Cass Mid-winter Christmas trip 22-24 July

By Peter McCusker

This year’s Cass trip always looked promising with snow falls in all the right places and a reasonable weather forecast for the planned weekend.

An enthusiastic group of 15 NPSNZ members arrived on Friday at the Canterbury University Cass Research Field Centre. After firing up the boiler to make things cosy and welcoming, we then erected a Christmas tree, decorations and lights.

As usual the Saturday early morning photo shoot began at Lake Pierson, hoping for some hoar frost and reflections. A persistent low misty cloud and no frost put paid to that, but this just made everyone more creative with subtle moody reflection images with gumboot splashing to create water ripples to add to effect.

The weather improved as we headed towards Arthurs Pass for a compulsory 11am debrief (coffee and seriously big date scones) with some icicles and late fungi photographed on the way. The coffee gathering saw us rendezvous with new member Glenys Steegh, from the Arnold Valley on the West Coast.  Glenys joined us for the afternoon, enjoying the walks around Arthurs Pass capturing images of waterfalls and fungi. 

We finished a great day back at Cass for a well-earned beer or wine with lots of jovial discussion about the day. Then an excellent pot-luck dinner and desert followed by our now famous “Secret Santa “choose or steal your present with lots of laughs.

Sunday morning’s photo shoot was similar with low cloud and mist. After packing up most made their way towards Arthurs Pass for fungi photographs followed by another round of coffee and date scones. The afternoon saw blue skies with many searching for elusive late fungi around Klondyke camp areas. A very enjoyable weekend had by all and a big thank you to Katherine McCusker for organising this field trip.