Cultivating Christmas

My Christmas escape plan will help you to cultivate wonder in the natural world. If your Christmas includes the luxury of lying back in the hammock in a shady part of your garden with a book, here are some ideas. Even if the reading will only take place...... Read More

Flying goats in the gulf

Here in Rodney, the natural world provides signals that tell us that summer is on its way – for example, cabbage trees in full flower abuzz with bees, pohutukawa in bud (in some places already breaking out in flower), garden and bush birds actively...... Read More

Shameful food waste

Even basic food items seem expensive. The household grocery shop takes up a significant portion of a domestic budget, yet we waste an eighth of the food we buy. We leave food until it’s too old to eat, we don’t eat everything on our plates,...... Read More

Battling bugs

Like many people these days, although I’m not strictly organic, I prefer not to use chemical sprays in my garden, particularly on any plants that produce edible fruit or foliage. One significant drawback of not using chemicals, is that timing of...... Read More

Saving Private Gecko

A year ago, 80 Duvaucel’s geckos were reintroduced to the Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary after more than a century of being absent from the mainland due to the impact of introduced predators. This reintroduction was achieved due to the breeding...... Read More

Mixed views on mangroves

At a recent public meeting in Orewa on a conservation plan for the estuary most of the discussion was about mangroves and siltation. The plan acknowledged the ecological value of mangroves and their spread but this did not satisfy its vocal critics....... Read More

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