Autumn Update and "Forest Bathing" on a sunny afternoon
Autumn at Point Bush Ecosanctuary - on the Whitehorse Walkway
Today's early morning sun was already hot and promising a pearl of a day! By 11 a.m. it was absolutely stunning; still calm with the Autumn sun slanting through the trees casting deep dark shadows on the forest floor with shafts of golden sunlight piercing through the overhead canopy leaves framed by patches of azure blue sky.
The start of the 1.1 km Whitehorse Walkway commences over a style-fence-crossing with the track descending gently downhill into the cool and damp shade of the native bush and crosses a clear water stream flowing off the hill.
There at the water's edge stand 3 mighty Kahikatea trees with each one likely to be a thousand years old! Also known also as White Pine, (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) belongs to the ancient podocarp family of which Totara, Miro, Matai and Rimu are also members. We are so incredibly fortunate to have these precious Kahikatea giants still standing today as so many have been felled and logged in the past.
It always gives me a thrill to stop and gaze at these ancient "Treasures".
I follow the track, continuing on and passing through a sunlight patch of grass to where the Track enters a tunnel of Pittosporum trees forming an overhead canopy and this is where the track starts to climb up the hill.
The sun shafts pierce through the overhead canopy making for dancing shadows on the trunks of trees and flittering across the many variegated ferns, their greenery appearing extra vibrant contrasting with the dark red Totara stringy bark.
As I walk the uphill track passing by very ancient Totara, admiring their impressive trunk girth -suddenly there is a whirring of wings and 3 Tuis alight overhead and proceeded to call and chatter only a few feet above my head. Then as suddenly, they dart away like arrows through the Bush - their distinctive bird call so clear and and loud. They fly fast, their wings sounding like mini choppers. I would have seen 8 or more Tui today, such an unusual number in so short a time but there were others also out in numbers today. Flashing tails, the Fantails were having a grand time catching wee bugs and many Bellbirds enjoying the Bush were very vocal in celebrating the glorious day.It was more of a Meditation Walk than a fast exercise pace walk. It suited my mood and I was content to slow the pace and take my time to view things up close and stand and listen.
The benefits of Forest Bathing (as it is referred to in Scandinavia) are well known and to be such a tonic for the body and soul. I passed a few walkers today and whilst some were solo walking, others were in the family bubble and were equally delighted to be able to take advantage of the Walking and Biking tracks being so close to town. Sisters Hannah, Rhianna and Mum Annette had completed the full Whitehorse Big Easy 7Km walk.
We have all been impacted by the current COVID-19 crises resulting in so much disruption for so many but the wellness factor of nature and native bush environment on our doorstep is something we can all share.
In the coming weeks, Gary and I will be putting together an update on the Ecosanctuary Project and what we envisage as the various levels of restriction are lifted. Do enjoy these snapshots of today's Forest Bathing and Birdsong I encountered on my walk part way up the Whitehorse Walkway.
Do send us your own Bush, Bird, Walking or Biking photos and comments from your time here at Point Bush - you can tag us on social media using the hashtags #pointbush and #pointbushecosanctuary
We are going to be posting more regular updates along with some exciting projects in the pipeline as we adapt to the current situation we all find ourselves in world wide - follow us on Facebook and Instagram and you can stay updated through our Website as to what is coming up - if I can take this opportunity to remind everyone that our online sales of Point Bush Wines (with proceeds from all wine sales going to support the Ecosanctuary!) is now back up and running. Wine may be selected and ordered and paid for online through our website (NZ orders and 18+ conditions apply)
A personal drop off (contactless) delivery is available for local Waimate/South Canterbury Addresses whilst orders destined for within New Zealand is couriered with FREE SHIPPING.
What better than to gift some wine for MOTHER'S DAY perhaps? We can include a card with your personal message should you wish to make a gift of local wine for a Mothering Day gift this year.
Until next time on the "Biome Blog" - take care,
Point Bush Ecosanctuary Trustee
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proceeds go directly to supporting the Point Bush Ecosanctuary