There are a few more things I’d like to share from my two afternoons in Bushy Park, so I’ll turn my report into a trilogy, of which this will be the final part. But first, a bit more on its history. Very briefly, further research has taught me that it was so named when James Moore from the Shetland Islands and his future brother-in-law founded the Bushy Park Farm around 1865. The farm prospered, but by 1902 the youngest son, George Moore, was the only surviving family member. He maintained it until his death in 1962, at age 85, but before he died, he gifted the property and the magnificent homestead house (which was completed in 1906) to New Zealand’s Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society.
The canopy that protects the understory foliage is quite dense (it is actually a legitimate rainforest), and though the skies were bright, the amount of light available in the lower levels was—not surprisingly—quite limited. When I was not using my tripod or flash, I had to push my camera’s sensitivity to the upper ranges of its capability: for the shot of the saddleback in my Part 1 post, I used an ISO of 6400 and a shutter speed of 1/15 second to get one reasonably sharp image at f/13.
I am always attracted to the little beauties in a place like this and find my vision frequently zooming in to envision how small sections of the whole would appear as separate entities in a photograph. One such magic spot was in deep shadow, on the side of the stump of a large, long-ago-fallen tree, where a number of shelf fungi had grown at various levels, reminiscent of terraces or balconies for some quiet, diminutive forest folk. I had visions of dim lights in tiny windows at night. I processed three exposure-bracketed photos in a high-dynamic-range program to enable me to bring out the dark details.
I would estimate that the average casual hiker could explore all of the formal hiking trails in the course of a good hour or so. With my interests in photography, examination of fine details in the vegetation, and trying to get good views of the various birds that we heard (including a tui and a stitchbird, below), each day’s visit occupied me for around three hours. Don’t hike with me if you’re in a hurry or if your main interest is strenuous exercise.
By the way, six rooms are available in the Homestead for overnight accommodations, ranging in price (for double occupancy) from approximately US $106 to 132. There are also very reasonable bunkhouse accommodations as well as facilities for campervans and tent camping. Anyone is interested can find more information about the Homestead here. I am already planning to spend a night there the next time I can get to this area. I am certain that George Moore would be very proud of the stewardship of his legacy.