Mt Cheeseman January 14th

Around 15 of us were lucky enough to get to the ski lodge at Mt Cheesman on a cloudy day, arriving in a ‘whiteout’ with visibility less than 50 metres.
Nadine and Katherine described the good spots we should visit and suggested the green shed would be a good point to aim for and we all set off into the mist.
A steady walk took us up to the green hut by which time the clouds had mainly evaporated and many flowers and critters were ‘bagged’ along the way.
A few hardy souls scrambled the last few metres to the ridgeline for extra views and vegetable sheep!
Lunch on the picnic tables at the lodge, swapping notes and images with friends was a highlight of my day.
Our convoy then meandered slowly downhill with stops for good bits (including amazing views across the valley) until we were all safely through the locked gate.
Thanks for a great trip.

Biology notes: 

The Mountain ringlet butterfly (Percnodaimon pluto) is native to NZ and breeds only in the South Island mountains. It uses the dark colouration of its wings as solar panels and unusually lays its eggs on top of rocks, using the sun’s heat as an incubator.

The Alpine short-horned grasshopper (Brachaspis nivalis), of which there were many, is an endemic species living between 600-2000m in the Southern Alps. The male is the smaller grasshopper in the photo.

Linley Earnshaw: Mountain ringlet butterfly
Linley Earnshaw: Grasshoppers
Linley Earnshaw: View across the valley