We have spent this hot and balmy Saturday around and above Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park.
Below the calm surface lurks a monster: The New Zealand longfin eel (Anguilla dieffenbachii). It is the largest and the only endemic freshwater eel species in New Zealand. The eel can be up to 150 cm long, live to be c. 100 years old and weigh more than 20 kg.
The cloudscape high above our heads has been changing with some high-wind lenticular clouds,
|A forest with only southern beeches (Nothofagus spp.)|
– while we have been botanizing in the dense native forest with lots of wonderful plants to encounter, photograph and study.
|Mountain Snowberry (Gaultheria depressa var novae-zelandiae)|
|The fluffy seeds of the endemic Puawhananga (Clematis paniculata)|
A giant Red Beech (Nothofagus fusca).
|Austral Bracken (Pteridium esculentum)|
The understory of the forest is dominated by many, many species of ferns and brackens, most of which are (and will remain) unknown to us.
Today's closing photo is with a nectar-hungry tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) working its way around to each and every flower in the big New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax) just outside our B&B accommodation at Top House near St. Arnaud.
. . .
Tomorrow, we'll be in Blenheim farther towards the northeast.