March 16, 2013 … occupying the high ground

New places from which to look down are always welcome.

Last week sometime, I mentioned a hill near Wellington Airport that I had not previously noticed.  Perhaps it would be more sensible to say that I had never previously seen the potential of the hill as a viewing platform. The hill is the one on the Southern side of the Miramar cutting … the one that all the fuss was bout when there was a crass and tasteless proposal to put a “Wellywood” sign on its side.  It still has a crass and tasteless sign on it, but at least it’s not as idiotic as “Wellywood”.

Anyway, this hill can be accessed by pedestrians only, from Wexford Rd in Miramar, so yesterday I climbed the forty or so metres up the grassy slopes to the summit and sat on a wooden bench with a camera and a splendid view over the airport.

As I have said several times before, when I go somewhere with a photographic purpose, I check out what can be seen in the other directions. Since there was nothing of immediate interest on the runway, I looked around the neighbourhood and saw one house that stood out from the older dwellings in the area. As they say, there can be no useful argument about taste, and I pass no judgement in that regard, but the house makes a statement. It stands out.

Housing in Miramar, adjacent to the airport runway

Bold colours

The airport was quiet, but the only medium-sized airliner on the field began its take off run. In case I haven’t mentioned it, though the sky was clear, the wind had reached the strongest I can recall in several months. It was actually difficult to stand on that hilltop and keep the camera steady. With the wind howling straight down the runway, that Boeing B737-300 went up like an express elevator. Despite my proximity to the airport, I think the ambient wind noise drowned most of the jet sound, and within a moment or two, it was gone.

Air New Zealand B737 departing

Climbing steeply into a strong headwind. The aircraft on the ground is an ancient Convair 580 belonging to Chathams Air

Looking behind me, I saw grey clouds which is quite a change, but it is a pleasant view looking up the Western side of Evans Bay with all its little twists and turns to Point Jerningham. Behind it and to the left, Mt Kaukau and the TV mast stand tall.

Evans Bay and Mt Kaukau

I love that snaky road

Away to the South, glittering lights in the far distance soon resolved themselves into the unmistakable patter of the landing lights of another B737. The wind got stronger, and I could see the struggle the crew were having to keep the wings level as it crossed the threshold and then landed, one wheel at a time. It must have been quite exciting from inside.

Air New Zealand B737 arrives

Take-offs are optional. Landings are mandatory. Some are better than others.

A quick trip to Napier tomorrow. Let’s see what that brings.

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About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
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