At sunset, when the sun is just about to disappear behind a headland, the golden light seems to be particularly intense - perhaps the contrast with the deepening shadows makes it seem so very bright, able to burnish and beautify almost anything. Along the south coast between Island Bay and Owhiro Bay the road is right beside the rocky shore. At the road's edge is a footpath and a strip of impoverished soil supporting native grasses, flaxes, and coprosmas, but also introduced grasses and wildflowers. Plants are called weeds when they are growing too successfully in places we don't want them to. These wildflowers are a symptom of a disrupted environment - but I very much doubt that they are the reason the native vegetation is so limited, and I don't just think of them as weeds. It seems that we humans try to impose our ideas on the natural environment in all kinds of ways, usually when we become aware of our unthinking impact. Even within New Zealand some of our native plants are being regarded as weeds after flourishing too well when planted in places beyond their normal habitat. Introduced plants have certainly caused problems but they are also part of the production, beauty and diversity of life here. As for these little golden plants, however you regard them, the lacy froth of the flowers and the textures of the grasses are very pleasing to my eye.
Grasses and wildflowers, backlit by the golden evening light, along Wellington's south coast, with a distant view of the South Island.