“This piece of Swamp Kauri timber is in its natural state, as it would have come out of the Swamp”, said the note. “It is probably about 45,000-50,000 years old and is part of a root system of a medium size tree”, it continued.
What, you thought I met a 45,000+ year old person in New Zealand?
To the best of my knowledge, I didn’t. I did, however, get to go on a historical tour in an old forest with a Mauri guide. Mauris are the natives of New Zealand, and a visit to New Zealand is not complete without getting to know this culture one way or another.
As for the tree – it was waiting for us at the gift shop. The note attached to the tree explained that a regular Kauri timber doesn’t come in colors, yet if it comes from the swamp, it gets colored by soils. Not only does it get colored, but the tree becomes decorated in patterns. “Sometimes these patterns can be so intense that the wood looks like it is actually glowing”, promised the note.
Right outside the gift shop was a trees that the guide promised was resistant to fire. That, of course, sounded crazy to me. I’ve always seen people burn wood in the fireplace in winters on movies. How could a tree be resistant to fire?
Apparently, such trees and other plants due exist. Some keep their most sensitive parts at the top, so if the fire doesn’t spread too much, it can’t touch them. Some let go of their more sensitive or weaker parts, dropping them while basking in stronger, more fire-resistant layers.
It’s possible that this piece of tree, welcoming us to the gift shop, was of the same age and qualities. Anyone else sees legs and shoes?
New Zealand Moment of the Week is my way of reliving the unexpected fairytale journey that made me a world traveler in 2009 (thanks, R!) – and sharing it with you. Every week on All Colores, you will find one more moment of joy.
Have you ever heard of fire-resistant trees? Have you ever met a 45,000+ being?