It's a funny feeling not having a clue what day of the week it is. Finding out it was Friday added another odd reaction - almost excitement for the almost-here weekend. That's an odd reaction because a) I'm on a no-fixed-return-date holiday so days really don't matter and b) as someone who has chosen not to work regularly now, I have total freedom to control my time. Every day is a Friday in my new world hence my internal sniggers at my own reaction this morning!
Took a look round Andris Apse's gallery in Okarito in the morning. To say his images are stunning is a huge understatement - he is one of new Zealand's premiere landscape photogographers and has received a Queen's Honour (New Zealand Order of Merit) to acknowledge that. His images give the impression of being simple and understated but when you talk to him (as I did, and have in the past) you discover that he goes to extraordinary lengths to capture those images.......weeks or even months of scouting, visiting, planning, revisiting, waiting, waiting and waiting yet more for the conditions he has envisioned. I've always associated him with Okarito though have never visited his gallery before. I'm very pleased I did today as I noted a 'For Sale' sign outside his house/gallery. He and his wife will be moving over to the East Coast - Banks Peninsuala - in the next year or so so this visit turned out to be even more meaningful.
After a little bit more of an explore along Okarito Lagoon foreshore it was on then to Franz Joseph. After quite some deliberation I decided that I would do the walk to the Glacier. Many years ago, dad and I did this walk, I've done it again since then maybe 2 or three times. Each time, the DoC signage points out to the walkers where the glacier had stretched to x number of years ago as it gradually makes its way back up the valley. Of course, as well as a being a receding glacier, we've also had some horrendous rainfall and flooding in the past few months which resulted in the the bridge across this glacier's river, just outside the Franz Joseph township, being totally washed away. The volume of water and debris that came down from the mountains must have been monumental and that, of course, would have impacted the landscape within the valley significantly too. But the thing that I find has stuck in my mind about the walk today was a sign (see extras) warning of the dangers we're all facing with climate change.
As I stood reading the sign on the way up the valley a chap passed me coming back down the valley. Seeing the look on my face as I read, he simply said "We have a lot to answer for, don't we?" We do. But I find myself more and more agitated by the content of the sign. The global population has exploded; more people means the production (both directly and indirectly) of more CO2 which is raising the global temperature, and, for example, melting glaciers. The actions that the signs suggest we take to help combat global warming seem, to me at least, to totally ignore the obvious. It's a bit like walking into the kitchen to find the tap has been left on and the sink is overflowing. What's the first thing you'd do? Start to bail out the sink? Petition the water company to reduce the flow of water through the pipes? Or turn the tap off? The Global warming solution surely has to begin with reducing the world population so the number one action should be, stop breeding! Am I being overly simplistic?
Anyway, rant over. Had a lovely evening drink with last night's 'neighbours' who turned up to the same campsite I'm at tonight (great NZMCA club site with the bonus of a dump station too. Such simple pleasures!)
I'm pretty tired after my walk today so I think I'm probably going to sleep pretty well tonight. G'night :)