Saturday, September 20, 2008

Waitakere Ranges

Last weekend, Lowell and I did a hike (oh pardon me, a tramp) in the Waitakere Ranges. First thing we saw when we approached the visitor's centre was this huge massive picture frame which screamed "PHOTO OP PHOTO OP!" So we did some monkeying around. Apparently these giant frames are at all of the Regional Parks around here. I'm sensing a lot more monkeying around in our future...

The nature of the trails (or tracks) is a lot different than that of, say, Bear's Hump. There was a variety of scenery as well as historical tidbits.

If you're not one for historic facts, feel free to skim the pictures and call it a day. But for those of you who are interested... stay tuned. We'll start with the scenery then review some history.

Beautiful hey? Who knew there were so many different shades of green!

Now for some historical information. To start with, I think I should make sure that we're all clear on who the Maori people of NZ are. It is my understanding that they are considered the original settlers in NZ. Eventually Europeans came and after many years of war signed a treaty with the Maori people stating that Britain would have rule, but the Maori people would retain equal rights.

Anyhoo, these historical tidbits that we discovered on our tramp are based on Maori beliefs.

The following is the kahikatea- NZ's tallest tree. This tree has been the perch for a large range of plant life. It is said that the watery abodes among the widespread roots was the home of the taniwha, the dragon on Maori mythology.

The next picture is of 'Kauri cathedral'. It's basically a circle of several famous trees whose branches have formed a dome in the sky that is said to protect living things beneath it. 

Maori legend says that it was the power of growth that pushed sky and earth apart. This power is manifested in the god Tane Mahuta, and the following huge giant tree is a symbol of that strength. It's called the Kauri tree. It's trunk can be as wide as a two-lane road, and it's branches can be up to 6 feet in diameter.

It's a pretty big tree.

Lowell also got up close and personal with a sliver fern- NZ's national plant. (The other side is actually silver)

Thus concludes last weekend's adventure!


Shelley said...

ha! i had a picture taken in that same frame :)

Carlynne said...

Love love all of the TREES!! Perhaps I will use one for inspiration. The trees here are beautiful too and I am just about to go for a walk and take some pictures. we miss you guys!!
PS I met a speech path who graduated a year after you at church today. her name is Holly. She recognized you when I showed her a picture:)

Bloggy Mama said...

Love the frames. What a cool idea!!

marcandorkylie said...

"it's a pretty big tree."
love it.

shareen said...

wish we could be there tramping around with you, discovering all that crazy nature. also, love love the pictures of you two in the frames - such great pictures and wonderful memories of your time there.

tayalta said...

We see you are already
"framous" in New Zealand! *grin*
Thanks for all the info about history and flora and fawna...
we won't need to come see it 'cuz you are doing such a great job of blogging! *smile*
Love Mom & Dad Taylor

Mr. Hay said...

WOW!! What a huge picture frame. I wish we could have used an NZ sized frame for our wedding pics. It was a little difficult cramming us all in to the portable one we had.