|The Kea - New Zealand's unique mountain parrot - was one of the bird's we were fairly certain of tracking down. We saw six and they were a highlight for Miss 13. She's never seen them in the wild before.|
|We loved being being able to see the birds up so close. Their feathers are gorgeous and in flight you can see the scarlet underwings as well.|
|There is a lot of native bush in the area and we took several short walks.|
|On one walk Miss 13 was lucky enough to get this shot of a Tomtit. We've seen them before they but they flit around a lot and she's never managed a good photo before.|
Earlier in the week Miss 13 and I attended the morning session of a Braided River workshop which was held locally. The focus was especially on braided river birds and we heard several researchers talk about their work - how they conducted it, what they found out and what it might mean for the birds concerned. Hearing about the results of one project that we had helped with (albeit in a minor role)was especially interesting and helped cement the connection between volunteer work, scientific study and conservation efforts. Overall we learnt a lot about the challenges that braided river birds face and the challenges humans face if we want to ensure the survival of several species. With any luck Miss 13 was inspired by the possibilities, rather than daunted by the scale of the problems. If nothing else she hopefully saw first hand the relevance of maths (especially statistics) to birding. Maybe the useful factor will help temper her dislike of the subject (although I'm not holding my breath!)
|One of New Zealand's many braided rivers. After learning about them at the workshop it was good to see several up close on our drive up to the mountains.|
We've also spent a fair bit of time checking out results, photos and even the odd video from the trampoline section of the Australian Gymnastics Championships. New Zealand sent a team over and several of Miss 13's clubmates are competing. She's really excited to see them doing so well - over half have won medals so far. In not so great news one of her friends broke her arm in a training accident this week which really freaked Miss 13 out - brought back all sorts of bad memories of her own accident, although thankfully her friend's injury wasn't as bad. Miss 13's confidence really took a battering though and, with two competitions this month, I hope it recovers soon.
Mr 16 is away this long weekend on a Scout trip. Last year's highlight was knife making which he really enjoyed. This year the focus is on greenstone carving which I'm sure he'll enjoy - although I'm not sure it will be able to compare to knife making.
The library reserve system has been especially kind to me of late and over the past week I've finished three books. May favourite was probably Room by Emma Donoghue. I loved the way the author took us into the totally foreign world of Jack, who has spent all of his life in just one room until he and his mother manage to escape. I also loved Wiley Cash's This Dark Road to Mercy. Told from the alternating points of view of three characters, young Easter's voice is the one that really drew me in. I also finished Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. I'm never sure I enjoy her novels since are heavy and tend to focus on the darker side of life - appreciate might be a better word. After that fairly heavy lot I was a little relieved when the library reserve system then sent me two cookbooks I've had on order for a while. I love browsing through cookbooks and trying out new recipes - even if I already have a disorganised collection of more recipes than I'll ever use!
Linking up with Kris' Weekly Wrap-Up