Douglas Park School unit last year using the Cloak of Protection cards.
Here’s Karyn & Arihia setting up the Enviroschools tent at Kapiti’s Sustainable Home & Garden Show. Held last weekend in the glittering sun.
Among other events, there was Cloak of Protection being played inside (Enviroschools Wellington being my biggest supporter).
The theme this year was ‘Bees, butterflies and bugs’. There were fourteen gardens from local Early Childhood Centres, Primary Schools & Colleges.
At the centre of the school gardens ecosytems were alive! Bees joined us. Music wafted into our tent, chimes from one school, especially composed music from another.
Obviously we had a very good time!!
Caught up with Cloak of Protection illustrator Morgan Rothwell, at his home yesterday.
As I’ve always said, Morgan draws like he does, because he knows his creatures from the inside out.
Here he is with the inside of a cat! Part of his collection of skeletons & skulls.
As a child he had his own natural history museum – in the garden shed. Now it’s in his living room. Different country. Same habits!
. . .when my attention was caught by a massive seagull. Well, that was my first thought until it unfurled long wings & folded them in again.
No seagull then!
I began tracking giant bird foot-prints toward the water’s edge. Webbed & as big as the palm of my hand. Dwarfing the dog-prints.
Closer – but, not too close – I found three birds distanced along water’s edge. They weren’t so keen on meeting me! One shuffled (on short-legs) into the water & landing a safe distance away, folded those giant wings into its body again.
So – here’s what I could see from my (short-sighted) distance. Pale curved petrel beak, white body, black back. Giant body on short legs.
Here’s a pic to toroa, who range throughout the NZ coast all year. Might have been???
Quite regularly there’s several packets worth of bread sitting on a steep grass verge. Great flocks chattering & chirping over it!
The bread seems to just appear regularly of it’s own accord(?)
Then the other morning there was the guy out of his bread truck, shaking out the left-over bags. He said he likes the sparrows to get the bread first, before the seagulls arrive.
Tiu (the house sparrow) were released here with high hopes, 1866 – 1871. Brought in from Europe (mainly England), they were to control insects on newly-planted crops.
That’s not what happened. Instead they ate up the farmer’s seeds. Gobbling up wheat, barley & maize!
You would have thought they’d be unpopular after that. But there we are – opening up packets of wheat, barley & corn bread, just for them.
No wonder that bird likes living around humans!
In Cloak of Protection tiu, the house sparrow, is hunted by cat & stoat.
I see that I never reported this, or the outcome.
Rachel Eckersley, enviroschools co-ordinator Taranaki, suggested the following change:
When a predator is ‘Pandor-ed’ (ie given to another player via a Pandora) then that predator is removed from the pack for the rest of the game.
So, as part of a reward for the schools that had exceptional input during Game week (Sept 2013), I asked students if they thought this should become a rule of the game.
Dyer Street School “It was a close call but overall we voted for keeping the current rule. Interesting discussion though.” NO CHANGE
Marco School “We have discussed the change of rule and are unanimous with leave it alone. Because quote ‘we will run out of predators and takes away the fun of the game.’ NO CHANGE
We could say that Pukerua Bay School are already playing a version of this rule, so we’ll take that as a YES to the new rule
And from Enviroschools Wellington facilitator Gill Stewart YES & co-ordinator Karyn Burgess MAYBE YES
So I was never sure where that left us!? Feel free to try out the rule in a game & give me some feedback.
Home again & playing the game, last Saturday night with a bunch of primary-school teachers – I realized how much better the game has become since it first left my hands.
Partly it’s the Hundredth Monkey Principal.* But it’s more than that!
It’s as if Cloak of Protection has been played often enough, with real meaning, that it’s generated a life of its own!
ie the game now appears to have generated its own force-field! One which is due to all of you.
Scientists acknowledge that his can happen in a creative process.
Rupert Seldrake in his book A New Science of Life says “the creative process can be seen as a successive development of more complex and higher-level wholes, through previously separate things being connected together”.
I stand in awe & wonder.
*The Hundredth Monkey Principal was observed by Lyall Watson. After a group of monkeys on an island learned a new behaviour, suddenly other monkeys on other islands with no possible “normal” means of communication learnt that behaviour too. (Lifetide: The Biology of Consciousness)
Gretchen & her mum had paid for a couple of posts in the predator-proof fence around the 307-hectare native forest. So helping create this mainland island. Here is the only Cloud Forest in New Zealand without threat from introduced pests.
Being a mainland island presents new difficulties. Tieke, the saddleback, were released there in 2009 and the end of 2012.
But a lot of the saddlebacks and their offspring left the sanctuary, leaving only a few behind to breed.
‘We didn’t expect that, as they are not great fliers, but saddlebacks need a large territory and there’s nothing to stop them flying over the fence.’ So Conservation manager Elton Smith said in the Otago Daily Times, 16/1/14.
‘But all remaining pairs are expected to produce a second clutch and some might even have three. . .we’re hoping for well over 30 fledglings for the season, which will be a fantastic result.’
Saddlebacks don’t occur anywhere on the mainland without predator control so the ecosanctuary is the only place to find them, other than offshore islands.
In Cloak of Protection tieke, the saddleback, is hunted by kiore, ship rat, cat & stoat. Needs an extremely good fence to keep that lot out!!
Oh yes – I say – I’ve seen the bones of one in the Invercargill Museum.
So, this January I went for a hunt in their Natural History section. As you can see in the photo, it isn’t all the bones, but enough to put together a model.
Adzebill were as large as a small moa, flightless, with a massive down-curved bill.
In Cloak of Protection they are both extinct and predator. They were hunted by: kiore; dog; & the human hunter.
In turn they hunted: tara-iti (fairy tern); tara (white-fronted tern); hoiho (yellow-eyed penguin); tutikiwi (snipe); kiwi; & whio (blue duck).