With some older blogs that this would’ve been more appropriate to disappearing into the ether, unconnectable, I think I’ll just post this here.

It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly modified our landscape is. It’s not just the obvious stuff, like deforestation, non-native species, the laying of roads and powerlines and building of houses and other infrastructure…



You get out of the car and walk the land and observe and you see there is so much more going on.

This corner of Wellington is naturally a web of narrow, steep, forested gullies that drain into the Porirua Stream. The forests are long gone, but even the gullies and streams are disappearing, slowly. A stream rises and, before you know it, it’s disappeared under a road.


It passes under the road and a tennis club then gets a stretch more fresh air and sunlight.


Then it vanishes under a shopping centre and another road, to reappear behind an earthen dam.



A dam which is there, of course, to help protect the good folks downstream from flooding.


(Because of course we should be modifying our environment to suit our desires rather than modifying our behaviour to suit our environment)

I guess it was having grown up in New Zealand then moved to China for a decade and a half then moved back. I’d certainly grown used to the heavily-modified nature of China’s environment. I think that while always having been aware that New Zealand’s environment fell far short of the “100% pure” hype, I’d managed to take it for granted, somehow running on the assumption that despite the deforestation, non-native species (many of which have run amok), stop banks along the Hutt River, and the odd bit of filled-in or reclaimed land around the harbour, that the landscape itself was in a fairly natural state.


Now I see that is most definitely not the case.