Monday, May 27, 2013

Fungi in Roland's Wood

While we celebrate the autumn foliage, admire the swathes of renga renga lilies and eagerly await the arrival of the bluebells, the observant visitors to Roland's Wood will notice some smaller but equally dramatic species growing - the fungi...


Here Georgie and Ollie admire, looking not touching, an Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita, a poisonous fungus of the genus Amanita.
Wikipedia describes it as "The quintessential toadstool, it is a large, white-gilled, white-spotted, usually red mushroom, one of the most recognisable and widely encountered in popular culture."  It describes how it has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the southern hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species, associated with various deciduous and coniferous trees.

Here are some photos by Keri Molloy of other beautiful fungi in the Woods - these have somewhat more subtle colours, but are still full of the mystery, magic and other-worldliness of their kingdom. 

 
  
 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Celebrating autumn at Roland’s Wood

This was a piece that I wrote to go into the Bay Chronicle but it hasn't made it in there this month, so thought I'd put it up here... 

It was a long hot summer, wonderful for playing and enjoying the outdoors, not so wonderful for the farmers and people on water tanks, and though the sunny days seem to be holding on up here in the North, you only need to see the deciduous trees turning all shades of gold and red to know that we are well on our way to autumn.  

Roland’s Wood is a good place to visit to celebrate the changing season, with maples, beech, claret ash, gingko and tupelo trees all putting on a splendid display.  If you haven’t been for a while, there are new tracks to explore taking you on different routes through the Woods, and all the clearing and mulching has really tidied the place up, making it lighter and more open – new vistas and even new trees to meet.

Plenty of people and their dogs have been enjoying the Woods over the school holidays – lots of children visiting and clambering over logs, discovering fungi, tightrope walking along the edge of the ponds, and running up and down hills via this path or that…

Georgie and Ollie clambering over logs at Roland's Wood

Please feel free to contact me  jeannie.skinner@dia.govt.nz if you'd like to contribute your own writing or photos to this Roland's Wood blog – it would be great to have input from others to help tell the story of the Woods and the pleasure it brings people.

Magnolias and camellias flowering now

The magnolias and the camellias which Roland loved are flowering now, and they are quite a significant collection by Northland standards - our good rainfall helps them put on a show of wonderful blooms...



It is exciting to see is the young camellias flowering now which were seedlings John Horrell transplanted just three years ago from original plantings by Roland.  They are on the steep slope running down towards the swamp - it's not marvelous soil but they are coping admirably and doing well.

Their names are long forgotten but it is nice to know these plants were chosen by Roland himself, and thanks to John, their seedlings are flourishing and enriching the Wood, next generations of plants for next generations of people!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

White rhododendron catching the last of the day's sunlight...

Walking through Roland's Wood at the end of the most beautiful, clear, still, warm, sunny day today, I noticed a little grove of white rhododendrons - about 4 or so planted together up in the top corner near the road - catching the last of the sunlight and almost glowing against the dark background...


Jonquils

 Looking forward to when this glade is a sea of bluebells in September...


and lovely to see the promise of jonquils showing their leaves already in May...