Grim Xmas weather on the Otago Peninsula. Third in my New Zealand Landscape series. Xmas Eve, 2004 found me on an excursion to the furthest tip of the Otago Peninsula out of Dunedin on the south coast of New Zealand’s south island.

The wind was so strong that it was hard at times to stand upright. My son Shane and I had a challenging time trying to take photos of the rare Royal Albatross that were having a ball in what was ideal flying conditions for them. These birds have a monstrous 3 metre wingspan. They would swoop up over the cliffs into view and we would click away madly only to achieve blurry messes. I gave up and moved onto video which was much more successful. My son decided to shoot the seagulls at a distance because they looked similar to the Albatross with no scale reference and he could pass them off as such to his mates back home. Shane, your secret is out!

Later in the evening, after an exhaustive climb back up from the beach just back along the peninsula where we watched penguins and sealions, this subject presented itself. It was cold, it was windy and it was getting darker as night approached. My wife and I opted not to go to another beach for more wildlife, but instead huddled down in the shelter of these buildings amongst the dust, wire and sheep smell and waited for the return of our group. That was our Xmas Eve.

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Oil on Canvas Panel 2005 12″x 9″

(Originally published on ArtWanted, 2005)