Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Lila's big day out.

It’s ANZAC Day, New Zealand’s day to remember the war dead.  It’s an important day for my family too, because we arrived in New Zealand on ANZAC Day (April 25) 1955 on the MV Ruahine
Today it rained on and off all morning, so when the sun came out after lunch we had to get out for a walk.  Rufus was happy inside, but Lila was out in the garden and decided to follow us.  We tried to outrun her, but in the end decided to give in and let her come with us.
So she tagged along quite happily for the first 500m or so and then seemed to get a bit tired.  She was very wary the whole time, probably because she was out of her territory and in a place of new smells and sounds.
You might feel it’s wrong to take a cat into the bush, especially so close to Zealandia.  First, she’s not a hunter (yes I know cat owners always say that, like dog owners say their dogs don’t bite).  Secondly, she was too busy keeping up with us and watching her back.  Thirdly, and I know it’s not a valid argument but I’ll make it anyway, lots of cat-owning households back onto that bush and people walk their dogs there all the time.  I agree with Gareth Morgan that cats should be enclosed so they can’t hunt birds and lizards.
It’s autumn now.  The drought is well and truly behind us and fruits and fungi were the features of this walk.
Favolaschia calocera
Favolaschia calocera is an introduced fungus that lives on dead wood.  It’s become very common around Wellington.  Under the cap are large pores instead of gills.
Under the cap of Favolaschia calocera are honeycombed pores.

Buds of kohekohe, Dysoxylum spectabile.
Kohekohe (Dysoxylum spectabile) is going to have a bumper flowering this year.  The sprays of small white flowers are produced on the tree trunks, and a number were quite low down.  When these open, I’ll easily be able to reach them and get good photos.  Individual trees are either male or female, although some males can set a few fruits.
Outside the bush, the track follows the Zealandia pest-proof fence alongside a clay banks with a nice range of mosses and lichens and a view of the harbour.  We didn’t go far along, because Lila was clearly getting tired by now.
Passiflora fruits, one eaten by birds
Native passion flower (Passiflora tetrandra) was in fruit.  Orange rinds littered the ground where birds had opened the fruits for their meagre pulp and few seeds.  I found one intact one.
Inside the Passiflora fruit are bright red seeds and pulp.
The fruit has three parts (carpels) and the ovules and (later) seeds are attached in three rows to the outer walls where they join.

Home at last, Lila staggered in the door and immediately collapsed on the cool wooden floor.  She’ll sleep well tonight.

No comments:

Post a Comment