Back home from down under-Concetta Flore

It's a bit late for Xmas greetings...but here it is, it's ages since I popped in for a visit! Having spent 3 weeks in New Zealand you would think I'd be packed full of sketches and drawings.That's what I hoped for... No way. Being constantly on the move is contrary to sitting down and drawing.
So here is a beautiful beach in a cast-over day where I managed to sit down and get some colour in. The overhanging tree is a pohutukawa; it has rich red flowers at this time of year, sprawling contorted branches ,and leaves like those of an ilex (Quercus ilex).

What most impressed me of New Zealand is the fight the Dept of Conservation and hundreds of volunteers are leading to contain damage and pests and restore, where possible, native plants and birds.
It's an immense laboratory where settlers have ruthlessly cleared the landscape and changed it dramatically, but where native forests are protected and/or coming back in Parks and reserves, scattered in every area of the country.

If the battle is won, in 20 years there will be native birdsong back in the "bush" ( a real jungle), which is rather silent even though I visited in spring.
This visit gave me a lot to think about.
In this sense it's really "middle earth", suspended between the risk of total loss of local biodiversity and superb, unique species to be preserved for future generations.

Wishing all of you, and Kiwis, to win your battles and restore richness and diversity within yourself!


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