Sighted while photographing a Needle-leaved totara, Podocarpus acutifolius, which is a shrubby native plant with a lovely range of colours and, as named, very sharp leaves, was a stick insect. It was sitting very quietly - part of its protection plan. They move around and eat at night, when the birds can't see them. Then there is the cover of the colour - the green doesn't blend with the browns and golds so well, but there is green in the plant too.
And it does look like a stick, a wee branch of the shrub, when it holds itself in position.
Can it see me?
It stays so very still, its front legs held in front to make it even longer and more stick-like.
This led to another discovery. I had been wondering what had been eating my plant of Ugni molinae, previously known as Myrtus ugni, sold here as NZ cranberry - only it isn't from NZ and it isn't a cranberry. It's a small tough bush with tasty little pinkish red fruit, and is from South America. A more accurate name is Chilean guava.
Something was enjoying not just the fruit but the leaves...
Stick insect alert! They may look skinny, but they sure can get through the food.
Close-up of a culprit. It was really hard to find - a very good colour and shape match.