As a fan of Rakiura / Stewart Island I particularly enjoyed the current and past footage of the island, along with the description of what it was like to grow up there.
|Oban, Rakiura in the 2010s|
The overwhelming impression was of a life well lived, of a resilient and determined individual, who got on with life and had no regrets.
I would love to have heard her talk more about her interest in plants and about writing, illustrating and her experiences in the publishing industry, but that reflects my own bias, and I think for the general viewer this aspect would have been covered adequately.
Inspired, I've pulled out a couple of booklets that I have of hers: New Zealand Mosses, 1969 and A Bunch of Wild Orchids, 1968.
|Two of Sheila's books published by Pegasus Press in the 1960s|
In A Bunch of Wild Orchids she talks about having her own orchid garden as a child on Rakiura / Stewart Island, taking a patch where some orchids already grew she added in other orchids that she found elsewhere. While others were growing up admiring imported garden flowers, New Zealand natives were all she knew, what a rich experience that provided her with. "Most of my orchids were there already, living on a dark peaty bank under the muttonbird trees. There was one with a creamy gold-and-pink flower, set on a dainty stem above flat spotted leaves, the whole plant fuzzy with tiny hairs."
On recent visits to Rakiura, I've sought out the orchids along the village lane ways and beside the tramping tracks, often hiding bashfully, but, I like to think, waiting to be found and admired.
|A green bird orchid, discovered after a fellow|
tramper sat on it at lunchtime
|From "A Bunch of Wild Orchids" by Sheila Natusch|
|Moss and odd-leaved orchid on Rakiura|
I was the lucky recipient of some "2 for the price of 1" vouchers for this movie, most of which I gave away on Facebook and Instagram. But I still have one voucher left. The first blog reader to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the voucher will receive it in the mail (NZ postal addresses only).
For more of my blogposts on Stewart Island see:
Plants and animals
Ulva Island sanctuary