neck of the woods this time round – at least no closer than the gondola summit – as we headed south almost immediately.

  2. rhodjoy

    Thank you for those wonderful pictures, Julie. What a beautiful country New Zealand is. Even if t WAS 4 degrees at times!

  3. xanderest

    Fabulous photos , Julie ,

    What glorious scenery in NZ ! Makes Aust look kind of old and worn ! (but I’m sure if you went out with your camera to the dullest looking place here , you would come back with something to make us look again .)

    Love , Judy .

  4. anna warren portfolio

    New Zealand has such monumental scenery, it has a power and gravitas that outweighs its geographic size. Like you, I love a cloudy sky, for interest and dimension as well as the sheer delight that can be found in the variety of clouds. There is a sense of the end of the earth too, which I guess in a way is what New Zealand is. These are all wonderful photos, and the Joni Mitchell quote just fits so perfectly. (There’s a woman who knows how to use words!)

  5. juliepodstolski Post author

    I was going to call the post “The country at the end of somewhere” – due to that ‘end of the earth’ thing. I even had the title typed in but then I was diverted by clouds. I’ve been humming “Both Sides Now” ever since.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Diane, they are inspiring aren’t they?! Not sure if I will do drawings or paintings from them. Perhaps when I’ve finished with my Paris series. Never say never.

  6. mattmorris111 Morris

    Hi Julie. I enjoyed your post but the reason I wanted to contact you is that I am trying to reach Max Podstolski… and I can tell you why if you are interested!! Would you mind getting in touch? It is fairly urgent!! Nothing bad though… thanks so much, Matt


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