When you go down to the woods today ...


... you might be pleased (at least, if you are an amateur like me) to take a half-decent photograph - one that goes some way to convey the pleasure of being in such a beautiful place.

This is Totara Reserve, in the Pohangina Valley. The last reasonable-sized remnant of lowland forest in the Manawatu. I wanted to take a photograph of the reserve for my upcoming talk Exploring Manawatu's environmental past through photographs, which is part of Local History Week.

The talk will draw on the new edition of Ravaged Beauty: An environmental history of the Manawatu, and the newly released Wildbore: A photographic legacy, both published by Totara Press.

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