The opossum. A ground berry-eater, that helps build fences!
In a similar vein to my previous post about the little German owl, I found another insightful gem about possums, from the official report of the 15th national conference of acclimatisation societies in 1926:
“The Government had appointed Professor Kirk to inquire into opossums and the Forestry Department had also appointed an independent man. Both had come to the conclusion, namely, that opossums did no damage to Native trees. [The President] knew himself that the boards looking after certain scenic reserves had been able to obtain quite a large revenue from the opossums,* and had been thus able to fence the reserves, so that in that way the opossums were doing good in the bush.” Continue reading
A German owl. Looks pretty harmless to me!
While perusing historical minute books of the New Zealand acclimatisation societies, I came across this gem, from the ‘Presidential address’ at their national conference in 1932:
“The German owl was killing out a tremendous number of native birds, and it should be the duty of the societies to wage war upon it. There was a division of opinion concerning the magpie, which was useful to farmers, but his society considered that only definitely proved killers should be destroyed.” Continue reading
A juvenile seal entangled in plastic
The storm that visited Wellington last week was dramatic. It left countless homes and businesses flooded, one man dead, and transport links paralyzed. In Kapiti, where I live, we had one month’s worth of rain in one day.
The storm had another dramatic, and revealing, effect. It left Kapiti’s beaches smothered in a deluge of debris, washed down streams and waterways swollen by the heavy rain. Continue reading
While on a hunt for early accounts of acclimatisation societies in New Zealand, I found this gem – a letter to the editor of the Otago Daily Times in 1867.
How times have changed!
(And anyone know who a “Venator” is?)
My call out for poems about New Zealand rivers got an immediate response! Thank you to a certain olive farmer of Awatere Valley, who alerted me to this poem by Eileen Duggan. Certainly one from the “river as a metaphor” file – for love, in this case. The metaphors come thick and fast in this one! Continue reading
I am on a hunt … for poems about New Zealand rivers.
I have found a few by some of our well-known poets:
“The river in you” by Brian Turner
“Rangitikei River song” by Sam Hunt
“Clutha V” by Denis Glover
And I am sure there are many others, though I am not sure how to find them, apart from searching through endless anthologies, or asking people much more widely read than I am (hint!). Continue reading
A lamprey or pirahau. Photo by Stephen Moore, Department of Conservation
I came to the world of Ikawai rather late. I had dipped into the hefty 800 page volume some time back. What I read was very interesting, but thinking that it was basically an encyclopedia about fish, I had not ventured much further than the introductory chapters.
Recently, my interest in the impact of acclimatisation on Maori led me back to the book. What a revelation! Well actually a series of them. Continue reading