Sunday, 30 April 2017


TODAY WE ENTERED INTO THE MONTH OF MAY and as far as the tourist season is concerned we have another two weekends to go and it will finish on the 14th which is Mother's Day.

Already the  skies and seas have turned into its winter shade of blue and the Island is noticeably slowing down. The Kawau Cruises ferry is bringing out less day-trippers with only a few now walking the Island tracks and many of the rental cottages are already closing up until Spring.

A late group of hardy yachties came in at 4 for hot chocolate
The cafe has changed from being open daily to only being open these last two forthcoming weekends.
Kawau Cruise Ferry has less tourists now.

For me this is the week when I change over my curtains and cushions from summer to winter colours, and the heat-pump is already being turned on in the evenings. Nearly time for winter singlets, but not quite yet - when that happens I know winter is really here.

Saturday, 22 April 2017



Despite what you may presume, it takes a medical emergency to realise just how fortunate we are to live on Kawau Island. 

One of my neighbours had to make the emergency call at 10 p.m. the other night. That brought in the Island's First Response Team to stabilise her and within the hour she was loaded on the ambulance helicopter heading for Auckland Public Hospital. It took 12 minutes from the helicopter's take-off to arrival at hospital. Her partner went down to be with her and after arriving on the Mainland, because of the heavy commuting traffic, it took three and a half hours to get to the hospital.

In the meanwhile txts and phone calls raced around our bay and immediately there were people ready to be of any further assistance. My neighbour was operated on the next morning and is safe in her hospital bed and only awaits full recovery before returning to the Island.

Friday, 14 April 2017


THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER. As I am seeing the first flowers appear on your Northern Hemisphere posts, so ours are now leaving us until next Spring. - but they're not quite all gone, yet. The pre-winter tidy up continues and there was a big internal sigh as I took down the shade sail and packed it away. Time for the long tail critters to try to make a dash inside and set themselves up a home for the winter. Tara, the cat caught her first one and thought that I was going to take it off her, like I did the lizards and cicadas. She couldn't quite believe all the praise she got and being allowed to keep it - outside.

My very best pre-winter news though, and I'll start at the beginning. I live on one of the only two short access roads on the Island, at a top of a very steep hill. Which means I rely on an "Island Car." - which is something that'll no longer pass a warrant of fitness, ever again.  It has meant that they don't always go when needed and I have done a lot of winter walking up the hill from the wharf. Number 3 car got so bad last winter I barged it off the Island to the Mainland, then it was towed to the village garage to repair it before reversing the process back to the Island. Expensive (ouch) but cheaper than getting a replacement car. All went well late winter, spring, summer, autumn, and I was looking forward to easy winter travelling until the steering locked - solid. I tried. My friend Jenny tried. A week went by and I was not a happy chappie. Then, dum de dum de dum, dum dum dum - up rode Russell early this morning and - fixed it!


Saturday, 8 April 2017


TIME TO CATCH-UP WITH CHORES. All a bit mundane really.

Because so many weeks were taken up with getting my poetry book MEANDERINGS published, and having amazing periods of endless rain, I have been running behind with keeping the gardens up to date - so before the rains come back ( due this coming week ) over the past few days it has been all systems go!!

This deck had been worrying me about how to clean it up. I kept looking at all the specialised products on the market, but I am sensitive to a lot of chemicals and damned if I could either make up my mind or buy a product. Then one wet day, with the deck by front door so slippery, I thought I'll just give it a bit of a scrub with water. Why didn't I think of that before???. I shall go and finish this off after I have finished this post while having a late lunch..

All the lawns behind have been mown and now the hedges are cut as well.

Chinese lantern is one name for this  shrub - the flowers are actually a very deep red.  I have just taken cuttings of this one and the yellow one below from my neighbour's garden and hopefully they will take. 

Monday, 3 April 2017


STRANGE CRITTERS. I came across two insects that I had never seen before, quietly mating in the late afternoon and it was a rush to get the camera and invade their privacy to photograph them. Not easy to do as on a bright white post and both only 1.5 cm long ( i.e. just over an inch).  Fiddling around with editing though I could blow up the photos and fiddle around with editing until I could get clear images along with their colouring.

Now how to contact the bio-security people? Why do government department have to keep changing their name? To hide away from the 'common' people? Or do they do it to show a new guy is in charge?

So no longer is there a DSIR - Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, founded in  1926. One always went their with their queries to identify strange plant, plant disease or insect etc. But it was Reconstituted into initially 10 semi-independent entities called Crown Research Institutes by the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992.

So try Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry - Commonly known as MAF - that was dissolved in 2012 and became Ministry for Primary Industries - but when googling that title it seems to keep coming back to the fishing industry.

By luck rather than remarkable skills in googling I finally got my answer from - wait for it...reckon you'll find it in the phone book real easy - NOT

IDCPHEL Auckland Public Enquiries <>

Hi Lois,
Thank you very much for your enquiry and photos. This is a male and female lichen bag moth, Cebysa leucotelus [Lepidoptera: Psycidae]. This Australian moth has been established in New Zealand since about 1981. The female is brightly coloured metallic blue with orange markings and is sometimes mistaken for a beetle or wasp. The wings are never fully formed, so she hops around but can’t fly. The male looks quite different and is brown and cream/yellow in colour. The caterpillar lives inside a silken bag camouflaged with bits of dirt stuck on the outside, and eats algae and lichen. When ready to pupate, they often crawl upwards and hang quietly in the resting stage. They may sometimes be seen hanging under the eaves of a building. They are not of biosecurity concern. Thank you for your interest and for taking the trouble to report it.
Kind regards,

Stacey Lamont | Entomology
Plant Health and Environment Lab | Diagnostic and Surveillance Services | Operations
Ministry for Primary Industries - Manatū Ahu Matua | 231 Morrin Road | PO Box 2095 | Auckland 1140 |
New Zealand

Australian Lichen Bag Moth



The common  New Zealand Bag/Case Moth which we are familiar with in our gardens. We know them by the overnight torn edges and holes in the leaves of trees, lemon trees in particular in my garden and yet are so hard to detect as they look like small twigs. They feed on a very wide range of native and exotic broad-leaved and coniferous shrubs and trees. I think this is maybe the moth that was swarming this summer and the Islanders were wondering about? 

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