Is this floating leaf evidence of magical, mysterious forces at play in Fiordland National Park in New Zealand? Or is it a trick or a scam conjured up by a ruthless blogger (!) desperate for hits? No, I’m afraid not – it’s neither.
The explanation is pretty simple. One single (and incredibly fine) thread of spider’s web dangled this leaf from a nearby tree. My iPhone camera didn’t pick it up when I filmed – and at first I could barely see it with the naked eye.
I took this film when I walked the Kepler Track – one of New Zealand nine “great walks” – earlier this year (find out more here). The 60km circular hike is spellbinding. Think rays of sunlight breaking through the dense rainforest canopy (see photo below); thick layers of mosses and lichens covering every tree and branch; and otherworldly sounds and scents. It’s a magical place where you half expect to see a Hobbit around the corner or a party of fairies flying around.
But I certainly didn’t expect to see this floating leaf. I was initially confused by it – what is keeping it in the air? How is this happening? But once I spotted the fine spider’s web thread all became clear and I just enjoyed the sight. It was mesmerising. The way the leaf spun and twisted in the wind was strangely hypnotic and I found the whole thing really quite beautiful.
Sorry. No evidence of magic here – but hopefully you still like the video.
Want to plan your own hiking holiday to New Zealand. Check out my advice here.