But once past that it is hard to believe that the area was ever clear felled and grazed or sifted over by goldminers. Heres a quick photographic comparison; 100 years ago and today...
We wandered in past the first lake, plucking and crushing the lemonwood leaves to release the scent and listening for the first bird song. What strikes you immediately is the health and nutritiousness of the forest. There are berrys and flowers everywhere, spared the rodents ravage. Kawakawa are noticeably holier, like paper snowflakes, their caterpillars enjoying something about this place. We catch a fantail taking a bath in a pool of light.
Deeper in the bush we find a clearing with a picnic table and an old bearded man, the ornithological type. Its an amazing spot, the canopy isn't too thick and light stream through in places. We are lead there by saddlebacks flitting through the supplejacks. They must be the avian versions of monkeys, quick and accurate in their movements. But then a bellbird attracts our attention, then two playful fantails then a flock of energetic wax eyes.
It's somewhat of a metaphor for our lives at the moment, too much to look at, too much to do. Yesterday we decided to stretch ourselves with a running race, the Mt Lowry Extreme Challenge, a 22km frolic through the native forests of Eastbourne. The day before we were at the Cuba Street Carnival a time of expression for creative Wellington.
Further back in time we have really indulged in the outdoors in recent weeks exploring the hills and backroads of Wellington, not to mention all the flat hunting in the city. We noseyed up Smiths Creek at the foot of the Tararuas, eying up more substantial missions and we have acquainted ourselves with Fergs climbing wall, oriental bay and the city library. Now we just look forward to moving into our new flat in a week or so's time!