Travis Wetland Monthly Newsletter August 2021

Travis Wetland Trust

Work Day Reminder, August 21 2021

Travis Wetland Location Map
Travis Wetland Location Map

The next Travis work day, is Saturday August 21, 9 am – 12:00pm.

Meet at the Education Centre (the old farm house) near the Beach Rd car park at 9 am. Click on the adjacent location map for a more detailed view.

This month we will be planting near the Beach Rd entrance. Please join us.

If plans change and we go elsewhere there will be a notice on the Education Centre door saying where we have gone.

All tools provided. It may be wet underfoot, so gumboots are advised. If you don’t own any we do have some for loan.

Latest News

Last Work Day, 17 July

Colin Meurk planting tōtara
Colin Meurk planting a tōtara

Planting last month was on dune areas near the car park on Mairehau Road. Fifteen keen folk arrived and were rewarded with a mild, cloudy morning and a northwest breeze.

Plants were unloaded from the trailer and placed in gaps amongst the dune vegetation. Some previous plantings, particularly kānuka, had failed to survive the dry summer season and so were removed. The dune area has been difficult to vegetate due to the very dry sandy soil.

The team planted around 200 specimens at a great rate, thanks to the easy digging conditions. Species planted included kānuka, Olearia paniculata, porcupine shrub, prostrate kōwhai and various small-leaved Coprosmas. Plants were watered by bucket or hose as the sand beneath was bone dry, even in mid-winter.

A few specimens were placed in gaps to the south of the walking track. Here the soil was moister with more organic material. It was pleasing to see native regeneration occurring beneath the established trees.

Back at the Education Centre we were fed and watered to the usual high standard. Colin Meurk thanked everyone for their time and for supporting him in his work. With helpers, he planted a tōtara tree near the shade houses as a celebration of his recent award of ONZM (Officer of NZ Order of Merit).

Article: Sue Britain, Images: Dave Evans

Kiwi Conservation Club Members Meet at Travis Wetland

KCC at Travis Wetland
KCC at Travis Wetland

What happens to bugs in winter??

Participants hid a ‘critter’ to see how they winter over. Good habitats were found — well done participants.

Investigations were made to determine what was surviving unaided under the rotting logs. A variety of larvae, as well as beetles, worms, centipedes and millipedes were discovered. Magnifying glasses were useful as they increased the size of these rather small creatures so all could be seen.

KCC at Travis Wetland
How many drops of water can sit on a coin?

Sunshine at lunch time made an outdoors picnic very pleasant then all watched Grahame’s presentation of what is to be found at the Wetland. Insects, birds, fungi, plants with flowers and seeds, so spellbinding.

Geoff [see photo at right] taught the kids a few scientific tricks. What happens to dry grey moss when it a drop or two of water is put on it? Float a needle on water, floating potato in fresh water, then change the water to saline — what happens? How many drops of water can sit on a coin? See the intense concentration with one of our participants pictured. A great learning experience and fun.

Each participant made a bird seed cone to take home to hang on a branch. That completed the afternoon.

Big thank you’s to Grahame, Caitlin P, Sarah G and Geoff H, for your input. Very much appreciated.

Article and images: Eleanor Bissell

Recent Images from Grahame

Black Swan
Black Swan asserting territorial rights!
Flatworm, NewZealandia graffii
Flatworm, NewZealandia graffii
Grey Teal
Grey Teal
Trapezoid Crab Spider, Sidymella trapezia
Trapezoid Crab Spider, Sidymella trapezia
Black Cormorant
Black Cormorant