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Hiking through the seasons
– Activities

Radio? Check. Gate key? Check. Water? Check. Packed lunch? Check. So starts the list prior to hiking with guests at Poronui. The one constant this summer has been the weather – hot and hotter, with a mere whisper of a breeze being a welcome bonus. With a variety of tracks to choose from – depending on age and levels of fitness, and whether you’re interested in flora and fauna generally, or birds specifically – no two walks are ever the same. 

It’s always a pleasure walking and talking with the guests – many of whom are on their first visit to New Zealand. An added joy is walking with guests who have returned, and who have become firm friends over the years.

As the days grow shorter and late summer turns into early fall, the hinds are still nursing their leggy fawns and the stags are fast approaching their peak condition in readiness for the start of the roar in a few weeks’ time. 

Native birds can be elusive, but robins (toutouwai), tomtits (miromiro), grey warblers (riroriro), rifleman (titipounamu), wood pigeon (kereru), and kaka have all been spotted together with the more common wax-eyes (tauhou), fantails (piwakawaka), and meadow pipits (pihoihoi). Migrant long-tailed cuckoos (koekoea) and shining cuckoos (pipiwharauroa) came and went, as is their habit, leaving their large and hungry chicks in the care of our tiniest native birds to raise in place of their own.

Insects hum, buzz, and flit during the summer months, with bumblebees in the foxgloves, honey bees in the mānuka, common blue and copper butterflies through the grasses, while tiger-striped caterpillars – hatched from eggs laid by cinnabar moths – chomp their way through the ragwort.

And so the seasons roll.

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