Hello friends and family.
Every season is unique and this summer is no different. We have the big dry. The lawns have burnt off and when I cut the hedge last week, there was no need to pick up the cuttings because the rabbits ate them. That was great, but rabbit damage is challenging in the reserves where they ring-bark mature trees and in this weather they are a constant challenge.
The penguin chicks continue to thrive, some losing their down and some have white tummies showing through. It seems that losing baby fluff is an itchy process because they almost obsess with preening and often have fluff stuck to their beaks. Mum and dad preen them too, and it is a treat to see a family caring for each other.
Half of the reason for the big dry is the wind. It blows in fresh off the sea from the northeast and keeps the temperatures in the teens until dusk when it warms up to 20o C which is nice outside but hot inside.
Having the bees here has helped produce a bumper crop of cherries and the plums are beginning to ripen. The bunnies have destroyed my carrot crop so I will re-sow seeds next week. The Mulberry tree is laden with fruit so I have put bird netting on it and will water it until the fruit matures. I am re-cycling bathroom and laundry water to keep the garden going.
As the chicks reach 70 days old, we catch them, weigh them and insert a microchip behind their head which will mean that we can track them if they return to a colony for the rest of their lives without any maintenance required.
We were very surprised yesterday to find that the oldest 2 chicks were under weight and so they have been brought into care. We don’t know why they are skinny and not the most well developed chicks but treating the problem is the most important thing that we can do.
They will be fed on salmon smolt, subsidized by New Zealand King Salmon until they weigh 6Kg + and then they will be able to go to sea at the correct age, not sit on shore, waiting until they catch up.
The silly season has begun.
Have a great week!