I've been back home for a week now and finally have time to sit down and relate the last two weeks of my NZ trip. After Blenheim, I went back to Chris' in Wellington where we went on several more hikes before the last leg of my trip. From the window of the room I was staying in, I could see the Crow's Nest. I asked Chris if we could hike it. Little did I know that we would end up doing it twice: once from each direction.
It was quite windy the first time we went up. On our way down Chris spotted a plant he didn't recognize (a rarity) so we picked a sample. Neither of us were able to figure out what it was beyond that it was from the mint family. Chris had a friend that was particularly good at identifying plants, but our sample was pretty wilted, so we climbed back up. (It ended up being Balm of Gilead)
Since we were so close to the top, Chris asked if I'd like to continue on. Of course I would!
We sat at the top, ate some chocolate, and headed back down. We were pretty lucky to have such great weather. As we headed back down, we took in the view of Wellington harbor.
Once we had descended back into the bush, I noticed that a few trees were full of holes. Chris told me about the Puriri moth.
The grubs burrow into trees and spend a few years maturing. They create camouflaged caps over their holes. We were able to spot a few. The moths themselves only live a few days and are uncommon to see.
A few weeks before this, Wei Siew had brought over one she had found. I didn't realize how lucky I was to see one in person. It was quite large. We let it loose in Chris' back yard and it flew off drunkenly, hit a tree branch, and disappeared.