Hiking this morning in the foothills of the mountains, above Hamner Springs. Conical Hill path, Majuba Track, and a Woodlands path, looping back down to town. New Zealand’s native forests were mostly deforested in the 1800’s, with some notable exceptions and remote slopes. I hiked up through giant trees northwest of the town, but they are actually a “reserve” of timber – a hillside that was replanted at the turn of the century. It is always wonderful to hike beneath the great bones of hundred year old trees, including lots of great pines of various types — the slopes above Hamner were largely replanted, and have been “managed” — meaning one see’s a lot of clear cuts from the lookout vista at the top. The streams running down from the mountains are still clean, though, and instead of cat-tail reeds, a sort of agave-looking plant of great size grows in the low land where Dog Creek flows. I hiked along Dog Creek for a while — the flower stalks of the reeds are twice as tall as me, like yucca, and brilliant red.