Tag Archives: native trees

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When you wish upon a star

The lyrics of this well-known song date back to the 1940s for the film adaptation of “Pinocchio” and begin…….
”When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you”

By Ned Washington, Leigh Harline.

Here are the emerging, delicate white star flowers on the garlic chives. They look good enough to make a wish on.
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My wishes for more native birds appearing in my garden have continued to come true this week. Another slight thud on a window heralded the sight of another (or the same) Shining Cuckoo that I blogged about here.
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This time the wee bird was ready to fly away very quickly. These Cuckoos migrate in autumn to various Pacific Islands such as New Caledonia and the Solomon’s. The navigation skills they possess to achieve that journey are impressive. Their ability to avoid window panes in New Zealand is not so good.

Earlier today I heard a bird noise that sounded foreign to me. It was a high pitched squeaking sound that was rather persistent. Then late this afternoon the sound was much closer and I discovered a mature Tui and its very newly fledged youngster in the Tulip Magnolia near the sugar water feeder.

By the time I came outside with the camera the birds had flown. However the insistent squeaking noise was not far away and I found the fledgling again in the Mahoe tree in the tall tree area of our garden.

It is a splash of light near the throat of this young bird not its wattles.

It is a splash of light near the throat of this young bird not its wattles.

The parent bird flew off as I crept closer but my eye was caught by another fledgling bumbling about in the variegated Griselinia.
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It would seem that the adult birds have bought their twins to my garden to feast on the Mahoe berries and with the sugar feeder not far away. Or better still they have nested here and raised these young.
It is almost impossible to gain clear images as the wee birds wisely remain amongst the thick foliage up high in the trees. Neither of these fledglings have wattles and their yellow edged beaks were still visible to my eye as they moved about the branches. Their agility has yet to develop and some of their feathers had a downy look still. They are very newly out of the nest.
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And in further exciting bird news please link here to Toya’s blog where she has posted about her amazing successes at Zealandia over the past two days. Her photos of the Stitchbirds and today the Eastern Rosella feeding its four hungry babies are simply stunning and very informative and special.

One of these things is not like the other…

Today after we had sung in our community choir concert we visited a park that has a stand of large trees. Many of the trees are non-indigenous, deciduous varieties but there are well established natives included too.

When our children were small we would come to this park during autumn and they would run and jump and play in the huge drifts of fallen, dry, crackling leaves. They loved it.

Many of the trees were already bare when we visited today but there were plenty of leaves still and a couple of large drifts that we could have jumped into or hidden someone beneath. We opted instead to take some photos.

I snapped a couple of shots of the largest pile of fallen leaves expecting that the photos would be fairly uninteresting.

It was not until I uploaded the photos and viewed them on my computer screen that I spotted the one green leaf poking out of the huge pile of brown leaves.

It reminded me of our uniqueness as individuals; of how, at times, I feel so very, very different from other people; of how one person can stand out dramatically from the crowd; of how when looking at the big picture we can miss the details; of how we all have something special to offer the world and we need to let this be seen.

Technically it is road

When we looked to purchase this home over 20 years ago, our lawyer alerted us to the fact that on one boundary there was strip of city council reserve land.

The city council maintained the reserve and someone had planted a selection of native trees on it. Contract changes some 10 years ago saw this maintenance cease and the grass grew to knee high length despite my repeated calls to the council. Their argument was that it was our problem.

Luckily a neighbour knew an official in the council and rang this chap on our behalf. This resulted in a couple of managers coming to view the reserve to determine who owned it and who was responsible for it.

To our surprise one of the managers was the head of the Roading department and he quickly put things to right by announcing that it is technically “road” and the council’s responsibility.

When the road had been marked out on the original plans it was to be a cul-de-sac and there was to be a bus turning area which had quickly become the reserve once the road was extended further up the hill.

Whoever planted the native trees chose two Golden Totara, a Kowhai, a Kauri, a Karaka, some Taupatas and a Kahikatea. They were all planted with a lot of space between them.

Several Kauri have failed despite our care and concern but this one is looking happier.

The Golden Totara need to be trimmed to maintain visibility on the intersection.

The Kowhai is looking aged and gnarly but survives and flowers well.

Kowhai

The Karaka has fruited heavily this year but lacks any vigour and height and the Kahitakea is thriving. It is gaining height (it is now taller than our two storey house) it is a lovely shape and now has an epiphyte clinging to it as it would in the bush.

Kahikatea

Epiphyte on Kahikatea tree

The Taupatas are huge and need trimming at times. The tougher the conditions the better they like it. And they seed prolifically.

I wonder who decided way back in the 1970s that planting giant native trees on a section of “road” reserve in an urban area was a wise thing? I fear for the stately, beautiful Kahikatea as it can attain great height.

Likewise the Kauri, although they grow very slowly and struggle in our clay soils. Kauri like wet feet and being surrounded by other trees as they grow.

For now I really enjoy the little patch of native specimens on our boundary but I do worry about the future as they grow ever taller.
I hope something sustainable will be the plan for the future.