Thursday, January 17, 2013

Summer Storm

We were buffeted with hail, rain, thunder, lighting last evening and this weather pattern has continued on and off most of today also.  As I type, I can hear thunder but not right above like last night.

I was petrified and after the loudest clap of thunder right above our house, and lightening coming  into our lounge, that was enough for me....I went into the pantry until the worst had passed.
As quickly as it came it departed leaving the water saturated and flooded land bathed in sunshine but emphasising the incredible clouds and rainbows.
We thought it had passed but again just on darkness in it came again with more or the same.
The storm seemed to be rather isolated as we have been speaking with other folk that don't live that far away and they had very little rain (no hail) but could hear all the commotion.

The hail stones hitting the vehicle

Not very sharp as taken through our window looking out to
the sea which is not visible.

Imagine the energy in this cloud, she (obviously, because she is a beauty)
was amazing, and we watched as she moved out to sea.

Then again just on dark, in they came again.  Thunder, lightening
and a heap more rain.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Waitaki Valley

Flooding of the Waitaki River

With over a half of metre of rain falling on the main divide over the last week has caused considerable flooding of the major rivers of Canterbury, namely the Rakia, Rangitata and Waitaki Rivers.  Because of the huge amount of water filling the lakes it has been necessary to release water resulting in magnificent flows coming over the spillways.
Today Doug and I went for a drive to take a look up the Waitaki River valley where there are three dams spilling water,....Waitaki, Avimore and Benmore.   The most impressive is the Benmore Dam.

Benmore Spillway - Where water meets cloud, incredible amount of water and spray.  Had to keep a safe distance

Summer water skiing in Loch Laird, with spillway in distance.
Notice how high the Loch is with the trees being submerged.

I have only seen this once before, many years ago, when we were enjoying summer water sking

The view from the top of the earth dam (built about 1960), what a vista.
Loch Laird is to the right where the water branches off making for a calmer water.

Waitaki Dam, the first dam built on the Waitaki River.  Started building this in 1928,
the building structure is a giveaway of its age.

The spillway at Benmore dam, looking down towards Loch Laird.

A Walk Around The Wetlands & South Beach

 Thursday 4th January 2013

Christmas & New Year done and dusted.  After the families headed off this morning to their various destinations, Doug and I needed some "us" time to get out of the house and clear our heads.

We headed to the local Wetlands, a haven for many birds which has many walking or biking track through it.  We often bike through, but today we felt in a much more leisurely mood. We were astonished how low firstly Saltwater Creek, then the actual wetlands were.  The mud was a maze of cracks and the shorelines showing different colours as the water has depleted.  We then walked South Beach, taking time to sit and take in the splendid sea view.  A lovely way to fill in a morning.

Salt Water Creek

The vibrant flax flower.....not a tui to be seen

This shows how low the water is.
The clouds put on a show, the wind was brisk....Pacific Ocean to the left, Wetlands to the right.

The Yarra flower in all it glory.  I liked the layers of textures & colours here

Moth or idea, but he sat for a moment sunning his pretty wings.

Overview of the wetlands

A display of wildflowers to enhance this amazing cloud.