Bush bashing 

Before humans arrived in New Zealand, there were no land mammals here. Now, we have rats and rabbits and possums and stoats and so on, all introduced by mistake. It’s probably impossible to put the toothpaste completely back into the tube, but there is an ongoing effort to keep the population of pests in check. 

My colleague Brendan, above, volunteers with the park service to periodically run a trap line out in the Waitakere range, mostly catching rats, and the occasional weasel or possum. He sent an invite around for people to join him this weekend and two of us did. 

Here’s Joni from Jakarta, a seemingly mild-mannered software developer, who turned out to be quite the woodsman…
Joni is looking at a fern known locally as hen and chicks, which makes fiddleheads that are apparently good to eat and definitely pretty…

We wandered around on a tiny little trail, through the forest for about 3 hours, with Brendan sharing lots of info about plants and trees and stuff. It was quite weird to not think about ticks or poison ivy or anything… there isn’t any poisonous or venomous stuff here at all.  At least not yet. 

We followed a beautiful little stream for a while…

Those stream pics look amazing with the new iPhone loop effect… it’s like living in Harry Potter land. 

This fern is growing out of a fallen tree trunk right in the stream. For reference it’s about 6 or 7 feet across. 

Although we didn’t cover all that much distance, about 5 miles, I’m happily exhausted from all the  bending under supplejack vines and dodging around tree ferns and slipping in the mud and stuff. 

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