I always keep an eye out for wild flowers when I travel in the UK and particularly if I go away on holiday. It was interesting to see lots of familiar flower (daisies, dandelions, docks, scarlet pimpernel and others) in New Zealand. I have no idea if they are natives or if we Europeans transported them there in relatively recent times. Of course there were also lots of shrubs, herbaceous plants and flowers that I was totally unfamiliar with.
In many of the wild places I saw lots of tree lupin and wild carrot.
In some places there were cliffs of nasturtiums as pictured here with convolvulus growing through it – this was vertical so the flowers don’t show so well!
New Zealand has many wonderful trees with fabulous shapes and gorgeous flowers and many venerable, old, old trees with long memories and immense gnarly trunks. Some trees were familiar species but different to our natives in the UK. There was this black beech, and there was a New Zealand ash and a berry bearing elder, both different to our respective ash and elder.
Trees grew right up to and virtually on the beach.
There were beautiful native trees in Waipahihi Botanic Gardens – a community garden near Lake Taupo.
And gnarly old specimens spreading their canopies everywhere.
But I have never, ever been so entranced by trees as I was when we went for a walk along the shore at the last place we stayed – Kawhia (pronounced Karfia).
Kawhia harbour was one of the first places settled by the Maori people after their arrival from Polynesia in approximately AD 1350. Legend has it that their canoe was tied to one of these pohutukawa trees.
They had branches everywhere, but the flowers were something else again – absolutely magnificent!
This stone circle stands beneath these beautiful and beguiling trees – signifying its importance to the people of the place.
I loved this magnificent maori carving – ‘the carved custodian of conceptual knowledge’.
And lastly, as I left Kawhia and New Zealand, I stopped to read this plaque which stands beside the carving and tells us what the people of the place say of themselves.
which means …… (you need to know that ‘pakeha’ means the New Zealanders of European descent as far as I can tell) …..
and there cannot be anything to add to that.
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Some of those trees are familiar in landscapes; but it is intriguing to see them in the wild. They seem so unfamiliar within the environments that are familiar to them.