In lock-down the simple pleasures become downright precious. For those of us living close, Mt Victoria is a magnet. Here are a few moments from today’s walk in lock-down.
European migrants cut down the native forest here in the 19th century. Then more than 100 years ago, they began replanting the area with foreign timber trees. (I’m guessing these trees came mainly from the west coast of the United States.) As they die or become dangerous, they are gradually being replaced by native trees and bushes. Thus any walk on Mt Victoria offers an incongruous mixture of imposing old pines and cypresses with beautiful indigenous plants and random weeds and flowers.
Mount Victoria once had two far more interesting names: Tangi-te-keo, “cry of the wind”, and Matai-rangi, or “gazing towards heaven”. One day we’ll decide which of these names to use instead of paying verbal tribute to Queen Victoria.
We’re wearing masks and keeping our distance. But I am starved for company. So from a safe distance I force my attentions (“Hello!”) on some little children out with their dad, all wielding Bingo cards. And others.
On the way home I hurry past the Alien Abduction zone.
Today there are so many people out walking in lock-down that the aliens are spoilt for choice. So I feel fairly safe. Because why would they pick an 81-year-old specimen when so many healthy young people are roaming nearby? I stop three times in the hour to get my breath. My heart is strong but my lungs sometimes demand a rest.
I paused for another reason beneath a tree where four or five kaka were making merry. These crazy parrots are a big favourite in the city. With me, anyway.
And so endeth my walk in lock-down today. Thank you for joining me!