Magnificent Magnolias

Magnificent Magnolias

MagnoliaCouldn’t let a rainy day stop me from getting my photography fix, so went to a local garden during my lunch break and found some amazing magnolia trees in full bloom, covered in raindrops

Magnolia droplets

Magnolia is a large genus of about 210 flowering plant species in the subfamily Magnolioideae.

Fossilised specimens of M. acuminata have been found dating to 20 million years ago, and of plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae date to 95 million years ago (just out of interest – dinosaurs lived between 230 & 65 million years ago).

Magnolia Stem          Magnolia Stem          Magnificient Magnolias

New life, growth & strength

New life, growth & strength


koru-2How gorgeous and strong are these koru’s. They certainly live up to what they symbolize – new life, growth, strength….

Found this plant on a recent walk, it is part way down a bank so couldn’t actually get too close to it for photos.

The Silver tree-fern or silver fern (Cyathea dealbata), also known as ponga or punga (from Māori kaponga or ponga), is a species of medium-sized tree fern, endemic to New Zealand.

The koru (Māori for “loop”) is a spiral shape based on the shape of a new unfurling silver fern frond and symbolizing new life, growth, strength and peace.

The earliest use of the silver fern as an official national symbol was by the New Zealand Army during the Second Boer War.


Frogs, frogs, frogs…….

Frogs, frogs, frogs…….

Unlike spiders, I love frogs and cant wait for Summer to arrive so I can go scouting out some frog ponds.

New Zealand has four frog species that are endemic – found only in New Zealand.
Hochstetter’s, Archey’s, Hamilton’s, and Maud Island frog.  There were three other endemic species, but they have become extinct since humans arrived.

Frogs are known as pekeketua or pepeketua in Māori.

New Zealand endemic frogs are among the world’s most ancient. Their ancestors were carried by continental drift from the supercontinent of Gondwana millions of years ago. In a family of their own (Leiopelmatidae), they differ from most other frogs in many respects:

  • They have no eardrums.
  • They have no vocal sac and do not call or croak, although they make quiet squeaks when disturbed.
  • They catch insects with their mouth, not with a long tongue.
  • They lay small numbers of large yolky eggs in moist places, but not in water.
  • Tadpoles grow inside the egg and hatch as tailed froglets – there is no free-swimming tadpole stage.

New Zealand also has three introduced frog species (from Australia) that belong to the hylid tree frog genus Litoria – Whistling or brown tree frog & Green and golden bell frog

Unlike the native frogs they have a visible external eardrum (tympanum), and a horizontal, not rounded, pupil. Only the whistling frog is similar enough in size or colour to be mistaken for a native frog. They all have loud calls, and an aquatic tadpole stage.

We mostly see the ‘Golden Bell Frog’ (as in above image) in built up urban pond areas and this will be mainly what i manage to get photos of when out on my frog hunt this Summer 🙂

reference information c/- Te Ara – the encyclopedia of NZ

Good morning …

Good morning …

How can you not have anything but a good day when it starts off like this 🙂

Although a red sky in the morning does indicate rain as per the saying ‘Red sky in the morning, sailors (shepherds) warning’.  If the morning skies are red, it is because clear skies over the horizon to the east permit the sun to light the undersides of moisture-bearing clouds. The saying assumes that more such clouds are coming in from the west. Conversely, in order to see red clouds in the evening, sunlight must have a clear path from the west, so therefore the prevailing westerly wind must be bringing clear skies.

Rain or shine it will be a great day 🙂