Friday, December 21, 2012

End of year round up in no particular order

The eggs, laid in April, are hatching now in December. There is really no metamorphosis. The young Wetas resemble small adults and undergo several moults before they are fully grown at 45 to 50mm long. Their favoured food plants are Mahoe and Lace – bark species both of which we have planted in the gully.
We had regular visits of Tui throughout the latter part of the winter and spring. There was hope that they may stay round and nest but we don’t believe this happened. Once the willow flowers faded the Tui departed. When the flax that has been planted mature and start flowering the Tui should have a reason to stay around a bit longer and the longer they stay the more likely they are to nest.
Pest control
We have hammered the pests this last year with 22 possums removed out of the gully and no more being caught. The volume of baits going through the 13 bait stations to control rats have dropped right off so we are reasonably confident that rats are also under control. Waikato Regional Council scientists are in the process of monitoring the rat population, or lack of it, at the moment so we are waiting to see what the results will be.
Unfortunately we have had an attack on our bait stations with three being removed and taken away along with at least three tracking stations. This is most disturbing. We have installed temporary signs at each of the three entrances to explain what we are doing in the hope that this will stop.
Track installed
This must be the years highlight. It makes moving around the gully so easy for us now on our working bees and there is evidence that there are a good number of people walking the track as well. This has a down side that it also lets people in that are hell bent of damaging things but it has an upside that the public can now see what restoration is being done. We thank the Hamilton City Council Envirofund for funding the materials for this project. Perry aggregate for donating pit sand and Acorn Building Supplies for a generous discount on the timber and other hardware.  
The rubbish bin was made from
one donated drum.
The rubbish bin 
We are pleasantly surprised how much rubbish is going into the rubbish bin. There was a worry that having a lid to lift may have deterred people from using it, but this does not seem to be the case.The amount thrown over the bridge has been reduced to almost nothing.  
The shade house
This is full of plants which are all growing well. We have found that the distribution of water from the irrigation system is not that even. We are managing this now we know the areas that do not get as much water. Over all we are very pleased with it. We are in the process of building a potting table next to it.

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