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Archive for the ‘New Zealand Trees’ Category

Last week I forgot the thing that made me happiest recently, and was actually the original inspiration for last weeks “happy things” post.

I hadn’t been into the city for a week or two or three, except for going on the bus (which takes a different route) to meet a friend for lunch. On Sunday (a week ago) we drove along the waterfront – almost all the quays (there are a lot of “quays” in Wellington) – and pretty much all the pohutukawa were in flower. The trees along the waterfront by the stadium and the route where cruise passengers would walk (and would have been walking this summer but for COVID) are getting bigger, and so there are even more beautiful red blooms. A few days later when I was in the city I started counting some of the trees along the sides and middle of the streets, and there are hundreds. I stopped to take a photo … or two. They really doesn’t convey the continuous delights of these red blooms as we drive along the quays and around the bays, where the newer council planted trees turned into the older, huge trees in Oriental Parade that were also in flower. Further around the bays were the trees where I took the photo some years ago that form my current and very seasonal header image.

I know I wax on (ad nauseum?) about the pohutukawa and their red blooms every year at this time. This is not even my first post about them this year! But they do delight me. They herald the season, promise a joyful, relaxed summer and summer holiday, and provide a nice introduction to a new year full of hope. This year, perhaps more than any other year, hope and joy is both necessary, and appreciated.

Another in the Thursday Tree Love series – find all the other bloggers doing it here.

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Kauri are native New Zealand trees that are the giants of our forests. They can grow to 50 metres tall, with a girth of 16 metres. In Northland there is a kauri known as Tane Mahuta, or God of the Forest, which we visited the visited the region. Its age is unknown, but it is estimated to be 1250-2500 years old. Due to a disease known as Kauri Dieback, Tane Mahuta and others in the forests are threatened with extinction, and many areas are closed to visitors, as the spores spread on shoes.

They were already too rare. Prized for their timber, by 1900 less than 10% of original kauri remained.

Knowing this, I didn’t expect to see kauri on our trip north this month. But at the sculpture trail, as I mentioned on Monday, there was a young kauri forest. I delighted in being able to walk among these trees (albeit on a raised footpath, with quarantine measures – shoe scrubs etc at the entrance and exit), and hope that they survive so that other New Zealanders can view the exact same trees I saw, hundreds – maybe thousands – of years into the future.

Another in the Thursday Tree Love series – find all the other bloggers doing it here.

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We’ve just returned home from a road trip (I’ll write about it and post some pics next week), and I was thrilled to see my first summer-of-2020 pohutukawa in flower on the Tāwharanui Peninsula. This is a classic northern scene – beaches and little coves lined with pohutukawa. Some years ago we drove north for a holiday in early December to see them all in flower – wouldn’t you know, they flowered late that year! So I had never expected to see any in early November. What a treat it was. Even if the day itself was not very summery.

And a closer view of those flowers …

Another in the Thursday Tree Love series – find all the other bloggers doing it here.

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