In my backyard…

A breathtaking sunset in my backyard (photo taken from my deck)

Original words are exceedingly rare. So, I will borrow one to describe my ‘backyard’….Magical.

Since my trip to Wanaka two weeks ago, I’ve worked a weekend day in each of the last two weekends. That makes trips out of town a little more challenging, and backyard exploring is all the more intriguing. I am fortunate to live in a place where exploring your backyard can be just incredible (that’s two words I’ve borrowed). All of these photos were taken within just 24 hours (with one exception…which will be obvious), just to give you an idea of how much and how fast things change.

Snow tipped evergreens in the foreground, and snow covered pastures on the Otago peninsula across the Harbor, as seen from the 8th floor of the hospital

Last Tuesday, it snowed in Dunedin. Snow flurries whisked down from above sporadically throughout the day, at times leaving the hills surrounding the city blanketed in white. Then, for periods of minutes to maybe an hour, the sun would come out, and the snow would melt. Only, just minutes later, a large dark cloud would move in and another blanket of snow would dust the hills. It was a mystical and truly marvelous day (that’s fours words…I’ll stop counting). You have to love the first week of Spring. The cold front only last two days, so by the end of the week it began to warm up (awesome, I thought, as I only had to work a half day Saturday and was off all of Sunday). The warmer weather brought huge billowing clouds, which produced the sunset in the first picture of this post. Saturday was indeed warm…I was able to do TWO loads of laundry (I don’t have a dryer..and depend on Mother Nature to dry my clothes). I was in heaven.

The Pacific Ocean, in ‘before the storm’ mode…

I was off Sunday, but wouldn’t you know, another cold front was forecasted. Undeterred (which is necessary here if you want to do anything outside) I went out a walk to the Pyramids. The Pyramids are two pyramid-like hills (made up of geometric basalt volcanic columns) which overload the Okia Reserve (a wetland) and Victory Beach (named after a steamship, unsurprisingly named “Victory”, which crashed on the beach). Victory Beach is the longest beach on the Otago Peninsula!

Looking out towards Victory Beach from atop the smaller of the two Pyramids.
A view of the Okia Wetland Perserve, from the smaller of the two Pyramids.

As you can see, it was a cloudy day, and much of the city got a lot of rain…I managed to stay dry and the clouds just provided an amazing backdrop to this marvelous scenery. I’m always in awe of the how green the sea looks when grey storm clouds lurk overhead.

Victory Beach! And the crowds….(there was one sea lion…not a single person for the whole length of the beach).

The storm on Sunday passed through quickly, and today it was glorious…20C and warm winds (you immediately can tell where the winds come from…when I go outside, I don’t have to think hard when feeling a rush of air that some hours ago was above the Antarctic). A little warm day excursion in my backyard was in order, to celebrate to warm Spring air…and no better, or more fitting place, than…Doctor’s Point.

Again, straining to see the sand through throngs of people on the beach…(or not).

I had been to Doctor’s Point years ago (7, to be exact), and it was pretty…but I had previously gone there at high tide. A rookie mistake, I was told, and this time went at low tide. Wow, what a difference…at low tide you can walk though a large cave in the rocks, which then leads to even more beaches.

Exiting the cave at Doctor’s Point.

The water looked so inviting! I just HAD to get out there and test it….Yep…still full on swimming until summer (and maybe a wetsuit).

Purakaunui Inlet, as seen from Mapoutahi Pa site (sacred Maori site)
Canoe Beach, from Mapoutahi Pa site

The views were just breathtaking…and the vastness of the area isn’t well captured in any photograph, so these are just small glimpses of the grandeur which awaits the visitors to this special place (if…you go at LOW tide).

So that is a little glimpse of my backyard. There are ‘heaps’ more things in my backyard (that is a very Kiwi word for ‘lots’), which I plan to explore (and share!, so stay tuned for Backyards 2) every chance I get.

Kia Ora,


Published by dave clarke

I am different things to different people. Husband, father, doctor, teacher, friend, or if you're a fish, a fly fisherman. But really, I'm just a guy trying to learn about life, and if I'm lucky, maybe teach a little bit along the way. If I were a golfer (I'm not) I would be on the back nine of my life, or if I were a book, there would be more pages turned than not. Any yet, I'm far from finished creating chapters of my life. The goal of Next Chapters is inspiration, and I'm hopeful the traffic goes in both directions.

2 thoughts on “In my backyard…

  1. Great Photos, so inspired! can’t wait for this Pandemic to be over and start traveling again. Well, have a wonderful day and Happy Birthday!!

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