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Chris Catching Up – October and November 2020!

After seeing Bronwyn’s monumental efforts here during our holidays and thanking Linda and Ray for keeping the Nursery going, here are a few stories to catch up!

Maud Island

From 28 October to 2 November 2020 Chris and Brian, along with friends Maggie and Stephen Elford, were fortunate to visit Maud Island in the Marlborough Sounds. The visit was made possible by Anna and Em who are working as Rangers on the Island along with their young sons Fergus and Quin. The Island is predator free and after strict quarantine procedures we spent a good five days exploring the island, helping with traplines and tracking tunnels (to detect any incursions) and seeing the variety of rare and endangered creatures living there including the Maud Island frog, giant weta, cave weta, click beetle, flax weevil, fluttering shearwater, little blue penguins, gecko’s, morepork and other birds. It’s a spectacular place, steep but regenerating well after farming and what an amazing learning environment for the boys! Thanks Anna and Em Fergus and Quin.


Bookbinding and Making Nature Journals – Art Workshop with Jo Ogier - 17 and 18 October 2020

I came, I watched, I tried and tried some more! Jo brought samples of the beautiful Nature Journals she has created and filled with records of her travels. Filled with sketches that bring to life particular birds and places better than any bought keepsake, she inspired our group to begin our own personal notebooks. Printmaking, experimenting with inks, collage, ripping beautiful papers, textiles, cords and threads and generally getting to try out a variety of methods, tools and equipment meant everyone came up with a unique result – some possibly never to be repeated! But all surpassed our expectations.

Jo’s unfailing patience and humour whilst we asked questions, advice and for “HELP ME NOW PLEASE” for 2 full days, without ever looking harassed is a truly special gift.

I’m not sure what the weather was like except for not getting wet while we collected plant material to make our botanic prints – my concentration was kept fully occupied with the dramas happening under my nose.

The Education Centre delivered great light, comfortable working spaces, yummy shared food and inspiring company (not to mention a shining cuckoo that crashed into the window – and then flew off again). Thanks Chris and Jo for encouragement and opportunity.

Linda Jackson

Native Plant ID workshops

On 14 October 2020 SIT first year Environmental Management students visited the Nursery for practical part of Native Plant ID Course with Chris. Due to Covid restrictions Jesse had given two Plant ID sessions at the SIT Tay St Venue instead of at the Community Nursery. Chris then followed this up with a practical half-day session outside at the Nursery forest remnant, pond and restoration area. The students enthusiastically learned about local plant ID in a practical way as well as some principles of restoration and conservation.