JiL Hemming, environmental game designer, talks about turning the science of pollination into the art of game play, for her new board game, Flight of Pollen, at Mahara Gallery. Waikanae 7th May 2017.
I was lucky enough to live in New Zealand, on Waiheke Island, where I met so many wonderful people and made a friendship with Jil, who hosted me for a month (2015).
We were playing Flight of Pollen in the evenings, almost every day, often with friends. The game was at a very early stage, it didn’t even have a definite name.
It was fun for us to create rules based on the real behavior, characteristics and interactions of New Zealand flora and fauna.
This game is a very interesting way to get an insight into NZ wildlife and to understand why loving and respecting even small things like insects and flowers is so important.
Your unique part of the world has been portrayed with very fine and accurate illustrations.
Now that I am back to Milano I can’t imagine anything more beautiful to enjoy with friends, family and my 7 year old nephew (who is already a fan of “Cloak of Protection”).
In Flight of Pollen, are the things that I learnt in New Zealand and that make life on this world worth living: love, respect and contemplation of Nature.
Mario Pinzone. Milano. Italy.
JiL Hemming, environmental game designer, talks about turning the science of pollination into the art of game play, for her new board game, Flight of Pollen.
Mahara Gallery. Waikanae
Ya’akov, who is 9 years old, has tested Flight of Pollen twice. The first time (2 years ago) was when his family visited while I was on Waiheke Island. The 2nd time is this week!
Since it’s the school holidays, one morning we went to Peter’s house, and 5 of us played Flight of Pollen.
The first game took us 2 hours, we lost & the game won!
The second game took us about an hour. NIGHT won, that was me!
The game’s a thriller!
Last night my dad & I played JiL, and NIGHT won again, that was us!
His dad says “the game has come a long way, since Waiheke. Certainly more thrilling, but still true to itself.”
Flight of Pollen has been four years in the making. It grew from the honey bee (because I was working alongside a hive), to a DAY and NIGHT pollination game in the Aotearoa / New Zealand forest.
Cushla had done a whole lot of research, when Marine asked me if I’d do a house-sit, for them, on Waiheke Island.
No hesitation on that one! Cushla gave me a boxful of papers, plus a book of ideas, and I was off. . .
Thought I’d share this lovely comment I received in October. Perfect place to play the game!!
Just thought you might like to know how much our family love your card game. It was a real highlight taking it in our pack on our tramp on the weekend. We stayed overnight at a tramping hut with another family and introduced them to the game. With a 7,8,10 and 11 year old we played until after 10pm in candlelight. Only stopping to hear the morepork and to check out possums with torchlight. Was a great location to play the game in!
So, instead, we’ve had 30 deluxe wooden boxes made for Cloak of Protection.
The timber is untreated kiln dried pine from sustainable forests in South Otago, made for us by the Wooden Box Company in Alexandra. Then Morgan sanded the outside of the box & lightly vanished it for a smooth finish.
We’ve made a limited number of 30 boxes for this Christmas. It’s a keeper. Only available on-line here.
Walking toward Te Horo beach yesterday I saw kahu, the harrier, coming in from the sea. It kept trying to find some lift in the air, but instead kept sinking down out of sight, plummeting toward the dunes, only to appear again, flapping its way upward.
Kahu was the one reason we could not call the settlement realm, introduced. Because they introduced themselves!
I wanted the big birds – the giant hunters – to be numero uno in each realm. Karearea (the NZ falcon) for forest; toroa (the royal albatross) for sea; hokioi (the giant eagle) for extinct: and kahu (the harrier) for settlement.
Of course 3 of these birds turn up in the predator realm as well. The fourth – toroa – hunts too, but far away from land.
Once, they ruled. Maintaining the balance in their realm. As only good hunters can do.
I’ve never needed one pair – like Noah’s ark – to go out & multiply across the world. Either walking on land bridges until they crossed the globe. Or left alone to change after being marooned as continents spread far apart.
This week I found science catching up with my point of view!!
Apparently a 20-million-year-old kiwi fossil found in Central Otago had researchers suggesting that the kiwi flew here from Australia long after Gondwana broke apart.
It seems that kiwi & moa flew around the continents and then became flightless after arriving here. Just like their cousins the ostrich in Africa, the rhea South America, the emu in Australia, & the cassowary in PNG.
To go from flight to non-flight can be super-common if you’re a ratite or a rail. Or even if you’re a stout legged moa.
A world-wide change that is very weird, and very possible.
I’ve just finished reading a couple of compelling science books.
A WORLD WITHOUT Bees (The mysterious decline of the honeybee & what it means to us), tells how our species is beginning to walk dangerously out of step with the rest of nature.
It’s a common theme.
Reading Callum Robert’s Ocean of Life HOW OUR SEAS ARE CHANGING, I was as absorbed as when I first read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.
I don’t know how Callum makes this urgent need for the wholesale reversal of present trends of wildlife decline and environmental degradation, a testament to the human spirit – but he does!
David Suzuki calls it ‘an eloquent and authoritative call for change with a blueprint to guide us in salvaging the great oceans.’ Which it most definitely is.
I got it out from the Kapiti Coast library (aren’t libraries wonderful!)
Judges for the 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books (it was short-listed) said: “Roberts sets modern conservation in context. For instance he has taken fisheries science and channelled it into the mainstream debate. This book is thrilling: a delightful mix of anecdote, research and polemic.”
Both books: great reads.