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.


Weeping willow on the Avon in Christchurch.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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!


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


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.


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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