Wetlands, Wanderings, & Ponderings

Here’s a quick snap from the wetlands that beautify the shores of Lake Kōhangapiripiri — November 19, 2016.

These grasses look like this because they take a constant, direct hit from our Wellington wind, which is apparently so bloody strong that these poor buggers simply can’t pick themselves up again…


This was actually part of our circuit around the inside edge of the lake — our objective being to head further into the valley and grab a cheeky glimpse of the park’s signature wetlands, ‘Cameron Creek’.

The route has definitely sustained some earthquake damage, of late.

Land slips and slides make for some fairly tricky meandering in places, but true-blue devotees of the park won’t hesitate to suss those issues and move forward.

And, while you do/are, there’s a real sense of this place as an old Māori ‘papakāinga’ (“home base”, or “village”) in days gone by.

I always find myself pondering that while my feet busily do their thing.

I also tend to spend time imagining myself happening upon some random, spectacularly valuable archaeological find; an historically significant piece of pounamu, an archaic ‘spork’ of sorts, or even an old pre-‘Pākehā’ piece of pottery.

A midden, even.

Anything, really.


Today, in light of our most recent shakes, I wondered about liquefaction and sinkholes.  My mind lingered for some time on the warning sign at the entrance to the wetlands, a clear and cautionary head-nod towards drowning (*potentially — and, a rather daunting testament to the actual depth of the swamp below the track’s boardwalk).

Was the boardwalk even safe anymore?

There was, literally, only one way to know for sure.

You forget sometimes how affected our nature-based spaces can be, and often are, with these kinds of disasters.

Until you’re there, and then suddenly the ground seems a lot squishier than it did before, and the dips a lot deeper.

The mind is a vindictive little beast, at times.

Clearly, today we got in, ’round, and out again absolutely fear- and hassle-free — a delightful return to some “familiar territory” (‘scuse the pun (or don’t)) post-rock-and-roller-coaster…

Own the apprehension and do your thing anyway, I say.

It’s so worth the bother.

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