Monday, September 08, 2008

Sunday Walk - Travis Wetlands - Part I

Last week some mad woman got into my blog & made completely irrational promises - lol!
This weekend she decided that in the best interests of humanity (& her stupid ankle) she had better start off slowly - no steep inclines included! The weather did not want to cooperate & gifted us a cold bleak day.

This weekend we chose the Travis Wetland walk. Relatively flat, not to difficult... & besides I had never done it before, driven past it heaps but never actually walked it or felt the need to explore the history of the wetlands further. Strange you might think, when I tell you that I grew up very close to this area & in fact used to pass it all the time on my way to the swimming pool.
But that was many years ago - & back then this wetland area hadn't been developed ,or rather 'reclaimed'

On the walk I learned that this project has only been happening in the last 10 years. Apparently when the white man decided to settle Christchurch there was over 32,000 hectares of swamp....actually all of Christchurch was pretty much swamp (yeah you gotta wonder!!!). They drained it & cultivated it, filled it & developed it. Over the years the swampy ground was eliminated until now where we have less than 2000 hectares.

Great for the city - not so good for the wildlife. One of New Zealands native birds, a gawky, ungainly, ugly looking thing called a Pukeko was almost extinct. When I think back - I never saw these when I was younger - not in my travels by bike, or later by car. In the last few years I see them everywhere that native plantings flourish. I guess in their case the reclaiming of the wetlands has worked & is a prime example of the importance of retaining natural habitats of wild life - even if it is bang in the middle of a spreading city.

We walked a circuit starting from the park in an anti clockwise direction around the wetlands.

Into the wilderness - well...OK ...not quite! This is one of the entry ways to the walk via a suburban park in a built up area.
The first views of what it was like pretty much all over the city many years ago.
A Black Swan - not exactly a NZ native, but like many other exotics he seems to be at home.
Some of the views are really quite pretty - in a bleak wintery way.
The Willows, at least, are obliging us with a display of spring colour.
But really! What can I say.


Ramblings of a lunatic mom and lampworker said...

Deb, your photo's are gorgeous. Glad you got to take a walk with a sore ankle and all.

Hubby was talking about heading off to NZ - we can only dream :))


rosebud101 said...

Wow! Great photos and beautiful land! NZ, Christchurch, is gorgeous!