Gravel crunched under her shoes, the path winding around roots of tall majestic kauri and bright yellow trumpeting kōwhai. The air dripped with the sweet nectar of native bird song, pierced occasionally with the shrill sound of cicadas, basking on the limbs of the trees. Fantails flittered through the greenery, tūī cocked their embellished throats, white pearls snuggled under their chins. An eerie tranquility pervaded, the heavy breath of nature lingering in the air. Although she was in the shade the heat was almost unbearable, her shirt beginning to cling to her. Stumbling over truant roots, she kicked up small clouds of debris in her rush to reach the other end.