Sunday, July 12, 2015

The far side

 Yesterday my friend, Chris and I ventured to the west coast on the far side of my hills of home.   It had been a cold and frosty morning, the perfect sort of day for a long drive.  When I lived on the peninsula south of Dargaville I knew the Northern Wairoa River looks best on that sort of day, too.  It's not called the upside down river for nothing - most of the time the mud appears to be on the top of the water.  But catch it on the right day and its quite lovely.  See the deep V in the Uppity Downities in the distance?  I've finally discovered which road takes you closest to that part of the mountain.   We didn't stop for a close up photo.  Next time.


Looking south down river:


We were headed for Opononi and Rawene but stopped by the entrance to the Tane Mahuta track in the Waipoua Forest to have our picnic lunch.  (It was still pretty chilly in the shade in the forest.)  Tane Mahuta is a kauri tree, so famous it has its own name.  It is more than 50 metres tall, measures13.7 metres around its trunk and is estimated to be between 1200 and 2000 years old.

But it wasn't Tane Mahuta that had my attention.  It was the dead trunk of another kauri standing in front of a healthy tree opposite the entrance to the forest.  We'd noticed several other dead kauri along the way, too.  Of course, we've heard about kauri dieback disease, a microscopic disease new to our country which has these beautiful ancient trees under threat of extinction.  This was the first time I've noticed the impact the disease is having.

It just seems impossible that one of the  largest and longest-lived trees in the world could disappear.  They can grow to more than 60metres high and live for 2000 years or more. Northland would be a very different place without them. 

Thousands have died from the disease in the last 10 years.  The scarey thing is there is no known way to treat it.  As you can see, the cursed disease is already at work in Waipoua Forest.

14 comments:

  1. Good composition in the first shot but I enjoyed the second more. Don't know why.

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  2. I feel almost honoured to have seen Tane Mahuta for which I have you to thank of course. That view on such a clear, crisp day of the Uppity Downities makes me feel very homesick.

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  3. I hope they find some way to fight the disease, I think it is a sad thing if we were to lose these trees. One of the things I want to do in this life is visit Tane Mahuta, it's a shame about that stretch of water between the islands haha.

    Diana
    http://adifferentlenslens365.blogspot.co.nz/2015/07/a-colourful-nest.html

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  4. That die-back is really worrying. We lost all our British Elms a couple of dceades ago and now our Ash trees are threatened by a similar die-back disease. It may be part of the natural cycle of life but that doesn't make it any easier to live with.

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  5. With climate change we are getting increases in some pests and diseases as well and many of our trees are fighting various beetles. I personally think it is a lost cause to try to fight 90% of these invasives as the cure is worse than the disease.

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  6. Pretty views and scenery! It is a shame about the trees dying and the disease! Have a great day, enjoy your new week!

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  7. That's sad. I hope they find some way to stop it.

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  8. A shame to hear about the disease. Our American Chestnut trees suffered as well.

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  9. Such lovely places, it's sad to think of the trees not being there any more.

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  10. That's really sad. with globalization diseases seem to be able to travel and find plants that have no immunity.

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  11. This is very sad, I wish more people would take notice of the signs that require you to clean your footwear...when walking with my Dad last year we noticed several people that weren't going to bother - it is only a small thing to ask which may or may not help in protecting these wonderful trees, but surely it is worth doing if there is the slightest possibility of minimising the risk of spreading it.

    Tane Mahuta is of course a favourite of many and I remember visiting it as a child when you could still get 'up close and personal' with it and us all giving it a hug to see its trunk span - my parents, my sister and I, and my grandparents - what a treat. Of course now we know the damage that this caused and thanks to a lot of work and effort on the behalf of volunteers and the like, there are boardwalks to protect the roots and undergrowth.

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  12. so sad there is no cure for the disease that was probably man introduced in the first place.

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  13. I am going to have to remember to google the tree that has its own name...I am way behind on your blog and don't know when I will catch up. I just do hit and miss blogging when granddaughter is here.

    The river looks beautiful here...also looks big. I should google it, too.

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  14. That first shot is stunning!! Love the layers of mountains - I'd be intrigued to visit the 'V' too - but I'm guessing it's a hair raising drive?

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