Spring has sprung

Spring arrives in New Zealand on September 1 (forget all that solstice stuff, they do things by the calender here!) so in celebration of the official arrival of the second season I’m experiencing in Middle Earth, I went to the Auckland Botanical Gardens. Beautiful grounds and a lot of interesting exhibits on native plants.

There was also an African garden, which made me wonder: why is it, whether in zoos or gardens or amusement parks, whenever anyone does something with an African theme they feel inclined to include fake termite mounds?

Afterward I headed up One Tree Hill (yes, just like the U2 song), which was, from the 13th to 18th centuries, the largest pa, or Maori fortress, in the country (which I guess also makes it the largest pa in the world). While you can still see some of the terracing left behind from its days as a pa, the volcanic remnant (with three craters!) is now just a park, a lookout and, apparently, a maternity ward. There were ewes everywhere, some extremely pregnant and some with one or two delicious kebabs I mean, lambs, trotting behind them.

There is no tree on One Tree Hill, by the way. There was a sacred native tree that got chopped down and replaced with a European tree, which got chopped down, as did its replacement. Finally they stuck a big monument on top of the hill (“There, try chopping down that!” I can imagine them saying).

Here are some springy pix for you. Enjoy.

PHOTOS:

A sculpture at the botanical gardens that I particularly liked… It looks to me like the big gal is about to jump into water for the start of her triathlon. I’m jus’ sayin’; Icelandic poppies; aloe plant shot from above; a native fern unfurling; more flowery things; Karl at One Tree Hill; a delicious little lamb; a view of both two of the crater rims and manmade terraces on One Tree Hill.

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2 thoughts on “Spring has sprung

  1. One Tree Hill is also, sadly, an emo-teen/20-something show on the CW about pretty people with lots of “problems.” Here’s something from the description of the upcoming seventh season (wait, wtf? it’s been on that long?!) for your amusement: “Navigating their twenties without a road map, the denizens of Tree Hill are finding more questions than answers. But sometimes the search for answers leads you to great places – places you were meant to be. And sometimes simply finding the right person to ride shotgun on your journey is the most important piece to the puzzle.” Holy cliched, mixed metaphors, Batman!

    • you lost me at “denizens.” Denizens? Ooh, somebody’s mommy gave them a thesaurus for Christmas!! Seriously, that blurb made me realize I don’t miss network, or demi-network, tv at all…

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