Tag Archives: Rimu trees

A gaggle of geese

As I walked down the lakeside path look who is here.
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One head popped up from a snooze and by the time I took the photo another eye was upon me too.
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I walked very slowly and quietly towards the four geese. My proximity caused some stretching to happen.

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As I drew closer there was some gossiping beginning to happen in hushed tones, not hissing tones thank goodness.
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In fact the four females were neither camera shy, nor aggressive towards me. All the while there was a discussion going on between them as to my credentials and authorization status. This conferring did require a team meeting.
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One even posed to show me her best side.

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And I was granted the right to proceed down the path to discover a lovely young Rimu tree.
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The Transit of Venus and our dual heritage.

Today was momentous in the astronomical world with a transit of Venus being visible here in New Zealand. The next one does not occur until 2117.

Sadly a very wet, snow –filled and bitterly cold weather system came in and caused much of New Zealand to miss the chance of witnessing this event.

In Tolaga Bay today many, many people gathered to commemorate and observe the Transit because the history of New Zealand is inextricably linked to the passage of the planet Venus across the sun.

Captain James Cook was dispatched from England in 1768 to sail to Tahiti in time to observe the Transit in June 1769. He was successful in this and then sailed further west in the hope of finding a large land mass that earlier explorers had reported existed.
Cook’s young crew member Nick Young spotted land in Poverty Bay later in 1769 and made landfall in that general area, making Tolaga Bay very significant.

Cook’s surveying skills and ability to sail in unknown waters saw him successfully circumnavigate our land and map much of the coast very accurately. While he was not the first European explorer to find my country, he was the first to sail around the entire country.

Maori explorers were well advanced navigators and had sailed from more northern parts of the Pacific Ocean around 1250-1300 AD. Skilled observers of the stars enabled these early Maori sailors to navigate over vast areas of ocean.

We have dual heritage here in New Zealand. Europeans share this land with the Maori, the indigenous people. My walk in a local park last weekend reminded me of this dual heritage as I walked amongst very tall non-indigenous trees that the European settlers bought with them and the unique indigenous trees of New Zealand.

Oak tree with a Rimu tree in the background

New Zealand Rimu tree

Rimus, reflection and restoration

Recently on another blog the question was asked: ” Where is your favourite bush walk?”  Here in New Zealand that means native bush.  My favourite place to walk in the bush is in Otari bush in Wellington.

My parents took us there as children and my parents’ ashes are now buried beneath a young Rimu sapling that we planted in the reserve in 2004.  The sapling we planted to commemorate our parents has grown from a seed from the 600 year old Rimu that lives in a different area of this bush.  Not only is there the 600 year old Rimu but in the same clearing there is an 800 year old giant.

There are many tracks to follow in this wonderful bush reserve but my favourite is the one that runs from the Northern carpark to the Troup Picnic area.  The path is always shaded no matter what time of the year it is.  The path tracks alongside the stream through beautiful tall trees, smaller native plants, ferns, tree ferns, mosses and lichens. 

Once at the picnic area the stream is very easy to access and it is fun to watch children paddling, searching for small creatures and attempting to dam the flow with rocks.

The calls and songs of the various native birds that live there are a delight.

 It is very easy to forget the cares of the world once in the bush.   I find it restful and restorative; a place to reflect and remember in; a place to wonder and experience awe.

Where is your favourite bush walk?