In 1980, independently, Barbara Mitcalfe and Chris Horne both joined Wellington Botanical Society. Since then, alongside professional botanists, and amateurs like ourselves, they have enjoyed botanising Aotearoa’s native plant communities on field trips. They have benefitted greatly from this privilege. Their enthusiasm for learning more about indigenous ecosystems, supplemented by reading botanical publications, and attending workshops, has never left them.
In the 1990s, what had started as a hobby, led to botany-related contract work for DOC, GWRC, WCC, HCC, and even for a quarrying company. Barbara and Chris continued to do voluntary work outdoors and indoors: compiling plant lists, including those for use on TTC plant-identification trips, and writing articles on native plants for The Tararua Tramper.
In the hills was first published in the Tararua Tramper as 'In the forest' in April 2011, changed its name to 'In the hills' in 2013, has been published in every issue since then, and 96 articles later the most recent article is In The Hills 2018-12 .
All photographs are by Jeremy Rolfe, except for a few credited otherwise in early 2011 and 2012 articles.