Flora & Fauna

Crimson Tide

The pohutukawa's image problem

Labelled in San Francisco as a ‘curse’ where its ‘lazy’ roots have infiltrated sewer systems and buckled sidewalks, the pohutukawa, like many Kiwis on their O.E., can behave a little badly.

A Cruel Trick

Hunting possums

An invader and a hated pest, the possum is still, for better but mostly for worse, a feature of the bush. Ravaging our trees and native birds, and terrifying trampers who step out into the dark for a midnight dunny visit.

Millionaire’s Salad

On not eating the nikau palm

Wellington lost one of its famous sons this year, with, architect, Sir Ian Athfield bidding farewell at the age of 74. Eulogies spoke of his buildings changing the face of Wellington, but I suspect that for most locals it’s not a whole building that they’d associate with Athfield, just a specific part: the structural-support pillars of the city library.

The Return of the Kākā - Part 3

Kākā, enriched

Like so much fiction with dystopian elements, the novel I’m writing has bits of utopia in it. It’s via this route that kākā have found a place. Jenny Jones’ Kaka has helped bring the species close. This short book is shelved in the children’s section, and for a non-scientist it makes an appealing first look into the parrot’s gifts and quirks.

The Return of the Kākā - Part 2

Ecospirituality, and why I make religions up

Of course, all those kākā recolonising Thorndon reminds me of our trip to Mt Bruce, and later visits to Zealandia itself. Here’s how a founder of Zealandia describes seeing for the first time the sanctuary’s future site: