31 March 2009

At Rishikesh

Local at RishikeshSome men I encountered at Rishikesh were con men. No doubt about it. This man, ... well, I'm not sure, but I know I'm grateful to him for helping me understand that "con man or not con man" is simply an inadequate and deceptive way of thinking. One learns a lot at Rishikesh, and much of it is enlightenment of a kind very different from that sought by the myriad western visitors.

[Technical note: Over the last week or so I've been preparing the photos on my laptop, which has a lousy screen (Dell, if you must know), and transferring them to the PC connected to the Internet. This other PC has a potentially good screen, but it's calibrated incorrectly (presumably the factory default), so the photos look terrible. This one looks particularly horrible; I have to trust the laptop screen was more accurate.]
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

30 March 2009

Packhorse in Kumaon

Kumaon packhorseIt's a tough life being a beast of burden in the Indian Himalaya. This was somewhere between Kausani and Naini Tal; photographed from the bus window.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

29 March 2009

Farmer at Urgam, Indian Himalaya

Urgam farmer
He, his wife and his daughter were threshing amaranth by spreading in the courtyard in front of the house and driving two cattle in circles over it. It seemed like a tough way to make a living, but they invited us in for chai. I encountered this kind of hospitality in most areas I visited in India.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

28 March 2009

White-necked raven, Nyika plateau, Malawi

White-necked raven (Corvus albicollis) at my campsite on the Nyika plateau in Malawi, 2007. I love these birds.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

27 March 2009

Shore wave near Burdan's Gate

Wave at Burdan's GateI've been house-minding near Wellington and the proximity to the harbour reminded me I hadn't posted anything from that kind of environment lately. So, here's one from a wee while back; a wave in the evening between Burdan's Gate and Pencarrow Head, on the Eastern shore of Wellington harbour.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

26 March 2009

Cricket at Urgam

Cricket in the Indian HimalayaNot because it's a great photo, just because it's so characteristically Indian. A hunk of wood, a ball, three sticks and the kids are at it. No wonder the Indian team's so good. This was at Urgam, a little village high in the Uttaranchal Himalaya.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

25 March 2009

Weather in the Indian Himalaya

Weather at JosimathA day of rain and snow at Josimath, Uttaranchal, in the Indian Himalaya. The view from outside my room.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

24 March 2009

Locals at Kileswar

Local girls at KileswarA couple of local girls at Kileswar in the Barda Hills, Gujarat, in early 2007. It seems like a long time ago now.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

23 March 2009

Cloud shadows on crevasses, Kahutea Glacier

CrevassesCloud shadows on the Kahutea Glacier below the summit of Mt Murchison. The Kahutea lies at the head of Weka Stream, which flows into the Wilberforce, one of the major headwaters of the mighty Rakaia River. We never found out who made the line of footprints. [Mid January 2005].
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

22 March 2009

Ice stream, White River headwaters, Arthur's Pass

Ice stream One morning in January 2005, Terry, Lance and I left Barker Hut at the head of the White River before sunrise for an ascent of Mt Wakeman — initially a cold climb, but well worth it. I photographed this stream on our return. Rock emerging from snowfields should be approached carefully; the sun's heat, absorbed by the rock, melts the surrounding snow, often undermining it substantially. It's not always as apparent as this, and even a short fall can snap an ankle.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

21 March 2009

Kaikawaka dieback, Shorts Track

Kaikawaka dieback

The skeletons of dead and dying kaikawaka (Libocedrus bidwillii) emerge from a lower canopy in many areas around the southern Ruahine Range. The causes of the dieback are complex, but the introduced brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) probably plays a major part. I photographed these about halfway down Shorts Track after a night on the Ngamoko tops. The lower altitude forest in the background is predominantly southern beech (Nothofagus; probably red beech, N. fusca).

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

20 March 2009

Manawatu dawn from the Ngamoko Range

Manawatu dawn

Manawatu hill country at first light, from the Ngamoko Range.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

19 March 2009

Moon and kaikawaka

Moon, kaikawaka

On Shorts Track last Monday. Kaikawaka (Libocedrus bidwillii; mountain cedar) dominates the higher slopes of the Ngamoko Range and transitions into the leatherwood (Olearia colensoi; tupare) zone, which in turn grades into the snowgrass-dominated tops. Real Middle Earth trees — aged, weathered, gnarled; some so stunted they're only about my height (these were about as tall as they get; many times taller than me).

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

16 March 2009

Sunset on Shorts Track, Ngamoko Range

Sunset, Shorts Track, Ngamoko Range

WIth the weather looking so good and the work having eased, I headed up Shorts Track yesterday afternoon to sleep out on the tops. I nearly froze up there (should've taken the big fluffy down bag instead of the lighter but lean synthetic one). Still, I survived and it was worth it. This is the view from the top of the track near my bivvy spot as the sun eased down behind soft cloud.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

15 March 2009

Egret plumes

Egret plumesI photographed this egret at Wellington zoo several years ago. Don't remember the species, and for some reason the fact the bird was captive reduces my curiosity about its identity, as if the bird has been partly stripped of its meaning and identity.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

14 March 2009

No. 2 Line, Spring evening

No. 2 Line

Evening, mid October last year.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

13 March 2009

Old Delhi, rush hour (2)

Rush hour, Old DelhiAnother from the same evening.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

12 March 2009

Old Delhi, rush hour

Old DelhiRush hour in Old Delhi, November 2007. The traffic was actually far more congested than it appears in this photo.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

10 March 2009

V6 hands; Baring Head

Baring Head hands
Another photo from Baring Head. Dan Pringle sends a V6 sitting start problem on the Entrance Way boulders.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

09 March 2009

Winter in the valley

Winter, Pohangina ValleyJuly 2008; snow on the southern Ruahine Range; the paddocks rough, the feed diminishing. Still a couple of months of hard living to go.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

08 March 2009

Shed, No. 1 Line

No. 1 Line shedAt last, a few hours respite before the work begins again.

I'd often thought of photographing the old sheds partway up No. 1 Line, and finally took the camera with me when I biked up there in early November last year.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

04 March 2009

Public service announcement

A sudden influx (more like a flood, really) of contract work has seen my waking hours reduced mainly to peering at this monitor — and not with the aim of working up photos to post here. I expect it'll be temporary, and life should return to something resembling normal next week, but for a few days I'm unlikely to post new photos. Nor, for that matter, will I be likely to respond to comments in any non-trivial way.

It should only be for a few days.

I'll be back :^)

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

02 March 2009

Ruahine landscape — the Whanahuia

Whanahuia tops

Early December 2007; the northern end of the Whanahuia Range, part of the Ruahine system. We had just reached the top of the Mania Track and were en route to Pourangaki hut, in the valley beyond the sunlit tops. The Oroua Valley's off to the right. This is typical of the Ruahine tops — wonderful travelling in weather like this but when the cloud closes in and visibility reduces to less than a hundred metres or so, it's very easy to wander off down the wrong spur.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor