Journal archives for October 2019

October 01, 2019

First Observations for iNat from Te Werahi Area

There are many areas in Aotearoa that do not have obs recorded in this site, usually due to accessibility or the fact that they are not located close to a large city, and Te Werahi is one such place. Located on the north western corner of the North Island, bounded by the Tasman Sea and dunes reaching 100m height, this wild, windswept location takes effort to get there, but is worth it.

Within this area there is a small island called Taupiri and in the 1990's seed was collected from kahikatoa / manuka that grew there. At the time, it was thought that these low growing plants were because of the windswept environment. However, when the seeds were grown, away from the rugged coast, they still grow as a low growing creeper - what was going on here? Is this an undescribed species or something - dare I say it - strange?

On Sep 29 2019 @pjd1 and Theo decided to go there to see if they could gather specimens and naturally they stayed with me :D. We planned the day and I casually mentioned to @indeynz about going there and he immediately wanted to come, offering to carry my gear in return. Well, how could I say no when I had someone to carry my dive boots as we all know those are a priority :D Didn't try and push my luck and get my wetsuit carried as well LOL

We walked 3kms from the Te Werahi gate, through a paddock, dropping to a swamp then up through scrub and then down the dunes to the beach. From there it was a hard slog up the 100m high dunes , but along there I could easily see the moana, the tide was on it's way out, and calling to me.

So we decided to split, with indynz and I dropping down to the ocean (the blue line on the map and 1km) while pjd1 and son carried on out to the island (the green line on the map) and met up with us on the beach after another 2 1/2 kms.

Below, the photo on the left shows the scrub and vegetation on the top of the back dunes before dropping down. This was a spot that we often used to camp at in the 1990s and not much has changed! The photo on the right is when we made it down to Te Werahi, and indeynz is pointing out our route, across the stream, along the left of the "green hill" then the hard slog up that 100m high sand dune in the background.

The photo below shows what the terrain is like half way up the 100m high dune. The "blue dot" in the photo on the sand is indeynz to give you an idea of scale.

Below, the photo on the left shows one of the tantalizing views that kept calling out once we were about 50m up the dune (not the person in the photo who was also mesmerised by the views). The tide was on the way out and more and more rocks were getting exposed and became too hard to resist. The photo on the right is the view when we got down to that beach. In the background you can see the "sand slide" which would have been about 50m, and that is where pjd1 and Theo came down to join us again.

Sadly they did not find the plants they were looking for out there as kikuyu had overtaken the island, effectively eradicating it. But no worries as I had a back up site where I knew this grew, is easy to get to (no hard slog up and down dunes) and is in my backyard LOL

However, we did find other interesting things, as can be seen from the selected photos below. Indeynz also found interesting things as we were looking in different areas which can be seen here

But the highlight of the day for me was being in an area of spectacular grandeur with the excellent company of @indeynz @pjd1 and Theo and being chauffeur driven in my rohe :D Appreciate the great day out!

Posted on October 01, 2019 03:06 AM by tangatawhenua tangatawhenua | 8 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment

October 14, 2019

Wheke of Otaipango Tries Photography

After taking photos of this wheke it decided to get in on the act and grabbed my camera. A good thing I had the cord around my wrist as it has a very strong pull. Pulling out my other camera I got this photo showing the wheke with my main camera and the grey cord you can see stretched tight is attached to my other wrist.

As I had someone with me, they took the cord of the camera the wheke had, then I got down to get some photos with the other camera. The wheke initially had the camera upside down.

Once it had sorted out which was was which, it thought to try and take a photo of a human, not a common species seen regularly by the wheke.

However, distracted by it's good looks, it forgot to press the button.

So the first wheke photographer of Otaipango did not get any photos.

Meanwhile in Wellington in April 2000 this wheke stole a camera while it was recording and from that video we can see it is the same species. I am not sure if these 2 are related, and I am not sure if there is any research into kleptomania and octopus. Is it just this species that has a fascination with photography or are there other species as well?

Posted on October 14, 2019 02:15 AM by tangatawhenua tangatawhenua | 1 observation | 2 comments | Leave a comment