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New life from the ashes (40)
Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
MAORI NAME: RANGITOTO, derived from the phrase
‘TE RANGI I TOTONGIA A TAMATEKAPUA –
THE DAY THE BLOOD OF TAMATEKAPUA WAS SHED’

Rangitoto, the largest and youngest of Auckland’s volcanoes, emerged from the sea around 600 years ago in a series of fiery volcanic explosions. Imagine it: fire and steam started erupting from the sea on 8 km northeast of where the city of Auckland now is. Further eruptions sent red-hot lava flows down the sides of the volcano forming the black basaltic rock that now makes up much of the island. The birth of Rangitoto Island took about 200 years from the beginning to the end (there is a debate about this). When it was over, layer of layer of LAVA had built Rangitoto’s symmetrical cone. It was an island of bare jagged rock. It is now considered a dead volcano – I do hope so!

HOW DID PLANT LIFE BEGIN HERE?
Remember that Rangitoto was an island of bare rugged lava. It lacked soil, ground water and still lacked many of the basic elements needed to sustain like. The heat of the black rock created very high temperatures, forming an unwelcome environment for plants.

ARRIVING BY WIND, SEA, WATER.
The 1st inhabitants of Rangitoto were mosses and lichens – natural colonizers of such hostile environments were blown here by wind from the mainland.

Wind carried the tiny seeds of the Pohutukawa – which was one of the 1st tree colonizers of the island. Once the wind-blown trees were established, they attracted birds that carried more seeds.

Other trees, e.g. mangroves, would have arrived on water, seeds floating over across the harbour.

The process of plant colonization on the bare rock continues today. There are still many areas on the island where it appears that nothing is growing. But if you look closely, you will see mosses and lichens beginning to colonise the barren surface.

Here you see a Pohutukawa seedling that has taken root in a few rotting leaves on the lava and eventually ‘islands’ of vegetation will form to shelter other life. An ‘island’ usually extends as far as the outer and upper branches of a large Pohutukawa tree. Then the ‘island’ will grow and expand to grow and join with neighbouring ‘islands.’ Eventually, in many hundreds of years, Rangi will be completely covered with forest. So perhaps next century, this little Pohutukawa will be part of the large ‘island’ in this field of lava.

I was lucky enough on our trip to Rangi to be able to use my friend's Nikon camera some of the time.

Model - NIKON D70
DateTime - 2005:02:22 10:29:10
ExposureTime - 10/5000 seconds
FNumber - 11.00
MaxApertureValue - F 3.48
FocalLength - 18.00 mm
ExposureMode - Auto
DigitalZoomRatio - 1 x
Contrast - Normal
Saturation - Normal
Sharpness - Normal

Altered Image #1

Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
PS
Edited by:red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)

Just cropping a little + saturate + frame.