Here are some photos from time spent in nature last weekend and words of upliftment and encouragement.
All that you can see has its roots in the unseen.
Forms change; essence remains.
Every sight will vanish, however gorgeous.
Every word will fade, however sweet.
But be strong of heart!
Where they come from is everlasting.
And renewing. Rumi
When I went for a walk around the pond at the Forest and Bird reserve last weekend I could hear lots of Piwakawaka (NZ Fantail) calling in their happy, friendly, chirpy manner.
This little one flew down on to the path in front of me and proceeded to hop towards me.
As you can see in this final image the little bird was on the move. They are rarely still for more than a second.
What I cannot show you is this bird, barely an arm’s length from me, on a branch of Kawakawa. My camera batteries died at just the wrong moment. Our Fantails are busy, flitty and flighty birds and despite its friendliness and courage this one did not wait for me to replace the batteries with fresh ones.
My grandchildren gave me these pieces of Kina to take home and enjoy.
I was amazed at the intricate patterns and features, both on the exterior and the interior of what was once a spiny Kina or Sea Urchin.
While I have seen many of these creatures on our local beaches I had never taken the time to learn more about them or to look at the beauty of their shells.
I turned to my trusty “Native Animals of New Zealand” by AWB Powell for his careful observations and information.
He says “ The Common Sea Urchin or Sea Egg (Evechinus chloroticus) Found towards low tide in rock pools and crevices amongst seaweeds. It grows from 4 to 6 inches in diameter and in life is conspicuous with its dense covering of long dark greenish spines. When the spines are removed there is a depressed circular limy “shell” of light greenish colour, composed of a mosaic of plates, many of which have small rounded knobs, arranged in regular series.
These are the bosses upon which the movable spines are attached. Between the rows of bosses there are perforated plates through which the soft tube feet operate and these are connected with an internal water pumping system characteristic of all urchins and starfishes. The sea urchin moves about by the concerted action of the long spines and the tube feet.
The large circular opening underneath is the mouth, largely occupied by a five-sided bony structure, the jaws, and referred to as Aristotle’s-lantern, for it bears a striking resemblance to an ancient lantern. The animal of a sea-urchin is very fluid except for five bodies, like segments of an orange both in shape and colour. These are the genital glands, which in the breeding season become enormously swollen with eggs. Many people, the Maoris in particular, eat the sea urchin animal in a raw state. It is a taste I have not yet steeled myself to acquire.”