All posts tagged: New Zealand

Penguin crossing shirt thedreamstress.com

Penguin crossings

Because New Zealand is so close to the South Pole, it has penguins – four species in total, though only one, the little blue penguin, or kororā (the world’s smallest penguin – so basically as cute as a penguin can possibly be), is normally found in the Wellington area. Even though Wellington is a city, much of the coastline is quite undeveloped, and kororā still come ashore to nest.  They nest in underground burrows along the coast, and will happily use man-made ‘burrow’ spaces – such as under houses, if given the chance.  This is a bit of a problem, as this means they have to cross the road which divides buildings from the beach. So all along the Wellington coast you can see ‘Penguin Crossing’ signs: For 8 years, until we bought The Castle, we lived less than 300 meters from a ‘Penguin Crossing’ sign, but, to my everlasting dismay, I never managed to see one in the wild.  I finally had to go to the zoo to see a korora in person. This summer I sewed a …

An unexpected twist to a Valentines Day walk

To celebrate Valentines Day, Mr D & I went for a walk.  We got for a lot of walks together, and a walk is a nice way to celebrate what the holiday is supposed to be about, while avoiding all the commercial rubbish and stress. For this time, we picked a favourite walking spot: Otari Wilton’s Bush, but settled on a combination of routes we don’t often take, to give us a full 3 hour walk. Because we were taking paths we don’t usually take, I got slightly confused, and we took a wrong turn, and ended up somewhere quite amazing: amongst the gravestones in an older, quite overgrown portion of Old Karori Cemetery. Old Karori Cemetery is one of the biggest in NZ (over 4o hectares) and I’ve only ever seen the extremely tidy, well kept portions near the entrance, so it took me a moment to realise where we were. It was quite a fascinating place to end up, particularly if you didn’t expect it: an old cemetery, overgrown and looking as if …

Clamdigging shorts (with asides)

In Dunedin just after New Years, my host asked if I would like to go clam-digging.  I’ve never been clam-digging before – there are no clams in Hawaii, and (as far as I can tell) very few within a reasonable drive of Wellington.  I am extremely enthusiastic both about new experiences and foraging for food (Mr D says “It’s so weird being with you in Hawaii.  You just go into the bush and find stuff and eat it), so I was quite excited. Dunedin has clam beaches (clam fields?  What do you call an area where one goes to harvest clams? (harvest?  catch?  what do you call the act of collecting clams?)) a reasonably short drive from the city centre, so we headed out away from the city to find one. We drove out along the coast, around still bays and past rocky islands, by spreading sand beaches, and between cone-shaped volcanic hills. Finally, we came to our chosen bay, with stretches of sand and shallow sea-grass islands revealed by the ebbing tide. Just a few meters …