New Zealand Continued - beaches and stock.
We visited a number of wetlands on our
trip. One of the most interesting
encounters was when we met this woman,
Jenny (left), who operates a B&B on the
wetlands a few minutes from Invercargill.
She gave us an hour walk to see the very
rare Fern Bird. We did see the Fern Bird,
but not long enough to catch it on camera.
Had we known about her place we would
have stayed there. If you go to Invercargill,
be sure to stay with her and her husband.
Her web site is www.fernbirds.co.nz
Like all the people we met in New Zealand,
Jenny was very friendly.
North of Dunedin are the
Moeraki Boulders. Almost
perfectly spherical they lie
scattered along the
beach. They were formed
on the sea bed 60 million
years ago as lime salts
around a hard core.
Prior to the coming of the Maori one thousand years ago, the only mammal in New Zealand was the bat. Many birds lost
their ability to fly since they did not need this protection. Man introduced mammals which have decimated the birds of
New Zealand, the worst being rats, possums, feral cats, and dogs. Another problem animal was the red deer which
overwhelmed the country. A campaign was launched a few decades ago to drastically reduce the deer, but it had limited
succss until Europe discovered New Zealand venison. After that helicopters plied the skies looking for deer to shoot.
Today, farm raised deer inside high fences produce this venison for export.
We were also surprised to encounter many Roosevelt elk. We
saw more of these elk in one week than we have seen in the
Olympic Peninsula in six year. These elk were sent over as a
gift from President Teddy Roosevelt. They also became a
problem, but today are raised inside fences for their meat.
The elk at the right was one we encountered at the sheep
farm we visited. The farmer told us he raises them for
American hunters. They pick out the elk they want to shoot.
The elk is released on a farm, and the hunter shoots it. When
Jackie expressed her disgust, the farmer admitted he found it
rather strange himself.
One day we were driving down the highway when we saw a temporary warning sign indicating cattle on the roadway.
Sure enough, we soon saw cattle on the other side of the bridge. We stopped and the cattle came our way herded along
by a farmer in a tractor with his sheep dogs. Note the sheep in the background.
We never tired of the New Zealand coast line. For a country the size of Colorado, it has lots and lots of coast line.