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25 May 2007

Quarry Track (Anawhata)

page 2

Here's another bunch of littlies. I haven't had a confirmed identification, but I'm pretty sure the plant at top left looking like a miniature rangiora is a heketara (Olearia rani). Centre is rewarewa (Knightia excelsa), and the bigger plant bottom left is I think a pigeonwood, (Hedycarya arborea) or porokaiwhiri. I'd be happy to bet more people know this one by its English name than by either of the others. I wonder if there'd be material for a short paper exploring the reasons that make either a Maori, or English, or Latin name the predominantly favoured one, as you canb certainly find plenty of examples of each.

Here's a young mingimingi, in its waitakeres juvenile mode with large leaves that will be less than half as big in the adult plant.

The track is starting to head downhill, and coincidentally starts to deteriorate.

Across the path is a dead branch of manuka providing a wonderful example of just how thick the seed heads are. These are often among the first plants to establish on bare wasteland and they have the capacity to flower and seed when they are no bigger than 150mm in height.

Some plants just do it for me, rarely failing to provide pleasure just from being there. The umbrella fern is one of these. There's something quite "perfect" about it as far as my eyes are concerned.

And here's another rimu to walk beneath. It's a day of simple pleasures.

Alice would be quite happy to see every last rimu consigned to hell. The dead leaves stick to her legs and feet and when she sits down to get them out, she winds up with a bumful, and it just gets worse from there. The litter along the edge of the path is a wonderful nursery for seedling plants, just as the gap where a big old tree has fallen is swiftly filled by a multitude of young plants racing to score as much of the light as they can.

Rata makes an intricate network of shoots up this punga trunk

and here's a young fern quite perfect in its symmetry.

The track is getting slippery and steeper

A young miro catches my eye to the side of the track

The track is now turning into more of a drainage channel as it gets steeper.

Most nikau flowering like this are about 2 metres or more above my head. This offers a chance for a closer look.

An oldie. Tmesipteris is one of the oldest surviving fern allies in existence.

Awaiting positive identification, as I said earlier, but I think this is heketara

and looking a bit like a rewarewa at first glance, a young tawari (Ixerba brexioides). The adult tree has some of the most attractive flowers in the New Zealand bush. Beneath it and just in front, a young mapau (Myrsine australis)

The track is now demanding more of my moment to moment attention.


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