Hokitika. New Zealand

Hokitika also know as the Pounamu Capital of New Zealand.

From Christchurch on the East Coast of New Zealand to Hokitika on the West Coast takes about four hours by car. Crossing the Canterbury Plains over Arthur’s pass and down into Hokitika. At around 250 km (155miles) it’s not a long drive as far as distance but it’s a slow and very interesting drive with stops on the way. Visit Castle Hill, Waimakariri River, Arthur’s Pass Village, Otira Viaduct Lookout on the way.

Hokitika River mouth
Hokitika River Mouth – Hokitika Township

Hokitika’s main beach runs along the front of town, with a walking path along to the river, mouth. You can check out the Driftwood art that is scattered along the beach and takes various forms. Great views back to the mountains and up and down the coast

Whitebait Pizza. Fat Pipi Pizza
Whitebait Pizza – Fat Pipi Pizza Hokitika NZ

There is a local pub that is open most days for meals, Cafes, Restaurants and Fish & Chips shops. One thing you must try. Is this West Coast delicacy The whitebait pizza found only at the Fat Pipi Pizza on Revell Street.

Around a 20 minute drive from Hokitika township you will find the hokitika gorge. There is a loop track that will take you through beautiful native bush and along the side of the Hokitika river with great views down to the river. The walk can easily be done in about an hour. Unless you want to stop for a swim.

Hokitika is known as the Pounamu capital of New Zealand and is the best place to buy your gifts. Also know as Green Stone or Jade. Checkout Traditional Jade Hokitika . We have purchased a number of items from Traditional Jade and found them very good.  Other Jade shops can be found in town. check them out for prices first. Other recommendations do you visit in NZ would be Golden Bay and Wharariki Beach

Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Lightning Strikes in the summer of 2022

2022 was a good year for Monsoon storms and Lightning strikes in the Yampa Valley. Making this a good summer for taking photos of lightning strikes, through the day and at night. Using a Canon 5D with a 24 – 105 lens and tripod, ND filter 6 stops for day time shooting and a Pluto trigger.

Lightning strikes Steamboat resort

A Lightning strike on the Steamboat Springs ski field, between thunder Head and base of hill. Mount Warner.

Lightning strike Steamboat Springs Colorado
Lightning Strike south of Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs had a great monsoon season this year, with lots of storms and good Lightning strikes. Making this the 1st year in 2 years. Where the lightning was good to photograph

lightning Steamboat springs Colorado
lightning north west of Town

Cats Of Morocco

Cats of Morocco. One of the first things you will notice in Morocco is the large number of cats and dogs that are found around the towns and cities. Most, if not all house holds have one or two cats. Cats that wonder the streets and alleys from Casablanca to the Sahara are given food by shop keepers. leftovers from restaurants, Butchers and fish markets. you can find cats waiting patiently for food to be handed out. As cats are part of the Moroccan culture you’ll find cats mingling with the locals in all aspects of daily life without a second thought from the local people. Not once did I see a cat mistreated in the 3 weeks I was there.

The Cats of Morocco
One eyed
Cat, Fes Medina
Cat waiting at Door Morocco Cats of Morocco
Waiting to be let in

Waiting to be let in at the end of the day. Fes

Cats of Morocco
Taking in the sun.

Taking in the sun. Marrakesh

Cat waiting for food at fish Market Essaouira Morocco,Cats of Morocco
Waiting for food

Cat waiting for food in the Fish Market in Essaouira. Morocco You can check out my Cat Gallery Here

Cats of Morocco, Cats of Chefchaouen
Cats of Morocco, Cats of Chefchaouen


2022 there was hope for travel. Flights began into Morocco on Feb 7th, and we where on our way in March. Open Doors Morocco had kept our trip on hold through Covid. Great Company, we totally recommend them for your trip to Morocco. Their guide/driver, was outstanding, thanks Habib. It was nice, not having to drive for a change, taking in the full experiences that the landscapes offered. Taken to places we would not have found by ourselves. Getting lost in the alleyways of Marrakesh. Exploring the markets and their offerings. Eating great food. Great photo opportunities. Enjoyed being informed and shown around by our local guide Habib. Safe and friendly Moroccan travels with Open Doors.Thanks again Nancy & Habib.

Fes Morocco
Fes Tannery

19 days in Morocco stating in Casablanca including Rabat, Chefchaouen, Fes, Midelt, Merzouga, Dades Gorges,Alt Ben haddou, Tamnougalt, Marrakesh,Taroudant,Mirleft, Essaouira,Casablanca.   

Sahara Desert Sunset Merzouga Morocco
Sahara Desert Sunset – Merzouga Morocco

Sunset in the Sahara desert is something that should be a your bucket list.

Snake Charmer Marrakesh Markets Morocco
Snake Charmer

One of the many Snake charmers that can be found in the Marrakesh square plaza and markets.

Yampa Colorado

The 115 year old town of Yampa is in northwestern Colorado.Routt County. 40 min south of the renoun ski town of Steamboat Springs. Gateway to the Flat tops Wilderness area with a great reputation for its hiking, hunting and fishing.

Yampa Colorado
Fall colors, Yampa Town ship Colorado
Hwy 131 to Steamboat Springs
Looking North from Yampa

Getting to the Flat tops wilderness area. Take county road 7 at the south end of town, it starts next to Antlers Cafe & Bar. Guided fly fishing is available on the upper Yampa river for here.

Moose in Colorado

Morning surprise. Moose feeding on the edge of the lake. On a short trip to Buena Vista in Colorado. We drove up to Cottonwood Lake, west of the town on 306. Turn right on W Main Street, at lights. If coming from the North. Follow the road up until you come across the sign to the lake on the left. Then it’s a gravel road up to the lake.

Female Moose
Moose feeding. Cottonwood Lake Colorado

Young Female Moose feeding

Moose feeding on edge of lake in Colorado
Moose feeding on edge of Cottonwood Lake CO
Cottonwood Lake Moose
Moose. Cottonwood Lake
Moose feeding cottonwood lake Colorado USA
Moose – cottonwood Lake Colorado

Deer can also be found feeding along the edge of Cottonwood Lake.

Mule Deer
Mule Deer making its way through the water

If no wildlife can be found. Cottonwood Lake is a great place to go fishing. Hike around the lake edge. Take in the great vistas from the lake, of the mountains. Get your coffee from Brown Dog coffee and go check it out.

Glacier National Park

Midget Creek near Lake McDonald Lodge

Glacier National Park in winter time is still a great time to visit. access to trails is limited as is road access. When I visited this time in April 2021 the road was open to Lake McDonald lodge. A few people walking on the closed road. Keen hikers heading up Sperry Chatets trail for some high country skiing. Walking around the McDonald Lodge and making our way down to the lake edge. With no one around it was nice, compairded to the summer madness.

Lake McDonald
View of Mountain from Lake McDonald Lodge

Walking along the lake edge. You can take in the great views of the Mountains at the head of Lake McDonald.

Looking back to Apgar

Looking back to Apgar Village from McDonald Lodge. West Glacier

No one here. Apgar Village

Apgar Village West Glacier no one around

If you are heading to Glacier National Park this year there is a new Ticketed Entry that you have to use to book online before you go.

New Zealand Landscapes

Landscape prints form the south Island of New Zealand. Wharariki Beach and the Archway Islands. Nelson. Queen Charlotte Drive. West coast of New Zealand. including Arthur’s Pass.

The Farrier

The Farrier is a very important part the the equine industry. With some veterinarian skills he or she can look after your horses hooves. From timing hooves to making shoes for problem feet. Protecting hooves for trail and working horses. Stopping wear on performance horses. These men and woman have a very important part to play in keeping your horses hooves in the best condition possible.

The Farrier above is sizing the shoe. After heating the shoe up he will press the hot shoe onto the hoof to see where the hoof needs to be trimmed. Then using his blacksmithing skills to altered the shoe to match the hoof. This does not hurt the horse.

Heating up the shoe
Heating up the Shoe

Heating up the shoe before using his blacksmithing skills on the anvil. To resize and alter the shoe to fit the hoof.

working on the Anvil
Working the shoe on the Anvil
Filing Horse hoof
Using a Rasp the file the Hoof

Using a rasp. The farrier will now fine turn the hoof before the metal shoe is fitted. The final stage is nailing the shoe onto the hoof. This does not hurt the horse. The nail goes through the side wall of the hoof and the end is then broken off. Depending on how fast the hoof grows this can be done again in around 6 to 12 weeks. Performance horses can be shod more often.

Nailing on shoe
Nailing the show to the Hoof