Lake Matheson | West Coast | New Zealand
Aside from the photo op's, Lake Matheson is a smorgasbord of serenity, splendour and soul food.
It’s 5 a.m. cool and a bit frosty. I grab the tripod and camera bag from the back seat, flick the torch on and hit the path to Lake Matheson.
Wandering through the bush in darkness is totally exhilarating. All of your senses kick in to high alert. Daylight hasn’t broken yet and everything is so still. The ground crunches beneath my feet as I approach a wide swing bridge. Below, the river gushes over its stony bed, resounding in the forest. Silently, I salute Mother Nature for her impeccable work.
The path is broad, bordered by giant rimu and kahikatea trees and everything seems darker. I stop to take in the sound of trickling water and the musty scent of a damp forest. Moving on, I’m filled with anticipation for daybreak.
The birds wake! First, a tiny song from somewhere in the distance, then a full dawn chorus erupts. Soul food for breakfast! Can’t beat that.
Arriving at Jetty Viewpoint, a slither of light rises above Aoraki/Mt Cook illuminating her brilliant white peaks. Giant flax bushes border the lake, their spiky fronds reaching skyward from saturated roots. Hurriedly, I set up the camera, praying for a fair shot. The water looks black. It’s so very still. Thick mist hugs the lowland horizon. Perched on a bench seat, I pull the drawstring of my coat tighter to ward off the chill. Completely mind blown by the greatness surrounding me, I pour some hot coffee from a thermos. Alone here with my thoughts, at the foot of mighty mountains, I’m overwhelmed with awe.
Wispy clouds turn a soft shade pink offering subtle hues against towering white peaks. The lake becomes a shining mirror, reflecting mountains, sky and wetland forest. The shutter goes off and I capture a delightful moment in time.
A moment when my soul overflowed with connection, belonging and gratefulness.
It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words and that it may, but the memories of sight, sound, scent and soul food is definitely the greatest capture of all.
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