Invercargill to Owaka

The countryside was soft and smoother rolling bright green hills of grass with occasional small woods of trees or lines of trees on this part of our journey. You often see tall trees planted close together in a single line, I imagine to mark a boundary, create a landmark or act as a wind break or all three.

I’ve never seen such bright green grass as they have here in NZ. But then the blue of the sky is also somehow brighter. So I’m not sure whether the grass is literally greener here, or whether it’s something to do with the lack of ozone layer, or perhaps both. Even on cloudy days here you really have to wear sun glasses. And it means my phone camera keeps saying every photo is overexposed, no matter what angle I take a picture from. The device just can’t cope with this much brightness. My cousin and uncle who are both keen photographers have told me it is a real problem even when you know what you’re doing photography wise.

The Great Hawk Hunt

Which reminds me… all my road trip has been interspersed with cries of “There! Look! Stoooop! Ach no- I missed it”. These are the cries of anguished photographers wanting to capture a hawk in flight. Because the hawks mainly demonstrate their beauty right by the nearly deserted roadsides, photographing them is almost certainly a doomed enterprise, especially if a) the photographers are driving at the time or b) their clever cameras are not set up with the correct lens or c) the camera is not ready to hand in the car cabin or d) there isn’t a safe place to pull over. Between all of those factors, though we must have seen maybe even ten or more hawks in flight nearby, Stu never really managed to capture them to his satisfaction on camera.

As we drove, the sky was blue again with fluffy white clouds across it. Not for nothing is NZ known as Aeotoaroa “Land of the long white cloud”. This is not a particular, immovable cloud as I used to think when I was a kid! It’s a sky that is never totally cloudless. In fact it’s nearly always full of clouds, but they are quite often incredibly long and white and have blue sky above and below and in between them.

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