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Pest Free New Zealand: Why it Won’t Happen

In as long as it takes for a stoat to kill a kiwi chick, here’s why predator free New Zealand won’t work:


The penultimate possum plays dead…

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In the Happy Meridies

Great rain-soaked land,

Your green and luscious soul

Is listening in

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Tide to Rest

In the morning feel the hard frost

Bend brokenness, add ache

To stiff bone and disfigured skin–

The ice in the pail has frozen

In jagged and jumblesome shards.

Note nothing has altered.

The broom leans the same way,

Dust crowds as before, grimy pots

Lend shelter to stiff-legged spiders

Smoke is the memory of fires past.

The ice is melting from rusted eaves

Where it– the frost– rests at a stretch

And cradles the earth in her low hours

When she hovers on tired axis, tilts in a dream

Stretches and unwinds to another day.

© E. Richardson

Seal’s Up!


The beach is a friend of the morning:

Each a sheet in the sea of the sun.

The seal pup is playing the mouth

Of the river that swallows the sea.

The seal pup is playing for fun:

He’s not in this business for food,

There’s a wave at the bay that he’s chasing,

The woman is waving away

The rise of the tide is dawning,

The sun rose the previous morning,

The seal pup is playing the tides,

And the woman is playing for time.

The seal is after a fish

That spins away from the mouth

The seal gives up the chase,

The woman is walking south.

The woman is cooking tea

In a caravan by the sea.

The fish is in the pan

And the seals are sailing south.

The river is widest at the mouth,

Where it turns towards the south.

The river is a silver ribbon

In a sea of silver-black.

The woman is a sea of mourning,

A sea of grief and salty tears

In the shadow of the morning

She shall not look back.

Toadstools, Time and Tiny Horses

Autumn is also a good time for taking time to see the world. Out on a recent foray in the wilds of Waimate, I found these spotted treasures.


Officially known as ‘Fly Agaric Toadstools’ (Amanita muscaria), the name doesn’t quite convey the connotations with fairies and enchanted forests, but does hint at their insect-deterring properties.


A more mature version…apparently the ‘spots’ are actually the traces of the outer-covering which ensconces the toadstool in it’s early days: a puff-ball like protection from the world.



Until it gracefully ages to become this star-shaped sentinel of the forest floor, still carrying the stones it picked up in it’s infancy!

Further up the road we passed the golf course (New Zealand has one of the highest per capita incidences of golf courses in the world, so I thought it only fitting to include one here).



The smooth green expanses always bring to mind thoughts of pleasant camping…but not today at any rate.



The Cranio Sacral Therapy would also have to wait. But a short dawdle along the road were the miniature ponies, the highlight of the day! Here they come…


They’re not exactly practical beasts, being too small to ride yet big enough to chomp their way merrily across a few paddocks per year, but so lovely to look at with those beautiful manes.



And ears…


And eyes..


Unlike the Big Bad Wolf I didn’t threaten to eat them all up, oh no my dears! ¬†Just the same, Little Red Riding Hood was hiding in the long green grass when we made our way home.