My father took this photo of Mount Taranaki this morning, from the hill behind my parents’ house.
Better quality version on flickr
This mountain rides high in my dreams. My parents took us tramping (hiking, bushwalking) up there when we were children, and it is something that I have seen all through my childhood. It means home to me.
It is so very beautiful when it is covered with snow, even more so with the dusting on the Pouakai and Kaitake ranges, which are the remnants of old volcanoes. It’s lovely in summer too, when the snow almost disappears, except for a few ice patches right at the top.
Mount Taranaki is an active volcano, and it sits in the middle of a semicircular plain. It’s 2,518 metres high (that’s about 8,261 ft for those who use the old money). The land is very fertile, and it is mostly used for dairying. The distances in this photo are a little deceptive – it’s about 20 kilometres from where Dad took the photo to the top of the mountain. The town where my parents live is coastal. So with a little planning, you can go from mountain climbing to surfing in about 20 minutes. Not that you would want to do that right now! That beautiful coating of snow is thanks to a very cold spell that seems to be covering the whole country.