Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Down Under the Downunder: Safe in New Zealand!

My first stop in New Zealand is the farm of the Biggs of Kaukapakapa. (Cow Kappa Kappa, "white bird rising from the swamp.") The trees are marvelous! There are Puriri (purr-rr-ee), covered in red berries to tempt wood pigeons until they fall fat from the branches in the arms of the waiting Maori; then the Lysiandra, with its beautiful red velvety branches and purple blossoms (see picture); and along the river which flows saltily from the sea, Mangroves. As we kayaked, the small little green and yellow seeds of the Mangroves floated along next to us like beads, waiting to find a suitable shore to grow from.

As Lou Biggs explained, each Mangrove seed has the energy to send out not one root, but up to three in succession. If the seed dislikes the soil it finds, it pulls its root up from the bank, drifts on, and tries again. Hmm. I smell the perfume of metaphor.

One of my favorite trees, however, was found atop the cow paddock, where I found a pine tree that seems to have built a catherdral nested in its branches!