Sunday, August 26, 2012

Time flies faster down here...

...or am I just getting lazier?? August is just about over and my good intentions of being more productive haven't eventuated. On the other hand, my new job is going well and my social life has been far busier!

I've spent many hours choosing a paint colour for the exterior of the house and garage. Unfortunately the LCD screen on my notebook is miles away from the physical colour and I've wasted a lot of time trying to colour match the screen without success. The garage is looking very spotty with all the test pots I've bought and the colour I've finally picked is Resene Stonewall and fingers crossed that it helps the buildings blend in with the bush behind. I was leaning towards Cobblestone but Stonewall has a touch of yellow in which makes it look warmer.

The birds are getting louder and more active as Spring approaches - as I write the korimako (bellbirds) are singing in unison, kakariki are chattering as they fly overhead and there's the occasional loud fluttering of wings as kereru chase each other. I was privileged to see a kiwi on a bush track as I walked home around 10pm last Tuesday. What a buzz! I skipped the rest of the way home with a huge smile on my face; it's exactly the reason why I moved down here and I am so lucky to experience this unique bird up close.

Sir Paul Callaghan's dream for a predator-free New Zealand would enable future generations to still see and hear our national emblem and it's exciting that Gareth Morgan is keen to attempt this on Stewart Island after completing the Million Dollar Mouse campaign to eradicate mice on the Antipodes - see This is a fantastic opportunity to hone skills and create something very special and it deserves more than, what I see as, a sluggish response; surely our society can still look further ahead than the end of its nose to see the long term benefits? Grab a cuppa and listen to this Talking Heads 1hr discussion on Sir Paul's dream here (opens in a new window). 

Whatever the outcome of these big plans, it would be a huge help if all human Kiwis could start trapping around their homes and businesses now. Chuck in a couple of weta and lizard hotels, be eco-responsible pet owners and you'll be saving Aotearoa's unique fauna for future generations. (great article but it seems to have lost its navigation bars - I can email you a PDF of the article if you want to contact me)

I'll finish up with some pics of kaka; it's lovely to watch them fly around in groups and to hear them call. Ka kite...

Look at those colours!

The rare 'Kaka Tree' :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Back in Technology Land

I'm sitting in my nice warm lounge with 3 bars of internet signal - and no windows or doors open! It's all thanks to a Cellutronics AY12 yagi aerial kit that was installed yesterday by Jed, along with a Freeview satellite dish and receiver. Not only do I have fast internet but I can watch tv with a decent picture again - and just in time to watch the rowers get 2 gold medals, YAY!

Jed checking the instructions

Installing the satellite dish

Finished assembly - the yagi aerial is on the right pointing toward
the Telecom cellphone tower

Info on the yagi aerial kit from Cellutronics
The aerial has boosted a non-existent internet signal to 3 bars and I can play YouTube videos without having to wait for ages. The only glitch is that I can only have one device plugged in at a time - so either my mobile phone or the internet. Swapping between them entails turning devices off when plugging in the aerial cable so it's not perfect but at least it's a solution.

Rakiura is known for its 'glowing skies' and we had a great example on 29 July with this sunrise...

Today was another stunning day with a light frost to start with. There's something about winter light here that doesn't have the harshness of summer; Halfmoon Bay looked especially pretty as I walked over to my rat lines.