WPC: Beneath Your Feet

or, 

UNDERFOOT part 2 

When last in Gore I ambled along what’s left of once very busy shunting lines. Amazing the amount of steel just lying about underfoot, some still scrod to the ground—even complete with little piles of screws and other bits where some long passed artificers dropped them—

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 17.22.05

These lines go nowhere now, they do nothin’ but end in wee piles of neatly dumped gravelly stuff. (Why, I have no idea—the very thought of a train coming along along these rails now belongs on either the Sci Fi or the Occult shelves)—

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 17.23.20

—sure, the crossing signs are still up on that road in the distance but they are covering the one active line that’s been left to carry an occasional freight from Invercargill (I think). Bummer. No passenger ferries at all.

I still like the idea enthusiastically espoused by some old goat in Auckland* that time ‘they’ were bleating about gridlock traffic congestion on the roads and Harbour Bridge (whilst whimpering about all the unused railways still lying around)—an idea to the effect that there’s no reason why they couldn’t simply slip a bus or several dozen onto rail wheels and just drive them along, turning hardly used cargo routes into commuter routes. Hell, it’s not even a unique thought—I remember seeing a road truck scamper by on the rails with cheerily grinning railway maintenance guys waving tools. It could be done but sadly seems a bit too “outside the box” to even be considered; thus millions of dollars of capital assets quietly rust and fester.

AND NOW

you must already be pondering the next image. There’s a sorry tale behind it—also in Gore, I must add. When out I like visiting all parts of a place. And when once on the other side of the tracks I was bimbling along a street filled with some of the most interesting piles of deceased cars I observed not far in front what appeared to be stacks of ex-motor vehicles with saplings growing up through them.

I wanted a shot, and went closer … yep, definitely. Trees penetrating various steels and things, right through the floors and out through the roofs or windows or otherwise holes.

I shot this one on final approach—

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 17.29.11

—with the intention of putting the lens through a hole in the netting of the gate. There was no-one around anyway, so I poked the lens to the hole and quietly entered orbit.

One has to give credit where it’s due. As I slowed to a mere gallop quite some distance up the road—amazing, such reflexes even at my age—that damn’ dog deserve all the credit in the world.

He must have detected me from a long way off (scent, perhaps; instincts honed by habit and boredom, maybe) and silently shadowed my every cheery step along that blasted fence until the ideal ambush was set, armed, and sprung.

Ye utter gods.

I’ve seen huge dogs in my time, and heard them, and on occasion been held captive—but never by such a consummate Master. Think pit-bull crossed with Neapolitan mastiff and aurochs. Slobber? No, that was me afterwards, trying to still my pounding heart—he was all teeth and red eyes with a volume any jet airliner on takeoff revs would envy.

I didn’t hear him—I just felt; and that was through corrugated iron and mesh. He blended his paroxysm of racket with the first hurl of his body into the fence immediately below where my lens was about to trespass—dumb dog, that reverberating THUD by itself would have sufficed.

If he were trying to reinforce the lesson it worked—I give all points to him except for the tiny one I awarded myself (afterwards) for my instant panic-plan … if he’d got out, I was going in.

Not bad for the exigencies of the moment—I’d surrender my share of the street to him for a place in his very own personal yard; wherein the second part of my clever plan was to promptly go aloft on the nearest of those wrecks and once there improvise a weapon of any kind and defend my new kingdom to the death. I don’t know how high huge heavy battle-dogs can jump … it would have been just my luck that he’d figure out how to climb too (and/or wasn’t alone in there). Brrrrr~!

WISER NOW, and desperately in need of a black coffee I gave away photographing anything and staggered off to meet The Spouse. I’m sure I heard a snigger as I wobbled away—in a pronounced canine accent.

.

FIN 

*Moi. (Did you guess?)

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