It's happening again.
With the holiday season nearly upon us my thoughts are turning to my family and my lovely home in the South Pacific. It's quite an interesting place, that New Zealand a.k.a Aotearoa, meaning "land of the long white cloud," and for quite some time it's interestingness was a bit of a secret.
Since parting from supercontinent Gondwanaland 80 million years ago, it steered away from other landmasses (wheeee!) and well out into the Pacific, beginning the longest period of isolation of any non-polar landmass on earth. This remoteness allowed evolution on land to take an eccentric course. Plants, animals and ecosystems developed that are so distinctive,
Birdland - limited edition print
So, who was hanging out on the ark all those many years ago? Well, because of the timing of the split (dinosaur time), New Zealand evolved pretty much without any mammals. Apart from some lizards and insects it was basically one big non-stop bird party. Without predators birds flourished - when there's no one around to eat you or your babies you can nest on the ground and heck, you don't even really need wings! Most notable is the evolution of the flightless bird which became our beloved national bird, the Kiwi.*
Birdland's a picture I created when I was thinking how lovely the forest must have sounded all those many years ago...
I might just be making it downunder for the holidays this year! Yeehaaa! I'm curious, have you started your holiday shopping and/or holiday making/re-gifting yet?? Would getting a gift for free start the ball rolling for you? Of course it would! Enjoy the beautifully written, sensitive reviews at Wishing Willow and win at the same time!
PSSSSST! It's my work getting the spa treatment over at Wishing Willow today!!!
* It never ceases to amuse me that the United States got the Bald Eagle and we have the small, brown, flightless, half-blind, nocturnal Kiwi as our national bird!
For more information about the prehistory on NZ see this page. Oh yeah!