Last night we had the predicted gale and 180-200 mm of rain which filled the tanks. The noise of the waterfall from the house was incredible. The stream and falls were still impressive when we went down this morning although the volume was much reduced. A friend who was staying the night with us left for Tauranga at 10am and took over eight hours to get there what with slips and floods. Apparently near Tairua the water was 2 meters deep across the road so it must have been an impressive rain event across the Peninsula! Following the storm the weather cleared quickly, the sun came out and the bush is now looking very fresh and green and the crickets have started up again. I haven't been to the gate but there aren't any new slips around lot 12. It had been very warm and sunny over the past couple of weeks so the bush probably needed a good soaking.
When I put my parka on this morning, which had been hanging in the porch, I felt a scratching on my head and there was a large tree weta walking across my forehead. I am not sure whether I can add photos to this blog but if I work it out I will include a picture of the creature. Which of us was most put out I am not sure!
Tim and Jude emailed to say that they had listened to a kiwi calling while in the spa on Saturday night. That seems to me to epitomize what life at Mahakirau should be like! I hope that Patrick will be back up soon to complete the kiwi call survey and we are still hopeful that he will find more birds.
On the bird front there are plenty of Kereru, Tui and Bellbird around and the silvereye are gathering in larger flocks still accompanied by good numbers of fantail. Birds on the estate are looking very well fed with our 'house' tui looking so fat its a miracle he can fly. We also watched a pigeon in a miro tree by the waterfall. It reminded me of an overweight couch potato who had just polished off his twelth can of beer - leaning on a branch with his disheveled wings hanging down below his body, head thrown back unable/unwilling to move. The miro was covered in berries so I expect the bird was seriously inebriated. The Quail in the gorse paddock have a family of tiny fluffy balls that race after the parents with their legs going so fast they look like they are floating. Californian Quail may be exotic introductions but they are so plucky that I hope they keep a step ahead of the stoats, harriers etc.
Turning to plants, Judi and I have continued to find more kauri on the estate which is exciting.
Sorry, no joy with images so I will have to wait for the arrival of the younger generation to try again!