Moody Skies

Looking up the Waiau River bed toward Franz Josef Glacier

Looking up the Waiau River bed toward Franz Josef Glacier

I’ve been to Westland in brilliant weather—when the sky is clear, the sun is shining, and every snowy peak is visible. It is spectacular when that happens.

But the rainfall on the West Coast is measured in metres. Temperate rainforest covers the lower slopes, and the rivers churn, gushing down the steep mountainsides. Sun is not the normal state of affairs. Clear skies are not what make the West Coast what it is.

More often than not, it’s raining on the West Coast. And if it’s not raining, it’s threatening to rain. So, while blue skies are gorgeous, they’re like a false smile, put on for special occasions. The real skies are brooding, veiling the higher peaks in clouds and the lower ones in misty rain (or pounding rain).

And those moody skies are every bit as spectacular as the blue ones, in my book, and more honest. Just as I appreciate when a friend shows their true colours, I appreciate when the West Coast does, too.

Provided I have a good rain coat, that is…