In our rush to get out of the house today to enjoy the sunshine, I failed to throw even the most basic of picnic ingredients into the car. Which was a great shame because as we peregrinated (if one can in a car and in one’s own country), we came upon a beautiful picnic spot. Here it is; Ouruhia Domain, a few kilometres north of Christchurch, en route to Kaiapoi.
The Domain has playing fields, club rooms, playgrounds, tennis courts, picnic tables, old trees and superb macrocarpa shelter belts. As well, there is a serene area of native plantings. The native plants border the Kaputone Stream which is a tributary of the Styx River. I wrote about the Styx River here Source- to-sea.
Now, come wander the Domain with me; first across the bridge and in to the bush;
then back across the Kaputone stream to the fields and courts , so true to the style of the traditional country Domain.
As I was leaving the area of native plants, I noticed a plaque, nestled in the ground under a bush. It stopped me short. It was so unexpected. And it moved me to a small tear to see such a simple, modest tribute to one of New Zealand’s world-renowned scientists. Here is the plaque. It honours Dr Neil Cherry.
A summary of his work and a little of his life story can be found on this website.
In many ways, he was a traveller /pilgrim in his fields of interest and research; exploring new ideas and always working for a better world to the very end of his days. I particularly admire his work on behalf of veterans exposed to radioactive fallout from nuclear testing in the Pacific.
More of his life story can be found at http://www.nzine.co.nz/features/neilcherry_lifestory_part15.html
and the story of his work with Ouruhia is here.
I must say I was glad I only discovered the Ouruhia community’s concerns about electromagnetic radiation when I came home, or we might not have stopped at the picnic spot for so long.
Being without that picnic sandwich, or any sustenance at all, and beginning to feel hungry from our explorations in exciting, unfamiliar territory, we left the pleasant fields of Ouruhia and continued on to Kaiapoi. There we stopped for a McDonald’s take away before heading homewards. I have a guilty feeling that the take away may have done us more damage than any passing exposure to residual electromagnetic radiation at Ouruhia. Oh well, we had lovely peregrinations. Did you?