Spring skies

Spring is my favourite time of year, particularly as an astronomer. The weather is warming up, which makes for a more comfortable skygazing experience, yet the skies are not affected by heat haze which can distort the thing we are trying to observe –...... Read More

Hauturu - Fungi business

Te Hauturu-o-Toi is a treasure chest of species of all sorts, many now missing from the mainland. This is partly due to its isolation and ruggedness, but also the low impact of human presence over the centuries and its preservation as a nature reserve...... Read More

Children need creative gardens

Who amongst us is able to go back in time and see the world as a child again?  Can we think back to where we played outdoors, how things looked, how they smelled? The place we made our games, our stories and ourselves.  The Earth was your...... Read More

Keeping an eye on hihi

A group of 40 hihi, also known as stitchbirds, became the most recent addition to the birds living in Shakespear Regional Park when they were transferred from Tiritiri Matangi on July 3. We are keen to keep a close watch on these new birds to see how...... Read More

Environment - Helping Hungry Birds

Mahurangi East bird enthusiast Isabel Harris offers some tips on ensuring birds have plenty to eat during the cold winter months. I was disappointed to hear the results of last year’s bird count confirming that the populations of many bird species...... Read More

Environment - Moral dilemmas

In his book The Life You Can Save, philosopher Peter Singer poses an ethical question about where we should put our money. Consider this: You are walking to work in your nice clothes and see a drowning child in a pond. You can save the child but you will...... Read More

Father’s Day in the stars

With Father’s Day around the corner, I was asked recently whether I had any astronomy related ideas for the perfect Father’s Day. For me, Great Barrier Island would be a good start. It is within easy reach by ferry or plane, and has fantastic...... Read More

TOSSI - Digging for the future

Climbing a hillside, ominously referred to as slip gully, to smash aside mounds of kikuyu grass and dig holes in the ground is a remarkably fun way to pass a Sunday morning. Community planting days at Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary are the culmination of...... Read More

Hauturu - Spineless wonders

I have written about what a haven Te Hauturu-o-Toi is for native birds, plants and reptiles. It is also a haven for over 500 of our native invertebrates and that is only the ones that have been found and identified there. There could well be that many...... Read More

Bellbird sightings welcome

The arrival of hihi (stitchbirds) at Shakespear Open Sanctuary last month (HM July 1) means that all three of New Zealand’s honeyeaters are now in residence, the other two being tuis and the korimako (bellbird). Tuis are a regular feature on the...... Read More