Monday, 15 March 2021

Finding a Rare Butterfly - Butterfly & Moth Citizen Science

In September 2020 I read "Finding Forest Ringlets" in Forest and Bird magazine. I'd not heard of Forest Ringlet butterflies before, but was intrigued by the article. I never imagined I'd see such a rare butterfly. The article says "It's estimated that fewer than 100 people have seen and identified the butterfly in the wild." 

At Risk - Forest Ringlet Butterfly

When I'm tramping in the bush, I'm always on the lookout for interesting things, berries on the forest floor, unusual fungi and so on. When I walk along the coast, I keep an eye out for copper butterflies. Now I added looking for butterflies in the forest. I was looking for a glimpse of fluttering orange - but the first butterfly I spotted in the bush was a red admiral. On another tramp I caught a glimpse of orange but the butterfly was gone before I could identify it. 

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Making Papier Mache Animals

 The wonderful papier mache tūī that accompanied me to the Imagine This! Festival at Porirua Library, was a huge hit with kids and parents. They were fascinated about how little it weighed and how life-like it looked. This lovely tūī was made by Meredith Thorpe, a Nelson-based artist. Parents and children asked me how to make a papier mache animal.

Meredith's Tūī

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Making Native Bird Pop-up Cards - an activity for kiwi kids

Making native bird pop-up cards was a huge hit at Whitby Library last week. I've been taking part of the Porirua Library "Imagine This!" summer festival for children and this was the second workshop I ran. 

Nature pop-up cards are a great way to re-use greeting cards, scraps of paper, used Christmas or birthday wrapping paper, and images from old calendars and magazines. This activity worked well with age 6 and up.

How to make the Kiwi Pop-Up

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Nature Books for Young People

Looking for some book present ideas for young people? Perhaps they've been fans of the 'explore and discover' books and are now teens. Perhaps they've got New Zealand Nature Heroes and love to read about nature and be inspired by nature heroes. Here's my top tips for young people from my reading this year.

Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty


Dara McAnulty is a young nature hero. His book Diary of a Young Naturalist is a must read for nature lovers, whether teens or adults. 

This book stands out head and shoulders above other books by young people on their nature experiences or activism. Dara is a talented writer and writes with extraordinary perception and intensity about his relationship with the natural world around him.

I am buoyed by the life springing out everywhere, in the garden, in the school grounds, even on the streets around the house. My heart crashes less against my chest. I feel in rhythm with nature, and I start becoming immersed in every moment again, letting each wave hit me and seep in. (May11)