Gardening for wildlife

Mention deserts and people picture dry sandy desolate, wind-blown stretches of endless sand. But today, as we continue to pave over and eliminate our natural landscapes and expand our acres of lawn grass, we are slowly creating an urban desert incapable...... Read More

NZ fairy tern

It’s not often one can say, “I saw New Zealand’s rarest bird from the back deck of our house”. But last weekend, that’s what happened. We live in Whangateau, Tramcar Bay to be exact. I was inside when I heard a tern calling...... Read More

Lessons in decluttering

‘Swedish Death Cleaning’ is a new trend, but unlike other trends that are based on acquiring ‘stuff’ you’re unlikely to really need, Swedish Death Cleaning is purposeful disposal of stuff you don’t want, need or use....... Read More

Dogs still threatening kiwi

Now that spring is here at last, there is a lot happening in Shakespear Open Sanctuary. Most notable is the safe arrival of our resident flock of godwits, back from their breeding season in Alaska having flown non-stop across the Pacific in a week or...... Read More

Sounding off

It’s spring so the garden is full with a cacophony of bird song. Sparrows, blackbirds, starlings, doves, tui, kereru, rosellas, ducks and ducklings, turkeys and pukeko are all making a racket around my place. Nature is noisy. But there’s a...... Read More

The gift of Spring

Now that a profusion of Spring flowers is available, making those typical Victorian small circular nosegays of flowers and herbs, called tussie mussies can be a fun activity. The traditional tussie mussie, no more than 15cm in diameter, is composed...... Read More

Spotlight falls on forests

To the immediate west and north of Orewa are large areas of little known regenerating kauri-podocarp forests. They are coming into focus as farming and other rural pursuits within and around them are being superseded by the priorities of a rapidly expanding...... Read More

Volunteering for future generations

For the last three years I have been involved with the Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary (TOSSI).  After hearing about the nursery group, I thought it would be great to learn about the propagation and raising of trees. What I didn’t know was that...... Read More

Time to incentivise

Despite widespread kerbside recycling schemes, and the (patchy) roll out of dedicated public recycling facilities across the country, especially in tourist hotspots, New Zealand’s roads and beaches are lined with rubbish containers. Plastic bottles...... Read More

Doing our bit for birds

Finally there are Kiwi back at Shakespear Open Sanctuary – their welcome included a very moving powhiri to transfer their kaitiakitanga to our local community. For the first three weeks their location was monitored daily, but currently this is...... Read More