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Archive for the ‘Tree Love’ Category

Southern Trees

I’m running out of good tree photos, but unearthed this one from a road trip we took around this time of year back in 2016. The trees are macrocarpas, which I have written about before here (they are just outside my window as I write this.)

These trees are on the southern coast of the South Island, where the winds blow in fiercely from the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. We had driven south from Queenstown, via the Te Anau and Manapouri lakes, and then took what I see the map calls the “Southern Scenic Route.” It is remote, for New Zealand. We drove through farmland, and alongside cycle trails, lost reception for even our National Radio channels, and hoped we wouldn’t break down, until we linked up with Route 99, and drove southeast to Riverton. My cousin lives in this lovely little harbour town, and she had recommended taking this route, partly to see these windswept trees. I’m glad she did, as it is a reminder of the often harsh environment in the south of our country.

You can see that the trees have grown leaning in one direction, trained that way by the winds, and the green tops have been sheered off, whitened by the relentless elements. But the trees have survived nonetheless, and the ones at the back stand tall, protected by their neighbours’ sacrifice. I like that.

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Marula Tree

On safari at the Ngala Private Game Reserve back in 2009, I first learned about the marula tree. On our morning game drives, once the sun had come up, we would stop around 7 am for a hot drink. We enjoyed their recommendations – coffee or hot chocolate with the addition of a cream liqueur made from the fruit of the marula tree (Amarula). It was delicious!

This is probably a more modern use of the marula fruit – traditionally the fruit and juice are fermented to make a marula beer, and the kernels create a marula oil, used for and in cooking or in cosmetics (as a body oil, and even as a meat preservative.

The marula tree is not only important for humans, but animals too, particularly elephants. They eat the bark, branches and fruit of the marula, and distribute the seeds in their dung.

I loved the sculptural nature of the trees, and the way the early morning or late afternoon winter light highlighted their branches.

A marula tree in golden light
Marula Tree

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

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A forest giant

In the same regional park where I photographed last week’s rimu, I saw this tree across a stream in the bush. We had already walked along that side of the stream, but of course, trees are harder to photograph when you’re surrounded by them. I’m not sure what it is – it is most likely a rimu, rata or NZ beech. It is tall and magnificent though, and I love the way it has peeked through the canopy of the forest, and towers above all the other trees around it.

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

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