It is summer here in New Zealand and the cats are enjoying some serious garden shade and playtime fun while the Pohutakawa trees blaze furiously everywhere we travel. So what’s been happening here? Let me update you about our amazing native trees and this week’s cat fun.
My family spends a lot of time gardening every summer, and of course, the cats need to supervise. Toulouse, as the new cat in the family, is enjoying his first year exploring the grass and shrubs. He is also learning that he can jump our garden stream just like Miranda. I am working on getting a snapshot of that as it’s one of my favourite types of photo the ACTION shot!
New Zealand’s Christmas Tree
I mentioned our blazing trees and I wanted to share some cool photos of the capital, Wellington that I took on my last visit.
2021 has got off to a good start in our part of New Zealand with mixed sun and showers giving The Pohutakawa (Po-hu-ta-kawa) a chance to show off their best blooms.
Every tree looks as though it is covered in a frosting of deep red. The tree is often called New Zealand’s Christmas Tree as it flowers in summer which is Christmas time here. The picture above shows New Zealand’s parliament, the ‘Beehive‘, with a tree glowing red outside in the warm sunshine.
If you have never seen one, New Zealand’s Pohutakawa tree looks stunning. The red covered tree also scatters its slender flowers everywhere, with pavements, parks and roadsides covered with a rosy ‘snow’.
Until this year I had not thought of capturing the effect of the flowers as we are so used to seeing them, but, just before Christmas I visited Wellington, our capital city, and the effect was so amazzing that I had to photograph the pohutukawa blooms scattered around the city.
I hope you enjoy the impact of the spectacular end to their flowering season.
What Is A Pohutakawa?
The following is taken from a detailed description on Wikipedia.
Metrosideros excelsa – pohutukawa (M?ori: p?hutukawa), New Zealand Christmas tree, is a coastal evergreen tree in the myrtle family that produces a brilliant display of red flowers made up of a mass of stamens. The blossom of the tree is called kahika.
The pohutakawa is one of twelve species endemic to New Zealand. Renowned for its vibrant colour and its ability to survive even perched on rocky, precarious cliffs, it has an important place in New Zealand culture for its strength and beauty, and is regarded as a chiefly tree (r?kau rangatira) by M?ori.
The warm weather and freshly mown grass have given Toulouse an excellent playground with the ornamental grass coming in for some rough treatment. The grasses can take the punishment though and I managed some fun fight shots as the brave cat went in for the ‘kill’.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing New Zealand’s red snow and Toulouse in a playful mood.
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Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can shoot and edit wonderful pictures they love regardless of the camera they use.
She is a Professional member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.