We are approaching the end of March, so it must be time for the top five posts of the first quarter. Coming in at number one – by a healthy margin – is Our favourite Californian – the history of Radiata pine forestry in NZ … who would have thought? At number 2, there continues to be huge interest around our most polluted river – the Manawatu – with only the rare day passing without at least a few hits on this post. Few surprises about the next most popular posts … lawnmowers, Nga Manu Nature Reserve and Jeanette Fitzsimons – perhaps an unlikely combination anywhere else, but not here! Click on the links below to read the posts.
A lawnmower was an indispensable piece of equipment for the New Zealand homeowner for much of the 20th century, and a piece of equipment for which New Zealand men in particular have formed a kind of reluctant affection – perhaps more so than any other country in the world. (Though we as New Zealanders take our lawn for granted, many people in even the developed world have only a court-yard garden at most.) The traditional quarter-acre section, ubiquitous until the 1980s, but now subdivided into near-oblivion, was comprised largely of lawn, and the lawn mower was an essential tool for keeping the lawn (or perhaps more accurately in many cases – grass and weeds) under control. Lawn-mowing was the obligatory weekend task that could not be overlooked – even if Dad (because, lets face it, it was generally his job) was able to avoid the other tasks and sneak off to the rugby/cricket/fishing. Continue reading