Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: Riccarton Bush

with 9 comments

Right in Christchurch is a little piece of New Zealand that largely preserves the way things were before the Europeans arrived. You can read about it in an article on the website of the Christchurch City Libraries.

When we visited on March 1st, a bit of bright orange on the forest floor contrasted with the general dimness inside the dense native bush and couldn’t help but get my attention.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 5, 2017 at 4:57 AM

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. That was an interesting article. I enjoyed the description of the bush as a “public amenity,” and as a “creche” for raising kiwi.

    I think I can count six kinds of plant growth apart from the fungi, just in that little spot. It’s easy to see why the orange attracted your attention, although when I was looking at the grayish fungus on the perimeter, it suddenly occurred to me that even that large, spotted leaf might be sporting some fungus of its own. Diversity, thy name is Riccarton.


    May 5, 2017 at 6:42 AM

    • Your reference to the “public amenity” reminded me of Michigan’s state motto: “Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice.” The Latin means: “If you’re seeking a charming peninsula, look around you.” From the adjective amoenus, which means ‘lovely, delightful, pleasant, charming,’ comes our word amenity.

      When we were inside the public amenity that is Riccarton, we didn’t see any of the kiwis known to be there. Kiwis are mostly nocturnal, so not seeing any in the day is the norm. We did see many other things in the bush, though, so you were right in saying: “Diversity, thy name is Riccarton.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 5, 2017 at 7:10 AM

  2. I love that shot of the ground – and it looks like puffball mushrooms are mixed in there, too. Beautiful – so many life forms!


    May 6, 2017 at 4:05 PM

    • There were indeed plenty of other life forms in Riccarton Bush, some of which I took pictures of as well. The orange mushrooms intrigued me enough to call the attention of some passing visitors to it, but the people didn’t seem thrilled. Oh well, to each his own.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 6, 2017 at 4:37 PM

  3. A wonderful contrast between the tangled weave of vegetation and the simpler composition of forest-floor study. The orange fungi seem so content in this ecosystem!


    May 7, 2017 at 9:09 PM

    • Yes, it was quite a contrast. Near by there were also some giant podocarps that I haven’t shown yet.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 7, 2017 at 11:10 PM

  4. As I look at this, I do have a sense of being sent back in time, and of course I love that you’ve spotted and taken such a delightfully vivid bit of forest floor in the midst of such primeval darkness.

    Susan Scheid

    May 23, 2017 at 8:22 AM

    • You’ve reminded me of Longfellow: “This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines…” Unfortunately New Zealand’s murmuring pines are mostly alien species planted in huge amounts for their wood. Riccarton Bush was a welcome chance to get sent back in time, as you put it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 23, 2017 at 8:27 AM

  5. […] little reserve in central Christchurch known as Riccarton Bush is home to some trees known botanically as Dacrycarpus dacrydioides, in Māori as kahikatea, and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: