Ring-necked pheasants

Another bird that’s hard to get photos of is the Ring-necked pheasant, even though there are loads of them round about. We especially appreciate their confirmation of earthquakes.

Ring-necked pheasant.
Ring-necked pheasant.
Ring-necked pheasant.
Ring-necked pheasant.

Hawks, kāhu

We have plenty of hawks around here, but it’s not easy to get photos of them. My friend Jan Jordan managed to get these shots recently.

Kāhu on the lookout.
Kāhu on the lookout.
Kāhu in flight.
Kāhu in flight.

Native trees are suckers for E. Coli

Waikawa river has high levels of E. Coli, unlike the Waikawa Reserve site about 10 Km upstream. Between there and here the river flows through cow paddocks and past the shag colony. Now interesting research by Environmental Science and Research suggests that native trees could help.

Native trees could help clean up lakes and rivers and provide a solution to New Zealand’s nitrogen and effluent problem.

Previous tests have shown E coli died off much faster under mānuka than under pasture, and significantly reduced the leaching of nitrate compared with pine trees and grass. …

Science leader of the ESR’s biowaste team, Maria Gutierrez-Gines, said they did not know how it worked yet, but they thought the native root systems may release compounds that pathogens did not like, so they either died or did not grow.

Native plants put under microscope for E coli and effluent treatment | RNZ News

So there’s something to keep in mind.

Rock, tide, sand

Many a kid has taken their bucket and spade to the beach and enthusiastically built a sand castle. The next day though usually ends in disappointment as the previous day’s efforts have been washed away by the tide. Sad, but a valuable life lesson perhaps.

River cut dam breached, from north bank looking south.

River cut dam breached, from north bank looking south.

When I was a kid I also read about the 3 little pigs: a big bad wolf blows down the first two pigs’ houses, made of straw and sticks respectively, but is unable to destroy the third pig’s house, made of bricks. Seems like maybe bricks are a pretty good building material.

Rock groyne 1993. Crown Copyright photo, cropped and zoomed.

Rock groyne 1993. Crown Copyright photo, cropped and zoomed. Look how long that rock groyne was in 1993!

Continuing the life lessons, at least one Bible verse (Matthew 7:24–27) found its way into my learning. The World English Bible puts it like this:

Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.

Of course there’s a deeper meaning, but the message about the impermanence of sand in the face of flood and wind is highly relevant.

This was the sand dam beside the rock groyne.

This was the sand dam beside the rock groyne.

On 28 June 2018 the Council did a River Cut to divert our river more directly out to sea, rather than running beside the coast eroding properties and blocking vehicle access to the beach from Manga Pirau Street.

It took them all day and they created a good-looking straight channel and sand dam. Less than 10 days later and that sand dam has breached. The river’s busy carving sand off the edges of the channel. High tide is due and I suspect that before tomorrow dawns all the human endeavour will be reverted by the known forces of nature.

Tides 20180708.

Tides 20180708.

Wind and swell 20180708.

Wind and swell 20180708.