Beautiful sunshine, enthusiastic bug explorers and lots of bugs to find made for a great visit to the Southland Community Nursery by the Makarewa Playcentre. We looked under logs and carpet, in leaves and trees and around the pond. We found slaters, nursery web spiders, damselfly, the worms in the worm farm, weta, a bumblebee buzzing around collecting pollen, a huge beetle (and some smaller ones), moths, lots of flying insects, and a flatworm. We also saw evidnece of bugs including a case moth case, spider webs and the notches and loops on flax made by caterpillars. We also went on a treasure hunt to find leaves to match those pictures on our cards. What great observers you all were. Some kai, a run around the paddock and lots to drink kept us going all morning. Spotting a kererū was awesome and checking out the baby bird and eggs in the nest was pretty amazing!
Posted: 11 November 2021
Working alongside the Glenham school students at Glenelgin we did some maintenace weed clearing from around their native plantings. Using their investigative minds and clues shown a bird was identified and then the main attraction of the day was learning all about how we find out what pests might be around. Tracks and how these help us protect an area of native planting and all the creatures we want to attract to these areas were explored. An awesome day out in nature learning!
Bronwyn and Mark
Posted: 5 November 2021
The Southland Community Nursery was the venue for the final Enviroschools teacher workshop of 2021. Perfect weather (making operating outside under covid restrictions ideal), a great turnout and plenty of discussions around sustainable communities through Kai. Always great to work with Environment Southland and their Enviroschools mahi. The teachers present were inspired by the various habitats where edibles grow (the orchard, berry houses and vege gardens), we discovered all kinds of edibles including weeds and native plants, and explored planting and care.
Posted: 5 November 2021
A broad overview of Otatara history was given to the Mānuka class over 2 sessions (26 Oct and 2 Nov). Without the use of the floor map that we have in the education centre the students created their own map in the classroom. As the stories of the Otatara place were told and discussed we stopped to add features to our map. First the Oreti River and the New River Estuary (which were also the early transport routes), the bush extent of 1865 and flaxmill sites, learning how Otatara Bush (as it was named) was a bush community and early sawmilling and flax milling operated. The changing location of Otatara School, the creation of tramline access from Invercargill, the reclamation of the estuary, and the development of the airport and the roading network all contributed to showing the changes that have occurred since people arrived in this area and how they have used the natural resources offered. One change discussed was how we now place different values on the bush and estuary habitats and how differently we manage the environment today. Looking at the treasures that Otatara has now - our bush remnants, how these are managed, the reasons why we value forest habitats, and the importance of planting were highlighted. It will be interesting to see what aspect of Otatara history that this class investigates further as there were amazing questions asked.
Posted: 2 November 2021
After a previous visit in July where this group sheltered under trees and dodged hail, today the sun shone bright and warm. Todays bug search unearthed spiders, weta, slaters, hoppers, centipede, moths, casemoth cases, notches in flax, flat worms, spider webs and black beetles. The weta sure did jump high! We had to think about where we would find bugs and the places that these creatures live in. We counted how many legs we have compared to the different number of legs that different bugs have! We checked out the worm farm noticing all the baby worms, and checked out the hedgehogs in the traps! A picnic in the orchard completed a wonderful visit.
Posted: 21 October 2021