Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Zealand 2010

Another chance to take a trip over to NZ. Who could say no??  So packed up our boy and grandma for another trip. A few days spent in Nelson where one of our emergency medicine residents was doing a rotation. As opposed to the US, NZ has a very strong primary care base, and EM MD's can actually turn patients away that have issues appropriate for primary care?! and patients can actually get into see a PCP in a timely manner??!! Whoa. In addition, the physicians are much more judicious about testing and imaging is much more difficult to come by. In fact, the all Xray techs in the country were on strike when we arrived, making even plain films hard to come by. Physicians rely much more on the basics of history and physical, which, at times, seem to be a dying art in the land of diagnostic testing that we have created in the US...

On the drive back from Nelson: stunning sunset

After our first trip, we came back in anticipation of cold temps and rain, bugs, etc. but happy to report the weather was outstanding. We lucked out, only having rain on the days we had to drive. What a change from the last trip...First stop Mt. Cook. The first morning, a bit cold and cloudy, but soon cleared up with amazing views and blue skies.

Gma and Alexi geared up

First Look at Mt Evans, as the clouds lift

Surrounding Mts, with active avalanches coming down, fun to watch...from a distance

Mt Adams

Spring flowers in bloom

Silly boy hamm'n it up

Snack time

After lunch went on an iceberg tour, a bit skeptical at first, but actually very interesting. This lake had formed relatively recently, the icebergs were approx 300 yrs old by the time they were birthed into the lake from the main glacier. Only 10% of the total iceberg is visible above water, and up close they looked like giant 3-d puzzle pieces

Alexi and momma on a hike approx 1-2 hours out of Queenstown, stayed in a wonderful lodge near the largest lake in NZ. The owner would treat us to homemade meals at night, and had a great set up in a beautiful spot.

Swinging bridge
Alexi giving his full attention to the task at hand..
Moved on to TeAnu to check out the glow worms...which really aren't worms but glowing maggots...but that would be a bit harder to sell...glow maggots..not too appealing. 
Anyway, these little creatures attract insects with their glow and then inject venom into them which basically dissolves their insides, which then gets suck up by the glow worm. A bit gross, but luckily all you see in the cave is thousand of tiny lights hanging from the ceiling.
On the way to the glow worm cave

No pictures allowed of the litt'l fellas, but here is where they live

Alexi bounc'n it up

Cap'n Alexi on board SS Milford

Alexi and his sheep

Milford Sound

Clouds lifting off the rain forest

Some more spectacular views in Milford

Last stop was the tip of the south island, a little surfer hang out, but still relatively pristine and free from development.

view out the back door

Alexi checking out some petrified logs

In the afternoon, sea lions would come out on the beach to sun bath

Pay close attn to the subheading of the mag...that's my boy!
Walk to Cathedral Caves

Cathedral cave, accessible at low tide

On the reluctant ride back to the airport, a quick stop to stretch our legs. A spot where hundreds of calcium carbonate spheres have fallen out of a cliff face and rolled down into the water. They range in size from small nodules to giant balls over 4 meters in diameter. Said to be the result of slow growth around a nucleus, the spheres are referred to as “concretions” and are thought to be the result of tiny amounts of mineral precipitation taking place over 65 million years.
Moeraki Boulders

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Still waiting for momma and boy

Cold cleanies

Some cold but clean pugs await the arrival of momma and alexi. Weather
has tunrned to winter in slc. Snow in mountains and dreary skies
outside. What a change it will be for those returning from down under.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Phenominological natural rarity was sighted

This was my first time seeing a natural royal flush.  Too bad it was not my hand!