the elf and i like to go walking some afternoons in a beautiful and unexpected patch of forest called smith’s bush.  the 1km-long loop boardwalk weaves between many different kinds of native trees, some of impressive stature, and none more than the giant puriri (Vitex lucens) that tower over one section of the walk.  these trees are always amazing, with their knots and gnarls and resident giant puriri moths (which i have never seen but keep hoping to), but in this bush block they have reached a size i never previously knew was possible.  one group of four trunks in particular, all part of a single tree, is simply too massive to be imagined without standing next to them.  the canopy of these trees is also full of astelias (or ‘tank lilies’, or ‘widow-makers’), making standing around too long in any one place perhaps unwise.

we were making our way around the loop late last week in the slow, thorough stroll of new walkers who intermittently want to be carried, or perhaps practice walking backwards, or touch all the leaves close enough to the boardwalk (glad nz doesn’t have native cacti or skin-irritating climbers), when we discovered something new.  and rather than try to describe our whimsical find, i think i’ll just show you.