Trees, Glorious Trees

Those who know me well know that I  am particularly fond of trees. I think they are singularly beautiful, providing a quiet example of how best to live life — bending with the wind while always reaching heavenward.

New Zealand is home to some real beauties. I thought it fitting to say goodbye to this land of such spectacular natural beauty by sharing photos of a few of the glorious trees I’ve spotted during our visit.

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Weeping willow on the Avon in Christchurch.

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See the star on top? Perfect Christmas tree found in Hokitika.

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Unknown variety in Christchurch's Hagley Park.

We spotted this guy on the Otago Peninsula where we had gone in search of seals and albatrosses. I have no idea what kind of tree it is, but those roots are testimony of how life always strives to find a way to hang on.

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One of the most interesting trees I saw in New Zealand was the matagouri — also known as the wild Irishman. It’s a small, bush-like tree that doesn’t have leaves, but grows some strong thorns which the Maori used as sewing needles.

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Sometimes trees end up as nothing more than firewood or driftwood. I’ve seen a lot of both here, but none so humorously displayed as on the Otago Peninsula.

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It was strange to be in a cold climate and still see a plethora of palm trees.

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And because it’s rather dry here with chillier temperatures, it takes a long time for dead trees to go back to the earth from which they sprang.

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Near the Blue Pools in Mt. Aspiring National Park.

I loved the Party Tree in Hobbiton, but I must admit my favorite was the (fake) tree erected atop Bag End. The leaves are hand-sewn onto the limbs of a tree felled elsewhere in New Zealand and reassembled on Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ home. The magic of movie making!

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The giant silver fern is a national symbol in New Zealand.

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Silver fern on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track.

The silver fern trees are magnificient, but I prefer the beech forests with ancient trees reminiscent of Ents.

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It is to these old forests that I will return in my memories, recalling the trees, glorious trees, in this visual feast known as New Zealand.

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