Walking in lock-down on Mt Victoria

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.

Photo of very tall pine trees on the crest of a hill behind a wooden fence. Two people are consulting a map of the area.
A road runs along the ridge of Mt Victoria. Today (a Sunday in lockdown) it was busy with walkers and bikers.

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.

A branch ending in three curved twigs, seen against a grey sky and  old trees.
Twig of the day, fallen from a pine tree.

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.

Photo of old, densely growing pine trees with young New Zealand pittosporum, kawakawa, ferns and others. Sign says Alien Abduction Zone.
Alien abduction zone. I feel safe today with so many more appealing young people around.

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.

Drawing of young people hurrying up steps on a hill and one older person pausing for a rest.
Going up and down hills gives me pause.

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!

16 thoughts on “Walking in lock-down on Mt Victoria

  1. Cathy Cade says:

    I had vaguely registered from a news item that you were back in lockdown but it hadn’t really registered until I spoke to my daughter yesterday. (She’s in Island Bay.) Her dog (acquired in the first lockdown) is loving it. Jen works from home anyway for a couple of days a week, but Tui has been getting a lot more walks lately.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Maybe Jen and I passed each other while walking today. One of my friends says she is taking her dog out 5 or 6 times a day!

  2. It was a nice walk. Thank you for taking us along and sharing your sketch. We’re not in lockdown here (central Virginia), but we have to wear masks in certain busy places.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you for your company! We are belatedly embracing masks here, now that the Delta strain of the coronavirus knows how to fill a room.

  3. Thank you for letting us tag along. It’s always good to “stop and admire the view”. I find myself looking at the view more often nowadays.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thanks for coming! Two factors form a symbiotic relationship late in life: the desire to admire the v iew and the need to pause.

  4. judibwriting says:

    To be outside in the so-much-larger- than-you-world is such a treat and yes, thanks for sharing your walk.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      We were quite a crowd up there, weren’t we? Taking our breath of fresh air.

  5. Mama Lava says:

    This is an interesting world we live in! Where I am, right now, we are not locked down, so I could get in the car and drive somewhere and go in. But because the smoke is so thick in the air from several wildfires burning out of control around me, we don’t dare go out and walk. I will enjoy a jaunt in the store for you, if you will enjoy a walk for me! Thanks for letting me tag along on this Mt. Victoria trek with you!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      So hard for you. Yes, I’m a starter for a walk in your store!

  6. alison41 says:

    Wonderful names: cry of the wind or gazing towards heaven . Thanks for taking us walkies. I enjoyed that!

  7. I loved your lock-down walk. We are back to wearing masks in church, which makes singing difficult.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      For us it’s a social singalong on Zoom instead of choir practice. And last night on the TV a reporter forgot to remove his mask and the news was muffled. I quite liked that

      1. Muffled news! Yes!

  8. cedar51 says:

    I too would struggle oops pause if I had a Mt Victoria nearby – but alas it’s just poorly made footpaths (in the main) many, many houses – the closest biggest blank green space is a one size soccer field – and just possibly I could traverse Olympic Park but I don’t think it’s classified as “in my neighbourhood” – so keep me safe and well, it’s my long concrete driveway, and around into my back yard. But looks like that’s cancelled today, just started raining!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      If it’s not one thing, it’s another, as my mother would say. (Quite brightly as a rule.) Please take care of yourself.

%d bloggers like this: