<< Previous Next >>

Living Roots

Living Roots
Photo Information
Copyright: Janice Dunn (Janice) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-11-29
Categories: Seascape
Camera: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P8
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Pohutukawa Trees of NZ, New Zealand Native Fauna and Flora (2) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-11-29 3:47
Viewed: 5738
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
These roots belong to NZ's Pohutukawa Tree. I filmed this today at Army Bay, Whangaparaoa, just north of Auckland, in the middle of a very strong westerly storm. It was raining and I got a raindrop on my lens.

Pohutukawa Trees "metrosideros excelsa." Pohutukawa means "splashed by spray" in Maori.

The Pohutukawa Tree likes hanging out on beaches. It begins growing in crevices on seemingly completely bare rocks. Then, as it gets bigger, gnarly roots form out from trunks and branches. In fact, the roots are able to grow in air over surfaces as they search for pockets of soil and moisture. Roots that can grow in air are pretty impressive, as you can see in the photo.

The Pohutukawa Tree is wider than it is tall. It grows to 20 meters high by 35 meters wide — 22 yards high and 38 wide. Lots of long, low branches hang over the sand. They provide shade and great places to sit, climb and hang beach towels.

It is a beautiful tree — covered with shiny leaves, dark green on top, silvery-grey underneath. It has evolved to withstand salt water. Every December, summer here at the bottom of the world, Pohutukawa Trees burst out in vibrant, star-burst-shaped red flowers. So they are also known by the name of the New Zealand Christmas Tree.

Pohutukawa honey is sweet, with a wonderful, subtle, salty taste. The wood is hard and strong, and was often used in ship-building by whalers and sealers. In pre-European times, the indigenous Maori used the wood to make tools: fern root beaters, paddles, weapons, spade blades and digging sticks. They also used Pohutukawa bark and nectar in traditional medicines, to cure dysentery, stop bleeding and remedy coughs and colds.

The Pohutukawa tree can live to be a thousand years old. Pohutukawa trees are friendly, beautiful and useful. I'm sure I saw at least one in Hobbiton in Lord of the Rings. I recommend you visit New Zealand in summer and check out this most excellent of trees.

With help from the FlakMagazine

19 Dec 2004: I have posted a view of this tree from the other side - "More Living Roots."

willie, RAP, Robbrown, livios, Luc, Alan_Kolnik, JeanMichel, LCannon has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To zenitlady: Canada versus NZJanice 1 03-26 05:38
To japie: Many thanks JapieJanice 1 11-30 13:58
To willie: ThanksJanice 1 11-30 02:59
To RAP: La extraña formacion de este arbolJanice 1 11-30 02:58
To Robbrown: Your Suggestion - thanksJanice 1 11-30 02:54
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Very good shot Janice. NZ cerainly has some beautiful places for photography.
Good interesting post. Well done

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-11-29 14:12]
  • [+]

Me fascina esta composicion Janice... la extraña formacion de este arbol para sobrevivir en ese sitio es maravillosa.
Agradable colorido con excelente profundidad y encuadre.

This composition fascinates to me Janice... strange formation of this tree to survive at that place is marvellous.
Pleasant coloring with excellent depth and frame.

You get a real feel for the storminess of the day, I look forward to seeing this amazing tree in bright sunlight or even at dawn or dusk the textures and shapes will be amazing, and some from beach level too.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-11-30 12:40]
  • [+]

This is stunning and going to my favorites! Very well done.

Thanks for posting

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2004-11-30 21:44]

Janice, excellent shot. Quite a beautiful picture. I like the title you chose, and I think "Walking roots" would work too, for I have the feeling they are really walking.

Great note too.


Very good shot. I like the colors.

I'd love to see this in full bloom! And, since summer is approaching, maybe you will go back and share it with us?! A slightly tighter crop might have worked here to emphasize the tree more.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2004-12-13 15:26]

J'aime bien cette image, Janice.
Elle nous montre combien la Nature déploie les efforts nécessaires pour qu'une plante puisse survivre.
Excellente composition sur un fond extraordinaire.

First, this is a beautiful composition, where greens of the land seem so close to the sea. The tree is exceptional, not only because of his tortured shape, but also because he's the center of the mixing of earth, water and air. This ode to the elements is enhanced by the stormy weather. A favorite, because of the beauty and the symbols. Congratulations for that beautiful image, Janice.

This photo is amazing, it captures wonderfully the stormy day. The spray off the water enhances the lovely tree. I've always loved the "twisted" nature of beach and mountain trees, but have never seen one of these. Thank you for the informative note about them. Well done!

  • Great 
  • Kris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 174 W: 0 N: 129] (1818)
  • [2005-02-13 14:27]

Hi, Janice. Beautiful place !
Is nice atmosphere in you captured.
I like it very much.
Well done.

Just as people think of Canada as a place of year round polar bears and Eskimos, we have no real conception of the nature of New Zealand. Thanks to you, I am seeing an almost tropical rainforest with unusual and beautiful flora and fauna. These roots are commanding, stark and scary, especially in the grey of the rainstorm.Love the blue to green to blue as one scans down to the shore from the sky. Extraordinary!

I like your photographies, but this in special, has great interest, harmony chromatic and a perfect one and balanced composition

Wonderful composition, colors and observation, Janice! As usual, my favourite is the sea.

Very good shot. I like the colors.

Calibration Check