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The day falls to a close at Milford Sound 
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Where it all Started
April 1, 2012   f/11   1/200 second
Daylight fades from the waters of the fiord at Milford Sound. With just a trace of a smile on my face, I propose that New Zealand was the original "Garden of Eden". After all, Adam and Eve lived in a perfect place. It was a peaceful place where there was no contention. It wasn't until after Adam and Eve disobeyed God that they were exiled from Eden to never return again. Throughout human history New Zealand has remained isolated in the middle of the sea, undiscovered and uninhabited by man. There were no predators in New Zealand, no lions, tigers, bears, or even snakes (okay, so maybe the snake was exiled along with Adam.) It was only in such a peaceful enviroment that a defenseless bird like the Kiwi, that cannot even fly, lived and thrived to a population of about 12 million. Albotross and penguins reared their young in safety. It wasn't until about 700 years ago that the Maori first arrived in New Zealand, and even then enviromental changes  were minimal. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed with the British Empire, and with the arrival of the Europeans the first predators appeared on the island, including dogs, cats, and stoats. To boost the fur trade opossum were brought to New Zealand, and by the 1980's the opossum population exploded to 60 or 70 million. With all these imported enemies, the Kiwi population has now been reduced to a mere 25,000... perhaps only symbolic of the broader changes throughout paradise. To this day, however, New Zealand still shows some of the characteristics of the lengendary "Garden of Eden"... extremely eloquent in beauty, moderate in climate, and probably the only country through which I have tromped in the brush completely carefree of snake bite.
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