Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal


Every year about this time, there is one thing that always symbolises renewal and the arrival of spring…the annual rebirth of the pongas (pronouced ‘punga’)

Although similar in appearance to palms they are actually large tree ferns that will grow up to ten metres tall with trunks over a metre thick…they thrive all over New Zealand but especially in the hills and mountains of Westland, Fiordland and the Central Plateau. They are very hardy and tolerate frost, snow, rain and drought equally well. But every year they go through a process of hibernation and renewal…and under they burst forth, we’re never quite sure if they are OK…

Never quite sure whether they are going to bounce back

All around the house in the months leading up to this point, the pongas all start to brown off as if they were dying, often well into summer and regardless of the type of winter we may have had…

Ponga are also very resilient and bounce back even after quite harsh treatment. Ponga logs are quite popular for fences  – once in place and if watered regularly, they will often resprout into a living wall. Similarly they can be replanted and will usually start to grow again…

So long as the cut-off end looks similar to this with this very fine ‘fur’, the ponga is healthy and will start sprouting again. If you look closely, you can just see some of the furled fronds growing here as barely visible half-round shapes in the ‘fur’…soon these will start to unroll into the fronds in the first picture…

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5 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

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