You step into the woods. The trees ask you to dance. You are in a completely different world. You smell the fresh air, the leaves, the earth. Your lungs fill up with Oxygen.
You step out of the car. The engine goes to rest, and your ears begin to tune on to a different rhythm. The sway of the branches right above your head. The mysterious wood knocking of the birds. The gentle cracking sounds under your toes. You walk on the soft ground, on a pillow-like cover of fallen leaves. A little dim light finds its way through the green layers.
Just next to Rotorua there is this beautiful Californian Redwood forest.
The grove was planted on a land bare of trees, covered with native New Zealand bush in 1901 - a bit over 100 years only... when you walk through it, you would think that it's been there forever, though... so dense, so lush, so lively. A fascinating green mixture of exotic and native trees...
It's not by accident - there was a big need back then to reestablish forests after many trees had been cut and to supply more wood for commercial use. As New Zealand native trees tend to take a long long time, sometimes even some hundred years to mature, several imported species were tested to see which can grow the fastest to achieve the most time efficient results. This is how the tall, deep cherry red coloured trees from California found their new home in the other end of the Pacific. :)
As a beautiful gesture, and happily for us visitors to enjoy its full splendour, the grove was dedicated in memoriam of those who "had worked in State Forestry but had been killed in the two world wars". Such a great & green way of erecting natural statues, and letting these amazing trees live on...
Walking in the forest makes miracles to your soul. If you haven't tried it yet, I really recommend it. So refreshing, so energising, so nice! You feel the power of nature in this special space created by the trees surrounding and embracing you.
It also took me back to my childhood. I remembered the long walks I used to have with my Grandpa when I was a kid... Sweet memories, and a fly back in time... I wonder if these walks will be remembered? :)
Do you have a favourite forest? What makes it so special? Where is it?
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