Monday, March 19, 2007

Four Seasons in One Day and other Weather Related Matters

Summer is coming to a close here, and the weather has been very erratic with wild temperature swings. Yesterday started cool and damp. I set off with a friend for an orienteering event. We went over the hill (the crater rim of an extinct volcano) and headed around the harbour, and suddenly as we rounded a corner we found brilliant sunshine.

I completed my course in the warm sunny weather (perhaps a little too warm since it was quite steep!). I'm pretty pleased with the way my fitness has improved - I maanged the steep climb pretty well. I was slowed down a little by a couple of navigation mistakes. I'd planned to run the last few controls which were on open fields in a slightly downwards direction, but the ground was so rough I had to pick my way fairly carefully. The course started and finished in a rather attractive farm park where there are historic farm buildings and equipment, and rhododendron gardens. So I had taken my camera along planning to take photographs afterwards. But shortly after I finished I realised that the sky had turned dark, and soon drops of rain were falling. We set off back home just as a spectacular thunder and lightning storm struck, and at one point we had to pull off the road as heavy hail made for poor visibility.

Later in the news I heard that in the North Island, the crater rim of Mt Ruapehu broke, releasing a long-expected lahar - photos at this site.

This morning at work we had a power surge. I'm not sure if this was weather-related too. I headed along the road to job number two to find that the computer network there was down and I couldn't do anything. As I sat there contemplating what to do I gazed at the hunting trophies on the wall and realised that of the four stags, three were looking straight at me. A little unnerving!

(Eventually I figured that as I couldn't do any work, I might as well just head back to job number one and do some more there until the computers were fixed. It's very handy when juggling two jobs to have them five minutes stroll away from each other).


Deb R said...

I'd never heard the word "lahar" so I had to look it up, but then I went and watched the video. Wow - that was quite a sight! Fascinating from a distance but I was glad I wasn't any closer to it.

Jan said...

More I hear re this part of the world, the more I see how you all love it.

Kay Cooke said...

I loved the description of the stags looking at you! What a day you had out orienteering - what drama - and so well described. I was right there with you! (but maybe only happy to be for the first part ;)

David Edward said...

those were good photos of the lahar. thanks for linking to them - have a nice weekend. here from michele