I’m somewhat fascinated by Nikau trees, an endemic palm tree to New Zealand; when allowed, they grow straight and tall, around 15-20 meters high, with massive fronds up to 3 m long. Their root system must be shallow as I can visibly shake a tree about 8 meters tall, which is probably around 30-40 years old. I found many clusters of nikau in the wet areas of my property and actually enjoy sitting there, amongst a forest of palms, in their shade and sheltered from the winds, listening to the birds and allowing my mind to wander. Their fruit is apparently edible, but I have yet to find ripe ones which I can also access. I’ve noticed Kereru (NZ endemic pigeon) and Kaka (NZ endemic parrot) eating the fruit and judging by the amount of juvenile nikau I suppose the bird life is doing well in regeneration dense clusters of nikau forests.
Due to the canopy of these palms, which doesn’t allow much light to hit the soil, same soil is often very weed-free and since juvenile nikau still thrive in such conditions it goes to show that (some) plants don’t need that much direct sunlight to grow. As mentioned the soil is usually wet and muddy and if you dig you’ll hit clay within 20 cm. One thing that springs to mind when watching the tall, straight and hard trunks is whether nikau is a good source to building a log cabin. I wasn’t able to find any links on the internet regarding log cabins and nikau but simply can’t imagine Maori not having used it to build homes and shelters.
Anyway, here are some pictures.
It is also that time of the year when I can watch the sun set, disappearing uninterrupted behind the horizon of the gulf. I took a couple of pics of the the other day some 5 minutes after sunset. Albeit slightly shaky, still not too bad.