stoat, rakiura, makara cemetery
fresh carcase seen on the red rocks track was a stoat, not a ferret:
A beautiful beast, that occupies a big part in the NZ psyche, as they kill many birds. It has been discovered here that rather widely spaced traps can eliminate stoats totally on islands. They swim 500m readly, and occasionally swim 1200m, so constant vigilance is required.
Last April it was 40 years since I walked across Stewart Island - Rakiura, with 4 guys & 1 girl from Massey. Arrived at Mason Bay, the run holder, Tim Te Aika, had us to tea, then the next day, as he was leaving for the winter, towing his family behind his tractor, he gave us half a sheep. We had a magnificent feast on the beach, with scallops and paua, obtained easily in knee deep water. We saw a dead sperm whale on the Mason Bay sand, but our machete could not penetrate its massive brow, so no tooth souvenirs. Heard Kiwi at night - calling "ki wi", but didnt see any. Glimpsed some deer on the beach at dusk. White tailed deer, still extant on the island. Tim was angry that hunters would fly onto the beach, and shoot deer, or sheep occasionally, both part of his income. Tim was bought out by DOC in 86, there are no more sheep on Rakiura. I would recommend flying onto the beach, the walk across is arduous days. in 1977 Kakapo (200?) were found in the North - we didnt hear them. They are now ensconsed on a rat free island. ..., a fine book about Rakiura, photos by Rob Brown, who hauled a large format camera through the swamps.
I biked to Makara cemetery today, Mother & Father are now a depression in the clay, in 711 (row 7 column 11). one headstone had a small windmill, which seemed like an excellent idea.
Its rather fine living directly under Tinakori. I get enough afternoon sun, and on windy days the bush sounds like surf. Bellbirds and Morepork call. The climate is rather fine, but these days one cant be certain.. Wgtn was cold all all December 2006
stoat, rakiura, Makara cemetery