An eagle eye, patience and skilful camera work have revealed a secret and stunningly beautiful side of Tamahere.
Wildlife photographer Bryce McQuillan spent weeks exploring the Tamahere Reserve to uncover and record a bountiful and beautiful collection of inhabitants – animal and plant – that most of us would overlook.
Restoration of the reserve is Tamahere’s major environmental project and McQuillan’s photography shows what a vibrant and precious ecosystem is already flourishing there.
The Hamilton photographer, whose macro photography has appeared in a range of media from postage stamps to New Zealand Geographic, found a healthy and wide ranging mix of invertebrates – what the rest of us might call creepy crawlies.
Like a David Attenborough of the undergrowth McQuillan’s close-up photos reveal weta, spiders, moths, termites, beetles, nymphs, weevil, cockroaches, fungi and more in all their glory. His detailed photographs allow the rest of us to join in his fascination and appreciation of creatures we might normally brush off or run screaming from.
McQuillan spent several nights exploring the reserve and its different habitats.
“The gully has some quite large and old pine trees up the top,” he wrote on his blog.
“Then down the bottom of the gully is some mature and newly planted natives. Because of this combination there is quite a wide range of invertebrates, both native and introduced. The fallen trees that are slowly decaying on the forest floor make great hiding places for many insects, and also a great place for many insects to lay their eggs/young.”
To see more of secret Tamahere visit McQuillan’s Night Walk here.
The 5ha Tamahere Reserve on Tauwhare Rd is being restored by dedicated volunteers led by local man Leo Koppens. They have formed the Tamahere-Mangaone Restoration Trust and over the last two years have spent hundreds of hours hacking their way through a dense jungle of weeds and exotic trees to reveal such gems as 400-year-old kahikatea and other surviving native trees and plants. They have planted thousands of native plants in areas cleared of weeds and created extensive walkways.
The trust welcomes helpers and most tasks are light work. To offer assistance click to email Leo Koppens or phone 021 955 875.
Earlier stories: Teachers pitch in for reserve