Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Claudelands Jubilee Bush

I am loving my life in Hamilton, very glad to be here getting to do all the interesting things I am doing. But at the same time I long for the Daintree. My body craves it, my heart aches for it, my soul dreams of it.

My skin itches for more humidity, my ears crave the sounds of the birds and frogs and insects of the forest, my eyes seek the green complexity of a triple canopy. Thank goodness the weather is still warm or this spate of tropical homesickness might be unbearable.

There's lots of lovely green places to walk in Hamilton, my beloved Gardens of course, the banks of the Waikato River and the lake which is hosting a hot air balloon festival this week. But its all very groomed. It's hard to find anything approximating wilderness. And then I remembered Claudelands Jubilee Bush, just round the corner from my place.

On a particularly melancholy afternoon last week I took my camera into the bush and let myself really notice its specialness. It's not tropical rainforest, but it is a little bit of lovely wild. And its the first forest I can remember. Our family used to come and play in this bush, back before it was fenced and weeded and boardwalked.

Kahikatea berries (I think) on the boardwalk

It's probably a lot more healthy and authentic than it was thirty-five years ago, over run with Tradescantia. It was a magical mysterious dimly lit wonderland for our imaginative games. I'm pretty sure I populated these particular roots with fairies and elves when the tree and I were both a bit smaller.

Fairy village


Kay said...

A beautiful slice of a walk in the forest / bush. Some marvellous tree shots. So green.

Ngaio said...

This is a lovely remnant of a large tract of native bush that once covered most of the area that is Hamilton City now - especially on a hot day -all cool and green !

Jane in Dunedin said...

Oh that takes me back, Meliors! That really focussed my memory - like being dragged back through time... My Nana used to live right across the road from the bush and we used to go walking there - lovely to see it looking so good and beautiful. The first shot was like "oh it looks just how I remember" - I don't get much to that nowadays having been away so long. Beautiful cool green wild in the middle of the city :-)

Kakariki said...

Oh yay! One of my top 5 places in the whole world! I used to live across the road on Brooklyn Road (now a McDonalds car park...) and as an only child was pretty dependent on my imagination for fun. The Jubilee bush was the perfect place for a seven year old girl to play!

joandcam said...

It's such a lovely place and I love your photos. I love the banyan trees in Hong Kong for the similar root structures. We even have one at school in the concrete courtyard. I, too, am reminded of childhood fairy stories...