Monthly archives of “May 2014

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Black Sea rainforest? Gorgeous, green, Georgistan

Rainforest in Georgia? (as in Georgistan, Black Sea, by the way, not as in ‘Good-Old-Boys’). I saw it marked on a Wikipedia map and it seemed like a damned good excuse to go and have a look-see…. Some background: The word ‘gorgeous’ is reputed to stem from… Read more

Canary Islands rainforest
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Canary Islands – ‘Last’ Rainforest in Europe (?)

The fossils are clear – just a few million years ago Europe was covered in broad-leaved, evergreen forest. There were palm trees and numerous other trees that are now only found in the tropics. Under almost any definition, this would be called ‘rainforest’. The climate… Read more

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The Last Deep Dark Primeval Forest in Europe?

In Poland there are any number of subjects that might make good postcards, Polish girls perhaps. But decaying logs?  In the far east of Poland, this is in fact the case. Białowieża Forest is reputed to be the last, or perhaps the last sizeable ‘untouched’ forest… Read more

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Discovering the ‘Bridge of Stone’ – the ancient route over the Kawarau River, New Zealand

Part way along the Kawarau River between Cromwell and Queenstown (Central Otago, New Zealand) is a feature known to Maori as ‘Whatatorere’ (Kaumatua Huata Holmes of Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki pers. comm. to Lloyd Carpenter, lecturer in Maori Studies at Lincoln University) and to Pakeha… Read more

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Mongolia – The Lost Forests of the Gobi

I grew-up in a semi-arid, naturally treeless part of the world – Central Otago, New Zealand. Well, actually not quite. There are tantalising scraps here and there that hint that the mountains and valleys were once forested. These include tiny relicts of the former vegetation,… Read more

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Grumbling about Graywacke

When I was growing up in Central Otago (New Zealand) graywacke was a bane of my life, and certainly of my Dad’s too. The family lived on a section near the foot of an alluvial terrace dating back to glacial times. The loess soil was… Read more