Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cross country skiing in May in New Zealand - landscape photography takes a back seat!

My good friend Dave is wont to say "Snow in May does not stay", and my mantra is "it's too early to know how the winter and ski season will pan out" followed by, "I remember this happened one year in the early seventies and we got a nor wester and it all got washed away on Queens Birthday weekend". However when it does happen these days aging has seen us both become opportunists! When it fined up last week and Narcis did a little grooming, there we were...

The road to nowhere... just past this sign I had to give my self imposed ski tour away as the drifts were too deep for my [really] skinny trail skies...

Dave and Jo and the dogs head to Chamois Loop...

Ha... I can't help myself: this unique [to my life] New Zealand landscape shot, was one I could not resist: Mt Aspiring in the background and The Snow Farm in the foreground. Both have played a huge role in my personal growth. The former in the 80's when over 2-3 year period I did several Search and Rescue pickups from beneath it's icy ramparts. The latter a place that accepted my son Dougal and myself for some serious healing post divorce [thanks John and Mary]. Now it's like a second home as I explore the addictive and fitness enhancing nature of Nordic skiing [many New Zealanders don't realise that overseas it's a sport with a far greater following than downhill skiing]...

John and Mary's dog Speedy passed away recently, and will leave a huge gap not easily filled. For many winters he's welcomed every visitor and even used the work utes/cars to get from his home at the Snow Farm to the nearby Snow Park to carry on the role there, then get in another vehicle for a ride back. Everyone loved him dearly. For myself at all times out of the ski season when I'd want to go for a walk or spring ski tour/walk he'd come - it seemed as long as the snow had tussocks exposed, maybe to aid his low ground clearance, but more likely so he could hunt rabbits. And many times he'd catch one on the way home - almost deliberately it seemed so he could race ahead and carry/drag it back into the Lodge for a feast! The downside was he'd then make himself sick.

Speedy in the spring of 2007 out by Chamois Loop one evening...

On this occasion while doing a sunset photo shoot with Roger he got tired and cold and snuggled down to wait for us. When we finally set off back he trotted along happily in the dark. Before we drove off we made sure he could get in the Lodge by opening the doors and in he trotted into the dark. He was one of us, so we all simply made sure, like you would with a person, that he was "all set"...

Yikes it seems on posting this that I've maintained this blog for a year now. At once per week I've posted 52 times. So.. a big thanks to my regular readers [comments are always welcome - maybe post one requesting a certain theme!]
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Blogger Deirdre said...

Congratulations on 52 blogs

What a great story about Speedy-he looks such an intelligent wee dog.


June 3, 2008 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Shirley Goodwin said...

Some snow and dogs on my blog today!

June 7, 2008 at 6:13 PM  

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