Sunday, April 6, 2008

There's a Fungus Among Us

We spent our Sunday hiking around the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary here in Wellington. What a truly amazing place! Blocked off by a large mesh fence, plants and birds are protected from invasive and predatory species that have taken a toll on their populations in the wild. We hiked through some of the greenest, thickest, lushest forest I've ever seen - still eye-poppingly green after a long, dry, summer - and became acquainted with many of New Zealand's very special birds, bugs, reptiles and plants.

We were particularly impressed by the gorgeous fungi we saw along the trail, as you will see by their prominence amongst our pictures from the day. I used to give my Dad a hard time about all the pictures of birds and mushrooms and other inanimate objects he took. Well, Dad, I think we would do you proud today!

Some of the highlights have to include: donning hard hats to venture back into an old cave (leftover from gold mining in the 1800's) to look for wetas, the huge native crickets, using a red-light flashlight; seeing several kakas, a large indigenous parrot; sighting several tuataras, a very special ancient lizard-relative found only in NZ, and of course, the many brightly-colored mushrooms.

Oh, and I should mention that at the beginning of these pics you will see a picture of some 'succulent roast lamb and mint' potato chips that we had with our lunch at the park. They're so gross they're good. (Sounds like a slogan!)


Anonymous said...

Just remember, the more vibrant the color of the shroom the more severe the gastrointestinal pangs it will cause if consumed!
love you,

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the pictures. I enjoyed watching them.
Love, Dad