Saturday, April 25, 2015

Quirky woods

Some while back I wrote a few posts on quirky places in Dunedin - here, for instance, or here, and here. These posts, which date from 2009 and 2011, are now all in need of updating. I've just updated the one on quirky water, for instance, though it could probably do with a total overhaul.

Anyway, to add to the 'series,' my wife and I today discovered 73 Hillary St. Celia had seen something about it online when she was searching for the whereabouts of chestnut trees in Dunedin, and suggested we go and look.

Well, the chestnut trees, as far as we could see, are still at a fairly early stage of their existence, and won't be producing chestnuts for a while yet. This site has to be one of the most unknown places in the city. Obviously locals know about it, but I doubt if the general population is up with it.

For a start, even though it has a street number online, there's no sign, and certainly no postbox. You go down an unmarked track between 71 and 75 and after encountering a couple of metal stands that stop people taking bikes in, you find yourself in a wonderful area full of trees - new and old - between the back of the Hillary St houses and the Motorway. It's a bit noisy at times, because of the cars going up and down the motorway, but it still manages to be very peaceful.

It's a piece of land on the hillside that is undulating, to say the least. Some of it is steep(ish) and some flat(ish). The ground underneath you is at present carpeted with thousands of leaves, so it's lovely to walk on. It's a bit like being in a English wood, although most English woods would be older and the trees would be ancient. There are some elderly trees here, but also plenty of new ones coming along, plus a good number of rhododendron bushes still in their youth.

It has a charm all its own - the dog loved it, and we loved it too. You could picnic there, at a pinch, and it's surprisingly clear of rubbish (only up towards the back of one set of houses was there any sign of unrecycled stuff.

And the view across the motorway at present is a delight: hundreds of trees of all sorts of colours: browns, yellows, reds. Who needs to go to Arrowtown to see Autumn at its best?
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