Hello friends and family.
Time is flying by and with only one week to the shortest day, we have a long list of jobs still to be done by spring. Currently we are working to optimise the penguin habitat. After 30 years of random growth, some trees are smothering others and the biggest offender is Tasmanian Ngaio. This introduced species is to be admired for its ability to survive harsh conditions and smother other trees. It grows very tall and then, in high winds, breaks and falls over the neighbours – only half of the stem cracks and so it is able to regrow with a bigger circle of light. We are uncovering many native tree species but it involves a lot of tree climbing, cutting, carrying and stacking. The increase in sunlight makes ideal penguin habitat and saves native trees as well. There is also mowing, fencing and nestbox placing to be done.
Now is the best time of the year for all of this activity because it is when the penguins spend most of their time at sea, so there is no bird at home to be disturbed by our work. By the end of our 2 days each week I am exhausted and spend Tuesdays pottering about cutting wire hooks and making circles to protect trees.
On Tuesday I also finally got to Hampden to pick the last of the apple crop. I also got my first taste of Himalayan strawberries off the tree so that was a treat! The building permit for the shed has been approved and the first load of framing has arrived from the timber supplier.
The weather forecast has been dire, but we only ended up with winter weather arriving on Friday afternoon - a good time to be inside away from the icy winds.
One good thing about working in the forest today is that we will be protected from the wind.
Have a great week!