The kereru is a large and vividly coloured pigeon. A few weeks ago I heard them flying into my small plum orchard and went to sit under the biggest tree to observe their behaviour. I did that for three days in a row, their timing was like clock-work, and was therefore able to get pretty close to them on the fourth day to get these shots. Click on any of the following photos and you will be linked to a gallery of high-resolution kereru photos.
My good friend tells me to go fishing, the volunteer on site – who is creating a new hiking track – tells me to go fishing and something tells me that more than a few of the good people who read this blog want me to go fishing as well. The bad news is that I wasn’t fishing and have nothing to write about in this respect.
It has been lately rather hot here on the Barrier. More than 25 deg. Celsius at seven in the morning doesn’t feel normal, but I certainly don’t mind. As a matter of fact, I’ve been practising FKK (German for doing the stuff you do, as you do, but naked). I have a few cool off showers per day, the water comes straight from the creek and have otherwise been enjoying staying on the land. Listening to operas, reading, eating and walking through the bush.
It is winter, we had a few cold nights, many beautiful, crisp, sunny mornings and some inclement, windy days. Not much rain, all in all quite comfortable. I’m sleeping well, about nine hours a day, it is quiet and I walk a lot. Well, more than usual any way.
So I’ve been home since two weeks and haven’t been up to much other than co-managing the holiday programme for the Island kids. As usual, I learned a few things. The most important bit; if you like youth to participate, sometimes it is wiser to ask them to come and help out rather than just asking them to join.
In addition, I learned the trivial meanings of mini-beasts, mandala art and harakeke. The latter is the Māori word for New Zealand flax, and you can weave heaps of stuff out of this resource.
There is never a dull moment (on the Barrier), is there? These were my neighbour’s words the other day, and I can attest to that. I feel tired. What I seek the most seems to be outside my control; perhaps I just need to try harder. Instead my mind and time is occupied with too much mundane stuff. Ignorance is bliss.
My good friend Paul is visiting and we’ve been trying to catch a kingi. At this stage, it would be nice to just see one. I’m starting to believe what he’s been saying for years. “You’re lucky to be able to catch a feed off the rocks. This won’t last.“
I’m somewhat fascinated by Nikau trees, an endemic palm tree to New Zealand; when allowed, they grow straight and tall, around 15-20 meters high, with massive fronds up to 3 m long. Their root system must be shallow as I can visibly shake a tree about 8 meters tall, which is probably around 30-40 years old. I found many clusters of nikau in the wet areas of my property and actually enjoy sitting there, amongst a forest of palms, in their shade and sheltered from the winds, listening to the birds and allowing my mind to wander. Their fruit is apparently edible, but I have yet to find ripe ones which I can also access. I’ve noticed Kereru (NZ endemic pigeon) and Kaka (NZ endemic parrot) eating the fruit and judging by the amount of juvenile nikau I suppose the bird life is doing well in regeneration dense clusters of nikau forests.
The Kererū is allegedly in gradual decline and quite indeed an impressive pigeon, with its acrobatic twirls, noisy flight, beautiful colors and big size. Their conservation status is NT (nearly threatened), according to Wikipedia and other New Zealand sources. Due its large size it is one of the only birds that can digest and thus distribute large seeds and drupes. This explains why I have so many premature plum trees scattered all over the bush. They live in pairs and like to occupy the same area.