Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lahar Hills

Small Lahar Hill Komene Road
Oil on linen on card

Cloud Over Mountain and Ranges - Komene Road
Oil on linen on card

It's been lovely weather and I went up the road to do some plein air painting the other day.  The local landscape is dominated by the everpresent and volcanic Mt Taranaki.  I say "everpresent", however it is a newcomer on the geological timescale at merely around 135,000 years old. Around 22,500 years ago, the entire western side of the mountain collapsed and the resulting avalanche of mud and rock flowed all the way to the coast between Okato and Opunake, leaving behind these strange and rocky mounds.  The last volcanic activity on the mountain was around 300 years ago and it is well overdue for an eruption any day now.  I live in the direct path and I often wonder if it would be a rather fitting and dramatic end if my studio and paintings were all buried by tons of mud and rock for the rest of eternity. Still... it was a lovely day.

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