As part of the New Zealand Festival of the Arts, we’ve got Urban Huts on the Kapiti Coast. Huts for one!
At the ōtaki hut, I crawled inside and sat on a stool to read a story by Renee. Outside waves sloshed onto the sand, and I deep breathed the smell of salt. Seagulls called, and I remembered the great flock of terns I’d seen on our beach the day before.
The huts are here to stay (so I was told by a woman I meet at the Kaitawa / Paraparaumu Hut yesterday, who’d heard it on the radio).
For an enchanted adventure, full directions and map to all 5 huts urbanhutclub.nz
In Term 3, we played the outdoor version of Flight of Pollen, on the court, at St Anne’s School, Manurewa.
Pollinators collected pollen and transported it to hula-hoop flowers; pollen crawled through one hoop, then another, to the base of the flower; ripening time was spent playing touch-tag; and then pollinators became berry eaters and seed blowers. The winning team, DAY / NIGHT, collected the most seeds & berries.
From there we went indoors, and played a truncated boardgame. Which game was best – indoor or outdoor? Opinion among the students was roughly divided in half.
Both versions were ‘nearly’ as good as Cloak of Protection. Which was high praise indeed – they’re mad about my first game, and play it at every opportunity!!
on eco bags seemed like a good idea for Christmas /Summer Solstice presents
It’s all part of our environmental focus, and our education in sustainable choices.
The bees – native black, honey, and bumble – visit the flowers in Flight of Pollen and it’s a joy to see them out (along with the hoverfly) visiting flowers this summer. I learnt so much / observe with new eyes since creating this game.
It’s also a joy to be carrying them on a tote bag into the supermarket!!
are the ones let loose huge amounts of male pollen. The female positions herself downwind and catches his pollen grains from the air!
It’s a very ancient way. And in this windy country, with strong westerly winds, it works!
Our sneeziest plants are the introduced: gorse, macrocarpa, plantain, pine trees, olive, meadow foxtail grass, and privet.
In Flight of Pollen the native tree miro, and the native bush karamu, let fly huge amounts of pollen too …
It’s a long season of sniffles and sneezes for us!? A-tish-ho! A-tish-ho!
Farmers and gardeners have been spraying their crops and flowers for years to protect them from pests.
We’re told that it has to be this way. Don’t believe it!
These pesticides harm and kill. Pollinating insects – gone. The small birds that feed on these insects – weakened, infertile. The larger birds that hunt the smaller birds (like karearea, our falcon) – birth eggs with shells so brittle, they break.
There are other ways to control our garden pests. For instance, Mrs Thrush. She eats slugs and snails. For free!
In Flight of Pollen, bees and hoverflies are important pollinators
Wending my way up the South Island, & staying in Dunedin, with my friend Gretchen, we drove out to beautiful Waitati. Then on the way home we popped into Orokonui ecosanctuary.
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!!
Since the launch of our partnership in Sept 2012, eighteen Wellington Enviroschools have registered on this site. With their help, we now have 90 more games in the community (ie sold)!!
This partnership enables students and their families to sell games for points for their school, in a rewards system.
After feedback, we have made some changes to the reward system. Now it goes like this:
Enroll your school in programme: your school receives 1 game.
Then for every 10 games sold (where your school is nominated), your enviroschool can receive either:
2 games; OR 1 game + $25; OR $50
Everytime another 10 games are sold, the enviroschool teacher (or group) gets to choose which reward!
This way, more games should get into the classrooms, and schools will be able to start collecting classroom sets.
Their students will need to know how to play the game really well, because all participating Wellington schools will be invited to our annual regional ‘Enviroschools + Cloak of Protection’ play-off, starting Sept 2013.