Tag Archives: moa

A Dearth of Yaks

So far I have seen no yaks on this trip. On the plus side, that makes it less likely that small children will hurl yak dung at me.

No moas, either, but they are not indigenous to Ohio.

Te Papa

I’m at Te Papa Tongarewa. I really need to rethink the size of the camera I schlep around.

This is a big museum. There are Maori boats and houses, interactive earthquake displays, Captain Cook’s cannon, videos of Roger Muldoon, and a Sheep Cam.

Phar Lap’s skeleton is here, but his hide is in Melbourne.

There’s a moa, too, but it’s fake. I will not be fooled!

And trolls.

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Feedback from Our Readers

One of my loyal readers writes:

So I think it’s fair to say that [your blogger] is drifting way, way off track in New Zealand and an intervention may be necessary. The evidence is pretty clear.

First, his blog postings are coming at intervals of days, not daily or even hourly like any blogworthy New Zealand trekker (or, to use the local parlance, “Tramper”) would do.

Second, we see video proof that he is being attacked by murderous parrots and is forced to flee for his life whilst muttering incoherently. He seems overcome by parrotnoia.

Third, by his own admission he is stunned by the local visual phenomena, which apparently include painted wooden pallets and piles of rubble.

Fourth, he goes to uninhabited islands looking for extinct ten foot birds.

Finally, he’s so enthralled by local sights and discoveries that he focuses on…shipping containers.

Should we notify the local medical authorities? The constabulary? What is to be done?

Fear not, loyal reader. This blog is in fact staying in the finest accommodations and is well beyond the reach of the parrot menace. And while it’s true that the moa-spotting is not going as well as might be hoped, I am optimistic about my chances here in Wellington. There are numerous side streets, shopping arcades, and alcoves that could easily provide shelter for whole families of moas. Keep watching this blog for moa updates!

moa encounter

Moa Encounter (Artist’s Rendition)

Ulva Island

Just returned from Ulva Island, which is supposed to be rife with birds, including about 10,000 kiwi. It probably is, but you’d never know it. I saw one kākā, two kererū, one tōrea, and a few tūī. Zero kiwi. I might as well have been looking for moa. In fact, I’d probably have an easier time with moa. They may be extinct, but at ten feet tall, they’d be a lot easier to spot.

Ulva island looks like primeval forest, but it’s a reconstructed primevality. They killed all the rats about 15 years ago, and there’s an ongoing process of reintroducing native plants and critters. Very impressively maintained, especially for a place so remote.

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The ferry ticket is written on a puheretaiko leaf. The leaves are sturdy enough that they were used as postcards up to the 1970s.