All posts tagged “forests

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Making a Bee-line to the Republic of Adygea, Russia

Honey, honey, honey – it seemed Adygea oozed the stuff. Everywhere we looked it seemed someone had set up a road-side stall and in total, were trying to sell more jars of golden honey than there were inhabitants of the Caucasian  republic. Honey is nice… Read more

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How Tall were the trees in New Zealand’s Jurassic Fossil Forest at Curio Bay?

At Curio Bay near the southernmost point of New Zealand’’s South Island, you can walk around the remains of a Jurassic fossil forest. Tree stumps are still in their growth position, and fossilised logs criss-cross through the sandstone overlying them. So can we add these… Read more

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When Frequent-Flying Becomes Insane-Flying

I loved my Singapore Airlines ‘Elite Gold’ card. Suddenly, International airports transitioned from being places where food and drink were wildly overpriced, to …. free. When I stuffed-up and missed flights, or political rules changed and I couldn’t board an aircraft – instead of costing… Read more

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The Lost Forests of Southland, New Zealand

Forests that have disappeared so completely that you would hardly believe they really existed, have long fascinated me.  When I left my home in Alexandra for university in Dunedin, I took with me a facsimile map my mother had given me. It was a mid… Read more

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The Lost Forest of the Ashley River, Canterbury, New Zealand

A gem in the heart of Christchurch is Riccarton Bush (sometimes called Deans Bush). It’s a patch of original kahikatea forest, just a few hundred meters from the Riccarton shopping center (See Molloy,1995, for pretty much all you need to know about the forest). As anyone… Read more

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Once a Vast Forest – Motatapu Track, New Zealand

Early on a cool Sunday morning I sipped my latte outside Relishes Cafe, Wanaka, and thought the immediate view could be better. In a somewhat typical urban New Zealand fashion, the lake is cut off from the cafe not just by a road, but a… Read more

Miocene Retrophyllum fossil, Manuherikia Group, New Zealand
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Miocene Swamp Forests of St Bathans, New Zealand

The white sands and muds surrounding Blue and ‘Grey’ Lakes at St Bathans were laid down in a braided river (Manuherikia Group; Douglas 1986). About twenty million years ago, in the Miocene period, It was flowing from the New Zealand hinterland in the west to… Read more

Fossil Metrosideros fruits. Miocene, Manuherikia Group, New Zealand
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New Zealand’s Rata and Pohutakawa – riders of the Miocene storms?

There is a Maori legend than when one of their ancestral canoes (the Te Arawa) approached New Zealand after traveling from its Pacific homeland, its crew saw the trees along the coast covered in red. Thinking these were abundant red-feathered birds, a chief thew away his priceless… Read more

Podozamites fossil from New Zealand Jurasic
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Podozamites – a multi-veined conifer in New Zealand’s Jurassic

Most conifer leaves have just one vein, whether they be the needles of pines, or the much broader leaves of some tropical conifers. This limits their size and shape (they mostly stay small and can’t do fancy stuff like many flowering plant leaves). Just two… Read more

Miocene leaf fossil from Blue Lake, St Bathans, Manuherikia Group, New Zealand
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Blue Lake, St Bathans – the most biodiverse Miocene fossil plant locality

The biodiversity of Blue Lake, at St Bathans, New Zealand, is precisely zero. It is an artificial lake partly filling a hole blasted out in the search for gold in the 19th century. The hole is directly in front of one of St Bathan’s and New… Read more