This month has found us driving up and down the top half of the South Island quite frequently to help our son move from Blenheim to Christchurch. Prior to the Kaikoura earthquake about 6 months ago this was quite a simple trip down the it's an eight hour drive across then down the middle of the island. There are talks of getting the road network through Kaikoura sorted out by the end of the year, I really hope for all the people in that area that they succeed. 
As I sit here today with the sun pouring through the windows  giving our solar powered batteries a much needed boost it seems difficult to believe that over the last few weeks the weather has been decidedly cloudy, wet and cold. To be fair it is winter, but, we are more used to lots of crisp and frosty days this time of year rather than cloud cover. Hopefully this is not a sign of how things are going to be in future years with the ever changing weather patterns the world is experiencing.
On the plus side the inclement weather has made for some dramatic skies which I love to be out with my camera in and certainly some of my favourite images from this month are due to the stormy skies. We've spent the second half of the month just south of Christchurch which has given me time to explore the hills around this area more regularly than I have before and they have certainly proven to be a lot more interesting than I had previously realised. We intend to be back through this area again in the summer so that we can really get out and walk which will give me time to think about images for different times of the year.
It's been a month for quiet reflection as I've spent a few evenings and mornings just watching light play on hills as it breaks through the clouds and hopefully the feeling of being at peace with the world has flowed through into my images. 

Each of the rows of vines near our stop in Blenheim had flowers at the end, presumably to attract bees.

This white faced heron was feeling quite brave as we approached and decided we were quite close enough before flying off

Synchronised preening!

Board walk crossing marsh land. Unfortunately the earthquake has pushed a lot of liquefaction up through the area so the walk is now very, very muddy and wet!

A rather cold walk this day but rewarded with some lovely views

A random expanse of water showing through the marsh I spotted on our walk

Autumn leaves defrosting as I walked by one morning in Blenheim

A couple of guys on the site got together for an impromptu jamming session one afternoon. Very nice to have free entertainment just outside your window while enjoying a beer.

This is a Reef Heron which are on the endangered list for New Zealand so I was very surprised to find this one sat on the rocks as we walked by.

Dramatic light catching this snow dusted hill top at Hanmer Springs 

An abandoned boat at Lake Ellesmere was an unexpected distraction as I waited for sunset

Sometimes it's just the simplest of compositions that appeal to me

Last light over Lake Ellesmere

Just loved this tree. Scene reminded me of those images of the African Savannah 

This is Donald who bakes bread for cafe's and also sells at a local market. An opportunity came up to join a friend to document the baker at work.

The Antigua Boat Sheds are a base for punting on the Avon and have been in continuous use since they were completed in 1882.

One of the workers waiting for a punter in the boat sheds

Following the devastating earthquakes in Christchurch this wall has been created along the Avon River as a permanent memorial to those who died with a thank you to the many people who risked their lives to help others. 

So nice to be back in Christchurch and taking in some of the areas that have been completed as part of the city rebuild. What is also great to see are the people enjoying these new areas.

The poor Christchurch Cathedral is looking a lot worse than when we last saw it a couple of years ago. When stood looking at it you can't help but feel that if a decision is not made soon then it will fall down of it's own accord.....maybe that is what some people are hoping for!

This is the kind of day we expect to wake up to in Canterbury, crisp, clear and beautiful

An afternoon excursion into the alps was rewarded with some beautiful landscapes

At times like this I remember just how lucky I am to have a location all to myself 

A calm misty morning gave me the feel and tone for this tree that I was looking for by Lake Ellesmere

Mist and no wind made for a simple composition by the lake

Boy racers have left their mark on this road to nowhere, but it did make for an interesting composition

Wonderful early morning light through the hills and valleys leading to Akaroa

These are the conditions I love to be out in the hills with my camera

As I sat and watched the storm clearing the light just broke through and lit up the valley

Brief but stunning light rays lit up the sea by Charteris Bay, thankfully I was in a spot I could make the most of the opportunity

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