Hello friends and family
On Sunday Elaine and I went to the Forrester Gallery in Oamaru to see a local film. It was a great reminder of how beautiful the Waitaki district is and a good way to spend a damp afternoon. From there we went to the Brewery for a pizza and to hear the local musicians, so I felt quite the socialite!
By Tuesday the weather had cleared to a beautiful sunny, frosty day. For the first time in 20 years, I saw a Tui. It was actually leaving and flying back to the hills. Tuis are seen in this area, but to get to the lighthouse, they must bypass the magpies that attack every bird that crosses their territory.
The low winter sun highlighted the filthy state of my windows so on Wednesday cleaning them was top priority. I just had to wait until the ice in the hose melted. There were no penguins at home when we did the rounds on Thursday and Peter and Dianne came to see us release the juvenile from care. On Friday I stayed in bed until the sun came up – no penguins in care!
So, the last big clean of the season has begun. There are 6 pens in the hospital enclosure to be deep cleaned. The substrate of our enclosures consists of rocks on top of a plastic grill that sits on concrete. Concrete is great as an all-weather base but it harbours pathogens so is unsuitable for penguins to stand on. The plastic grill provides drainage so the rocks can be cleaned and then they dry out. The crud drains underneath.
This leads to a process of tossing the rocks out, lifting the grill, cleaning out the crud, waterblasting everything, sterilising it, and then putting it all back together again, ready for next season.
Have a great week!