landscaping

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…

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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.

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

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

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

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(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.

No.

Now I see that is most definitely not the case.

 

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