Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Thursday, 21 August 2008
These are the final days of Aparima - Five Peaks, a little exhibition at the Otautau Museum. This display features pictures of Aparima's founding families - the Becks, the James', the Keens and others, plus many class photos from the Aparima School. Pictured above is the Aparima Hotel, built approximately 1866. Look at all those tussocks!
The museum is expanding its opening hours to include Wednesday afternoons in addition to being open Sundays, 2-4pm. So you'll have more opportunity to glimpse these rare photos while they are here. The exhibition ends Sunday, 31 August. The next display will feature the Holt Park sports days and sports complex. Contact Graham Barkman to contribute photos or memorabilia and to find out how you can get involved in the museum.
Friday, 15 August 2008
I believe everyone has something unique and interesting to contribute and so I'm inviting you to become a writer on the blog. You don't need heaps of experience. You don't even need to be a good speller! Send me an email and tell me what you'd like to write about. This is a community blog ready and waiting for your contribution. Email me for more details.
Thursday, 14 August 2008
This is Hekeia, or Bald Hill, with a dusting of snow on it. Hekeia was named long ago after a chief from Hawaiki. The hill has a flat top and, at 800 meters, is the highest part of the Longwood Range. It stands midway between Otautau and Tuatapere. This picture was taken on 14 August, just near the refuse station on Lieman Street, Otautau. Proof that the weather is still providing cold days.
I looked on the net for information about Hekeia and found something interesting. A long time ago, historian Herries Beattie spoke to the Maori at Colac Bay, gleaning their stories and traditions. They said that a karara (big lizard; also ngarara in the North Island) lived on the west side of the hill. This excerpt about the karara was taken from the Journal of Polynesian Society website:
So Hekeia is not just a bald hill with snow. Others knew it as a remembrance of an ancient chief and for the fierce creature that lurked on the other side.
It killed men who were out hunting wekas, and finally chased a man named
Taiari. He ran zigzag to escape it, and it became jammed between two trees and was killed. Another account says its habitat was the west side of Hekeia (Bald Hill). It may be added that on the west side of the Waiau River at Clifden are caves called Te-ana-o-te-karara.
Monday, 11 August 2008
Friday, 8 August 2008
At any one time we have had up to 7 tuis in this tree either feeding or, latterly, in courtship displays. We also regularly attract bellbirds and waxeyes.
These photos show the simple set-up. Plastic coated bicycle hooks screwed into the trunk of the shrub are bent to accommodate the rim of a small jam jar. Copper wire twisted round the rim holds the jar in place. PLEASE POSITION OUT OF THE REACH OF CATS. The shrub (Olearia dartonii) provides plenty of perches for birds to queue up, or escape from a tui in an aggressive mood!
Our two jars are topped up daily with sugar water: half cup of raw sugar in 400ml water.
It also helps to plant other shrubs and trees which provide fruit (Coprosma spp in a hedge is ideal), nectar (e.g. cherry, quince at this time of year - the list is much longer for later on. I think we benefit a great deal from a stand of Euclyptus gunii nearby) and shelter (our birds love to retreat into the native beech trees we have planted.
Good luck. The more of us who feed these birds, the more the whole township will benefit from their beauty and song.
Others may like to comment and add any useful tips. I am by no means an expert.
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
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