21 March 2009

Kaikawaka dieback, Shorts Track

Kaikawaka dieback

The skeletons of dead and dying kaikawaka (Libocedrus bidwillii) emerge from a lower canopy in many areas around the southern Ruahine Range. The causes of the dieback are complex, but the introduced brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) probably plays a major part. I photographed these about halfway down Shorts Track after a night on the Ngamoko tops. The lower altitude forest in the background is predominantly southern beech (Nothofagus; probably red beech, N. fusca).

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor


Relatively Retiring said...

Perhaps it seems ironic that there is such beauty in death, but it is something that we need to explore in this great taboo. There is sometimes a beauty and rightness about death....but probably not when it results from being chewed by possums?

Zhoen said...

Luminous skeletons against the living green.

pohanginapete said...

RR, I agree with all those thoughts, and have often thought about the way influence continues even after death — indeed, long after all memories have faded.

Zhoen, nicely put. :^)