Sunday, 14 January 2018

Nature Kids - Making Zines to Spread the Word

Crazy about kākāpō? Curious about kauri? Amazed by animal poo? Wild about weka? If you are a nature fan, you can make a zine to share your passion. 

Zine is short for 'fanzine' - these self-published creations started out as homemade books by fans about their favourite bands. But they can be on any topic that you are crazy about. I got inspired to try making zines when I met Murtle Chickpea and her Zine Museum at the Wairarapa Book Bash. Here is one of the zines...

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Tūī Takeover - tūī chicks growing up in the garden

I always enjoy spending the quiet of the Christmas - New Year break in Pukerua Bay. People leave the cities and suburbs for holiday spots, leaving us to enjoy a laid back week or so in our little suburban village. The bonus this year has been settled warm weather so I'm spending more time relaxing in our wild garden. On Christmas Eve while pottering around in the garden, I was startled by loud, insistent cheeping. Looking for the source, I found myself face to face with a tūī fledgling.
Tūī fledgling
The fledgling hopped around from plant to plant, making an occasional fluttering attempt, but as its wings weren't really developed it fluttered lower and lower until it was on the ground. I thought it wouldn't live through the night -  last year we lost two tūī chicks to neighbours' cats - but Cheepy (as she/he soon came to be called) was still there the next day and the next.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

An Easy Hike - the Cobb Valley and Fenella Hut

I love hiking in the Nelson region. My favourite place to visit is Blue Lake in Nelson Lakes National Park. This year I hiked in the Kahurangi National Park. It's probably best known for the stunning Heaphy Track. Less well known but much easier are the tramping opportunities in the Cobb Valley.

I set off with two friends to hike to Fenella Hut and back. To get to the start of the track is about two hours drive from the centre of Nelson, it might look shorter on the map, but the roads are winding and a good length towards the end is unsealed road.

The Cobb Valley
 From the road end, the track headed up the valley at such a gently gradient it was hard to believe we were gaining altitude. Much of the track is across grassy meadows.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Articles and Interviews - a round up of recent publications

I've been appearing in the media quite a bit recently. For an update of articles, reviews and interviews - by me or about me - read on.

Interview with Me and Reviews of My Books
Shaun Barnett interviewed Ned Barraud and I for the December issue of Backcountry -  the FMC magazine - we talk about our illustration and writing work and what influenced us. Shaun also reviewed two of the books in the  'Explore and Discover' series. We were in great company, this issue also includes photography competition winners, a photo-essay on caves and an item pack-rafting.
An illustration from 'In the Bush' features
on the cover of Backcountry
 "In the Bush is perfect for a junior tramper wanting to know more about our forests and the creatures that inhabitat them." Shaun Barnett in Backcountry

A selection of other reviews: