March 30, 2006
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Glacial

After Queensland, we drove over the the West coast of the South Island. That's got to be one of the most spectacular drives I've experienced. Beautiful weather -- sun, nice clouds, fresh air. Open roads. One-lane bridges.

We had too little time in Franz Joseph, our hiking boots had been sacrificed to Travelling Light, and it was Linda's birthday. So first we walked up Sentinel Rock for early-morning glacier-gazing

Glacial

and then we took a backseat helicopter spin up to the top of Fox Glacier.

Glacial

The glacier itself is a lot of snow. A lot of snow. The pinnacles and chasms are impressive. And you see a lot of blue in the glacial ice -- a color which, as I understand it, comes from a 2nd-harmonic absorption band (meaning that the blue is incredibly weak and requires a lot of path to be noticeable. (Or is the blue in glaciers Tyndall scattering? )

Glacial

That's Linda at left, camera in hand. She's got some good shots; she'll be working on the prints for months.