Ferns as tall as trees
A visitor to New Zealand can’t help noticing how many native ferns there are and how large they can get. It’s not an exaggeration to say that some grow as tall as trees, and people even refer to them as tree ferns. I photographed the ones in today’s picture, which were perhaps two or three times my height, in the shade of the forest at the Parry Kauri Park in Warkworth*, in the northern part of the North Island, on the afternoon of February 6. Kiwis (as the inhabitants of New Zealand are known) will recognize that as Waitangi Day, the national holiday, and in fact earlier in the day our hosts had taken us to attend the festivities at Waitangi itself.
* New Zealand English generally drops an r that closes a syllable or that’s part of a syllable-final consonant cluster, so Warkworth sounds to American ears as if it’s Walkworth, which is as appropriate for the site of a nature park as the name Wordsworth is for a great poet.
© 2015 Steven Schwartzman