Bushy bliss (Part 2)

As my old New Zealand friends of nearly 40 years were showing me around their favorite haunts in the Wanganui area and introducing me to the animals on their farm (sheep, geese, and chickens), we talked about a possible visit to a parcel of native bush that they had purchased over a decade ago. I’ve been there twice, but never far from the access road. PG told me eagerly that he had constructed a shack deep within its interior and invited me to trek in with him (a rather serious hike of 2-3 hours), spend the night, and come back out the next day. I was immediately intrigued, but the weather forecast predicted a moderate likelihood of rain, so we regretfully postponed the idea until another time. But I had so enjoyed our hike around Bushy Park that I suggested a return visit and further exploration of a couple of trail sections that we had yet to see, and they readily agreed.

Bushy Park 8752We entered the protected, pest-free area near the point where we had finished our hike the previous day and walked the trails in the opposite direction, to see it all from a new perspective. The sky was clear and there was no sign of rain while we were there.

Bushy Park 8729Although conditions had been quite dry for some time, the forest was lush and green with epiphytes, lichens, ferns, fungi, and mosses in abundance. In places, the profusion of vines (they call them lianes) formed a tangle that seemed a formidable barrier, and I marveled at the dedication of the folk who had made the paths and of those who now maintain them.

Bushy Park 8953We didn’t hear as many birds as we had the day before, but several made appearances for us. One in particular—a New Zealand robin—seemed to take a real interest in us and followed our progress with great scrutiny, at times studying us from only a few feet away.

NZ Robin 8905I was very grateful to have the chance to immerse myself in this natural beauty yet again and to further explore and savor the serene solitude.  [More to tomorrow!]

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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8 Responses to Bushy bliss (Part 2)

  1. Mike Powell says:

    The vegetation seems really exotic, as though it were from another planet. I love the shot of the New Zealand Robin–I am fascinated by the fact that there are a number of different birds called a “robin,” that seem to be completely different species.

    • krikitarts says:

      I find that really interesting, too. The robin in the UK is another completely different bird again. I find myself wondering if there are others in Africa or India or elsewhere, too.

  2. Vicki says:

    I agree with Mike.
    Very exotic vegetation and it looks more like some primeval forest with all that lichen.

    • krikitarts says:

      It is indeed a primeval forest, and many people have worked hard to keep it so, with spectacular results. Ah, yes, the lichens–a favorite subject of mine, as you well know, and what a place to relish them!

  3. Adrian Lewis says:

    Beautiful portrait of the robin, Gary – what a beautiful place! Adrian

    • krikitarts says:

      I seemed to beg to be photographed, and though he (?) may have been the same one, I suspect that each was watching his own territory and when we reached a border, another one took up the vigil just to keep an eye on us.

  4. Adrian Lewis says:

    And I see the discussion about robins above – its a fairly common, non-scientific name for small birds, usually thrushes I think – in Kenya we had various scrub robins, and bush robins, and also robin chats – chats being small thrushes I think. Probably deriving from Westerners seeing new birds that were reminiscent of the Eurasian Robin, perhaps. A

    • krikitarts says:

      I think that’s very likely, Adrian. BTW, see that white patch at the base of his upper beak? He usually kept it hidden, but when he’d want to look particularly impressive, he’d lower the tiny feathers just in front of it, displaying that sudden, brilliant flag. Fascinating!

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