28 December 2009

Poplars, Te Awaoteatua stream

Te Awaoteatua stream — one translation might be "The river of god" — has had a rough time over the last year. Cattle often have unrestricted access to its water, breaking the banks and pissing and shitting in it; it receives regular aerial doses of fertiliser and spray; and a few weeks ago a large section of hillside collapsed into the stream, temporarily blocking it and filling it with sediment.  Winter storms downed a few more poplars, but most still remain, sometimes catching the light in ways that force one to stop, to look, to wonder.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor


Patricia said...

This is a heartbreaking post. How is it that we cannot protect that which is so vital to our existence? At one time someone knew how important the river of god was, hence the name. Beautiful image.

pohanginapete said...

My feelings exactly, Patricia. We have many good farmers here — people who really care for the land beyond its ability to make them rich — but too many who think only in terms of short-term "productivity" (i.e. profit) and ignore both the long-term consequences and, particularly, the often considerable effects beyond farm boundaries. The appalling state of our waterways is a hot topic here in New Zealand, but some farmers still seem deaf to the message.