The end of the track through the long grass is in sight. I am anxious to learn what the track is like in the bush. I have struggled through the tall grass, and I am not looking forward to an overgrown uneven track with lots of places to twist my ankle.
There is more to see on the grass track. Here is a Tawa that has been struck by something that has caused rot to start. It is still sturdily growing, so it may last another fifty years or so.
The bush across the fence looks very dense. Bashing your way through this bush is not an appealing thought.
There is a small white sign in the corner where the track enters the bush. Probably a sign warning of poison for possums or rats.
I have passed the sign explaining about the poison, crossed the fence over a stile, crossed a ditch I couldn't jump so had to climb into, and now I can look around. I'll need to follow a track. This is too dense for cross country.
The track appears to be broad enough and to have an even floor for walking.
Along the way I see something I have not seen before. This bush has small green flowers along the stem, not at the tip where they are often found.
The flowers are just like little leaves but they have a delicacy that leaves don't often show, certainly not the leaves that this plant has, which are big, green and serrated.
This is a difficult moment for a pipemaker. I have to walk past Tawa branches, each with good wood in them, just the right size for turning. The branches are covered in epiphytes, which were there before the tree blew over.
To make it even harder, there are sections of trunk, with timber still food enough to use. Again it is Tawa.
The stem of a long since dead punga is still standing. Epiphytes are growing on the rough surface of the punga fern. It has the appearance of a living tree. It is not.
This plant is very common in the bush of the Coromandel peninsular, where I grew up. My father called it 'Sou--pel' Jack. [sou as in soup]. In fact it is called "supple Jack" because it bends every which way and that. It is very tough and will not break if you push against it. Negotiating bush with lots of supple jack is time consuming.
In this part of the forest are large old Tawas. These mature trees have excellent timber. More pain for the pipemaker. He would love to have a little Tawa in his workshop.
The trees are tall. This foto shows the base of the tree, the last foto the top. They reach up very high above me.
The stretch from the top to the middle was much easier to walk, but lots of uneven ground over tree roots and creek bed [dry] . I am in suspense as to what the track is like from here on. I expect it to be quite good.
This is a tall and thin punga or tree fern. The one we saw before had quite different leaves. They were epiphyte leaves.
We are at the southern edge of the bush and the light is different as there are no trees in the adjacent field.
Typically, New Zealand bush is dark.
We have reached another turn in the track.
It is not quite four lines with a centre strip, but the track is good. This one leads to next door, a grassy paddock.
It is a good track the rest of the way. The trees seem smaller here.
For some reason, the trees here are bigger.
This is luxury. A well made track with a leafy floor, and an even surface. A good place to go running.
This Tawa has been down a while. The trunk shows signs of "Spalting". This is a condition found in wood exposed to the elements. Fungus grows in the wood. When dry conditions come along, the fungus dies and leaves the black lines. If there is not too much damage to the wood, it is highly prized in tone wood for instruments.
This is a bend in the trunk of a tree. The foto was taken because I was' taken' by the bark.
The light at the end of the track.
Cheers Chris the Pipemaker.