Pohutukawa trees thrive in coastal environments, but with the sea views come exposure to wind and weather, and sea: cliff faces can collapse under trees, and water can undermine the shore as in this example at Cornwallis beach: wave action has carved into the soil, exposing life underneath.
For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.
This is a NZ native plant, a shrub with starlike flowers and glossy leathery leaves. This particular one right next to our letterbox.
Strawberry Field near Kumeu
… in the making of strawberries. Seen at Kumeu.
New season strawberries are in the shops now, yummy!
As I opened the front door, the bright sunlight highlighted this unfurling fern frond. Lying flat on the ground, I found a nice angle with the background all in the shade.
Blechnum ferns are very common in the Waitakere Ranges.
Christmas Trees Waiting for Christmas
It’s probably a nice little sideline for this farm to grow some Christmas trees at the far end of the paddock. Seen by the roadside on Awhitu peninsula.
Toi Toi, Crummer Road
The feathery stalks of the toi toi mercifully cover up the monstrous scar. It was meant to become the SoHo Centre, with car parking dug deep into the ground, covering an entire block. Things did not proceed to plan, the financial crisis intervened, and now there is what locals derisively call the So-Hole. Fenced off, graffiti-ed, a nightmare. Nature has its healing way with clumps of toi toi sprouting along the edges.
Beyond the hole is the old Ponsonby firestation, now a cafe/restaurant, The Williamson.
Hound's Tongue Fern
Hound’s tongue fern grows quite commonly in coastal areas. This patch was found along the Hillary Trail between Piha and Karekare.
Red Roses at Kumeu River Winery
It’s the time of year again when the vineyards get shrouded in bird netting. These vines have been under cover for a few weeks and want out, as do the roses which are planted at almost every other row according to ancient tradition.
Kumeu River Winery, next to State Highway 16.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Wild Ginger (Hedychium Gardnerianum)
Wild ginger thrives in the shade of the bush, but it is a serious weed, forming thick mattes of rhizomes and suffocating all other plant life. Birds spread the seeds widely.
From the Landcare Research website: Wild ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum), also known as Kahili ginger, was originally grown in New Zealand as a garden plant. It was first found in the wild in the 1940s, and is now a serious weed in native bush, forming dense stands that smother plants and prevent native seedling regeneration. The weed is most troublesome in North Island forests and the warm northern regions of the South Island. It is equally destructive in Hawaii, where it has invaded native Hawaiian rain forests.
Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana)
We went to celebrate the impending arrival of the year of the rabbit with the Auckland Chinese Community Centre at the ASB Showgrounds last Saturday. They did their best to help me into enduring poverty with everything that might bring me good fortune, not to mention the delicious foods and free displays of martial arts, dragon dances and more.
They also sold lucky bamboo of various types. Above is a closeup of an artfully woven cylindrical bundle of straight stems. You have to like the patterns and shades of green! And comes with abundant feng shui.
Of course, like many names, this one is misleading (I am talking about the bamboo part, don’t know anything about luck…). The plant (Dracaena sanderiana) is not related to bamboo at all, but a member of the lily family, originating from the rain forests of south east asia.
Always eager to celebrate something, it turns out that we jumped the gun (ever so slightly): the year of the rabbit begins on February 3, 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012. But I won’t hold it against the organisers.
Kung Hei Fat Choi!
Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana)