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Author Topic: NZ Field Trips November 2006  (Read 9547 times)

David Lyttle

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NZ Field Trips November 2006
« on: November 23, 2006, 09:31:42 AM »
It is that time of year again. The snow has melted and the alpine plants are springing into life. Today I visited the Rock and Pillar Range. It is the easternmost and lowest range of Otago block mountains and has extensive areas of cushionfield vegetation on the summit. It has been the site of a lot of research by the University of Otago over the years and consequently a lot is known about the ecology and the vegetation growing there. The day was not ideal for photograpy with a strong northwest wind blowing and fairly sunny. Cushion plants do not wave in the breeze and it was too early for most things to be flowering. However I managed to get a few pictures.

Picture 1: A view looking towards the crest of the range with the low growing whipcord Hebe, Hebe poppelwellii in the foreground.

Picture 2: A small local endemic Abrotanella patearoa

Picture 3: Anisotome imbricata in flower

Picture 4: Ranunculus enysii

Picture 5:  Non-flowering plant of Celmisia argentea with lichen Thamnolia vermicularis

Picture 6: Celmisia ramulosa showing flower buds. This Celmisia is a woody subshrub and forms  neat rounded domes.

Picture 7: Celmisia viscosa just coming into flower. This is the dominant Celmisia of the herbfield and forms extensive patches. There are green and silver forms in the population. It is very well adapted to the rigorous conditions prevalent there as the leaves are tough and leathery with all the stomata being located on the undersurface in grooves lined with hairs.

Picture 8: Psychrophila obtusa (formerly Caltha obtusa) the plants were emerging from a melting snowbank with water seeping all around them. Celmisia haastiii var tomentosa was present in these areas as well but the plants were not yet flowering.

I cannot resist one more; Picture 9: The weta Hemideina maori. She was out wandering in the daylight which is not usual for these insects.
David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
New Zealand.

Ian Y

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2006, 12:21:07 PM »
David, you have rendered Maggi almost speechless: All she can say is....

"Oh, David, I was right there with you, up until the last photo ! I'm a  proud Scotswoman... we  fear nothing..... ....except big insects! Especially ones you could break your ankle tripping over!"

I will attempt to comfort her by feeding her good lunch with no meat products!
« Last Edit: November 23, 2006, 12:23:36 PM by Ian Y »
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
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Thomas Huber

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2006, 01:20:12 PM »
Lovely insect - I would take it as a snack when hiking!
Thomas Huber, Neustadt - Germany (230m)

Maggi Young

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2006, 02:41:06 PM »
EEEEEEEEEKKKKKK!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Thomas Huber

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2006, 02:46:37 PM »
  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Thomas Huber, Neustadt - Germany (230m)

hadacekf

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2006, 05:18:48 PM »
David,
Simply beautiful pics and plants!!!
Franz Hadacek  Vienna  Austria

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Maggi Young

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2006, 06:05:14 PM »
Thomas, now I SEE why sometimes Celine can look like this:
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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David Nicholson

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2006, 06:46:23 PM »
David,
You live in a beautiful country-I know that our primary interest is plants BUT do you please have a photograph of the view over the other side of the ridge in your first photo-I bet it's a stunner.
David Nicholson
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t00lie

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2006, 07:51:31 PM »
David  8)--Great shots.Keep 'em' coming.
I'd love to have a look round that area with you sometime .

Cheers Dave.

Dave Toole. Invercargill bottom of the South Island New Zealand. Zone 9 maritime climate 1100mm rainfall pa.

David Lyttle

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2006, 09:41:50 PM »
I see that Hemideina maori is rapidly becoming an internet celebrity out ranking the plants. The females live under rocks with a male in menage a trois, a quatre, a cinque - you get the idea. In winter they go in a state of hibernation but do not freeze solid as there haemolymph has antifreeze properties.  The largest wetas can be the size of a mouse but this particular species only grows to a length of about 65mm.

Dave, it will be my pleasure taking you up some time but I dont think I can manage it before  January.

The Rock and Pillar range forms the rim of a big dissected upland plateau extending to the south and the west It is largely covered by tall tussock grassland.

Picture:1 Rock and Pillar Range from the east.

Picture 2: View from the Rock and Pillars looking across the Strath Taieri to Taieri Ridge roughly in the direction that the previous picture was taken. The feature in the centre of this picture is known as the Crater and it is precisely that - it was formed  as the result of a  small volcanic eruption.

Picture 3: Schist tors on the crest of Rock and Pillar Range.

Picture 4: John Fitzgerald whom some of you know walking against the wind towards a group of large tors, crest of the Rock and Pillar Range. The cushion field vegetation here is dominated by Celmisia viscosa but there are many other species present.

Picture 5:The other side of the ridge - the Loganburn reservoir occupying a basin that was formerly known as the Great Moss Swamp before it was dammed. The tussock grassland in the foreground has been heavily modified by grazing but there is an area to the south that is now reserved in a new conservation park which captures the essence of the landscape.
David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
New Zealand.

Maggi Young

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2006, 09:47:23 PM »
WOW! great pix of wonderful scenery... thank you!
And  David Nicholson is really going to like these!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Thomas Huber

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2006, 08:09:05 AM »
Maggi, the photo was from the time before Celine, as you can see from the file name.

By the way, it is time to make you a big compliment for the moderator-job you do here, it is much appreciated!!!!!
Many thanks also to Mr. Admin and all the other people behind you, who made this new forum possible!!!!

David, I love your photos!!! Hope you will soon meet with Dave, to make more!
Thomas Huber, Neustadt - Germany (230m)

David Nicholson

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2006, 07:29:18 PM »
Thanks for those pictures David, I will say it again-you live in a beautiful country.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
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John Forrest

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2006, 03:29:43 PM »
Enjoyed the 'armchair hike' with you to see the mountains, flowers and wildlife. Book me in for the next foray.  :)
Blackpool Lancashire Northwest UK

Lesley Cox

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Re: NZ Field Trips November 2006
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2006, 12:34:46 AM »
Somehow I missed this thread altogether because there was no notification of it in my emails. And today, though there are several new posts in different threads, no emails about any of them, even thought the "notify" is enabled. I had the horrid thought that THIS NEW Forum may have crashed as well. Thank goodness, not.

Maggi although wetas are so large, for some reason they are not scary, except the sand weta which is much smaller but which jumps and is the only thing on earth that truly terrifies me. The bigger kinds are SO big, that somehow they are not like "ordinary" insects at all, more like small animals. One sitting on the hand is quite pleasant really. Yes, really.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

 


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