It is a really refreshing experience to see how Hawkes Bay was before the sheepmen got here.
There is some beautiful wood in this trunk. Rimu wood.
This harmless looking little plant is not welcomed by farmers. It is called "Ragwort". It is not useful like hemp, nor is it edible like grass. It produces so many seeds from one plant that it can cover a farm in three seasons. The seeds fly high in the air. Unless farmers are vigilant in can take over a farm in five years. I saw just one. THIS ONE.
The remnants of the once existing bush can be seen in the few trees dotting the landscape.
This is limestone country. "Strong Country". The grass growth looks excellent.
The end is in sight. The end of the first leg is up ahead with that little line of trees just below the hilltop.
Scottish thistle. This is not such an aggressive spreader as californian thistle. When I was growing up on a farm in Wharepoa, we had no californian thistle nor any "nodding thistle". We did have Scottish Thistle. We treated it like a mild annoying weed. It has deep taproots and so favours soil with a hard pan under the topsoil. We had a hard pan about two foot down. This thistle helps to break up this hard pan.
The scottish thistle has large leaves with large spikes and larger flowers. The cows wouldn't touch it but horses quite liked it. They were interesting to watch for the horses respected the thistles spikes and eat the thistles as if they had gloves on.
A limestone outcrop has some trees growing in almost bare rock.
This little copse has some native flax.
Here is another outcrop without any copse around it.
Tomorrow the 4th part. Cheers Chris the Pipemaker.