The onset of fever is quick. The bug goes straight in and buries deep. It can hit like flu, transmitted through words and touch. “Have a look at this,” goldsmith Rob Heydelaar said, passing a thumb-sized vial half full of rattling yellow crumbs. Some were as thin as fingernail clippings, others plump like grains of rice but misshapen, like tears of solder splattered from the iron.


Living World

Pine forest natives

Plantations of exotic timber trees, especially pines, are looked on with disdain by many as alien monocultures, an unpleasant accommodation necessary to protect precious indigenous forests from the logger's chainsaw. Yet a good range of native organisms, untroubled by the trees' pariah status, are quietly enjoying life beneath the rain of pine needles.



In our Wellington house, one window frames a view of the Tararua Range. During summer, when heat haze renders the hills as indistinct as an impres­sionist’s painting, they don’t appear substantial—just a distant blue ridge, a smudge sometimes merging with the sky.

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