Monday is the Queen's birthday which made today the first day of a three-day holiday weekend for most people in the country. Like any self-respecting Kiwi, I got out amongst it and went for a tramp in the bush. Destination was Catchpool and Orongorongo Valleys in Rimutaka Forest Park in the southern Rimutaka Ranges of the North Island.
Having not done much tramping on the North Island, it's so interesting to see the difference in vegetation in the bush up here, most noteably, the ponga, or silver tree fern. This is a favourite of mine. The fronds of the tree are green on one side with a silver-white colouration on the underside that seem to 'glow' in the shade of the bush. As the day started to get long and my legs a bit weary from the hills, my gaze started to drop to the track, and I finally realised the significance of the silver white fern as a national symbol when I saw bits of fern on the track.
|The Maori spiral shaped koru symbol is based on the shape of a new unfurling silver fern frond.|