Saturday, 30 April 2016

Alseuosmia Banksii (Toropapa) in Flower!

I took a stroll through the Hugh Crawford Reserve from the end of our boardwalk today. There is a forest of Toropapa but the surprise today is that some are flowering again and as usual the scent is fantastic. It seems that it can flower any time. of the year. I collected a handful of Toropapa berries also from the shrubs that flowered earlier and will have a crack at growing some. I think it is my favourite plant.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Return to The Ngunguru River

Sunday January 31st. This time Millan Ruka, his wife, Shirl and myself traveled from Clements Quarry all the way to Coalhill Ln. Mode of travel was mostly by Millan's inflatable waka,  by paddling, carrying, dragging and lowering the waka over rapids and waterfalls. It was a grand day out. It was a huge 11.5 hour day, 14 kilometre day on the river, our river.
There was only one mishap where I fell then slithered or washed down a chute of cascading water. Got a bit injured but not too bad. The chute is on the right in the photo.

On our last adventure down the river we viewed this huge columnar basalt boulder.

This time we found several more areas with basalt columns and this boulder above.

Monday, 18 April 2016

A Morning Meeting

On the 16th April Dayna, an enthusiastic 13 year old birder and nature lover, arrived at the Matata Boardwalk in Old Mill Lane, Ngunguru early in the morning with her mother Wendy to observe Fernbirds.

The boardwalk crosses this estuarine wetland giving access to the Hugh Crawford bush reserve as well as providing an excellent viewing platform for the wetland birds.
It was a grey, windy morning and the birds seemed reluctant to show although we could hear them in many places over the wetland. Dayna’s camera, always poised for the shot but it did not happen. Some scampered in the rushes and also up into the saltmarsh ribbonwood for a look at us but not venturing into the open. We then moved to another site bordering the wetland where I had often seen the Fernbirds. This time they performed well and Dayna managed some great shots of an adult bird. We also observed a juvenile, so young it had not yet grown a tail and I managed to get a blurry shot. There was much calling, tisking and beak clicking. This was the first time Dayna had seen a Fernbird. Very exciting. It is encouraging to see younger folk so enthusiastic about and amongst our nature.


Tuesday, 12 April 2016


We love our little fantails.
Day one for Piwak. This is it's first compost bin visit ever. This video is in slow motion. Maybe Melva is going to have a new garden and bin friend. It just hasn't been the same in the garden since Piwakawaka passed away last October after 6 years feeding at the bin. The garden has been quiet without its chatter.

Saturday, 9 April 2016


Unusual.A golden Cicada. This specimen is alive. Could it be infected with the parasitic fungi (Cordyceps Robertsii)