The rich glossy green leaves of the "mirror plant" taupata (Coprosma repens) have persisted despite the drought (still no decent rain here!) and these remarkably resilient coastal plants have been fruitful as well. Their bright orange berries, technically drupes because the juicy flesh encloses the seeds, are very attractive to birds. They feast on them, liberating and spreading the seeds. Thus taupata plants pop up in all manner of locations - on rocky outrops on the coast, low growing as if they are crouching in response to the wind and the ocean spray, and at the other extreme as small trees with more abundant leaves and upright spreading form where there is good soil and a better life to be had.
A self-sown small tree has grown by a wall at our gate and arches over it, shaped by the wind. Every time I open the door to walk out it seems I catch the sight of a bird, often a blackbird at present, quickly pecking at another berry before making a tut-tut noise and flying to a higher spot. And when I walk under the arching branches of the little tree I can look up to see the bright green of backlit leaves and the luminous orange of the ripe fruit, glistening in tight little bunches.
From summer through autumn the bright orange drupes of taupata provide a colourful display, a feast for the eyes and the birds.