Dawn Taranaki Reflection
New Zealand Landscape Photography Artwork by Stephen Milner
Lake Mangamahoe is beautiful place for views of Mount Taranaki, and it is full of wildlife. I remember waking up early and walking to this location with the hope of a beautiful reflection of Mount Taranaki. The wind was low and as I am walking I knew that I would be in a good chance of capturing this photos. When I arrived at my location the reflection was perfect but the sun was rising quickly. I assembled my Mamiya 6 film camera as quickly as I could and loaded some Portra 160 film into it. Not long after sunrise the wind increased and the reflection was gone. It was an experience I will never forget and I am excited to share it with you.
Mount Taranaki is the second-tallest volcano in New Zealand, is an active 2,518m stratovolcano on the North Island, and is in the Egmont National Park. It is one of the most symmetrical volcanic cones in the world. It is made of layers from lava flows and pyroclastic deposits. Mount Taranaki is the result of the Pacific Plate below the Australian Plate. Eruptions began 130,000 years ago. Large lava and pyroclastic eruptions occur on average every 500 years, with small eruptions every 90 years. Its last major eruption was around 1655, and there was a medium-sized eruption in 1755. The most recent eruption was minor and occurred around 1854.
Maori legends speak of Taranaki (previously known as Pukeonaki) as standing closer to other North Island volcanos called Ruapehu, Tongariro and Pihanga in Tongariro Nation Park. Pukeonaki was married to Ruapehu. Whilst Pukeonaki was away hunting, Ruapehu was wooed by the masculine Tongariro. When Pukeonaki returned, he and Tongariro fought over Ruapehu but, Tongariro was the strongest and defeated Pukeonaki. Pukeonaki fled west to the west coast, carved the Whanganui River on the way, and found new love with the Pouākai range.
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