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The Gate | Great place the local bush
The gate is a prayer retreat center in Otaki Forks, New Zealand
prayer, new zealand, retreat, otaki, otaki forks, david campbell, kathleen campbell, the gate
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Great place the local bush

Great place the local bush

I have had reason to spend more time in the bush on the property….today it was checking traps on the emergency tracks and a side track.. tuis, bellbird, tomtits, greywarblers, Piwakawaka , Karerera, waxeyes and more sounds in the areas where I walked and worked with occasional stops to listen. It seemed like a busy time with lots of sounds and sightings. I had done a bird montoring walk last week but there didn’t seem to be so many that day.

Autumn came with that cold spell.. fire on in kitchen was an invitation to preserve apples and rhubarb for the future. At the moment there is just the 2 of us. I have plans to reduce the number of ducks…4 drakes went to the Black Sheep santuary with the comment you will stop breeding won’t you so you don’t need to do this again… all because a guest plead for their lives to be spared the day I was doing to do the deed of killing them. I have offered the drake and 3 females to a local orchardist so that reduces the number to be fed and so reducing the pressure to buy and transport the food bags. We have been carrying 10 kgs over at a time to keep supplies up ( !/2 a bag)

We wait on Kapiti Coast District Councilors making a decision… probably pushed out to May or June as engineers have gone to the damaged areas of the East Coast. Another visit has been offered the Councillors late April. We are aware of the changes in the centre of the slip with the bridge being on a bit of a lean and some of the material on the path subsiding. We understand that KCDC can’t get workers on the slip because they only deal with roads so I have been there with the hedge trimmer recently and with a guest’s help we removed the extra gravel from the steps on the Otaki side. This means the slip area is not officially opened with more signage deterring access. Mind you hunters are heading in as this is the ROAR…stags acalling. Plus trampers and day walkers.

Bother the rats… they have eaten wires in the car affecting the ABS and the braking system, fixed today at a cost. I put out bait again in that area plus setting traps. What an ongoing job. The mice have headed inside the garage, with one slipping under door as I watched, plus in the cooking caravan…Traps are amazing…then they go as bait/lure in the DOC traps. I get my exercise doing the track rounds…with an extra putting out more weta motels and traps on the Pukeatua Stream track. So the work goes on with a Heritage Fund grant to buy rat and possum traps, bait and stainless steel DOC 200 traps to replace the galvanised ones that are rusty and difficult to set. It was amazing meeting a local who lives across the river at the TrapNZ tent when I visited the Central District field day with a friend. It opened a conversation about how to update my trapnz app with a suggestion that her nephew may be able to help me. He has been looking for pigs and has done some work on the property moving traps for me. What a gift.

Clucky hens.. I got some eggs from a friend with the result that 2 out of 5 and then 1 out of 5 hatched. She said it was possibly because the rooster was smaller than her black orpington hens. A journey of fun.

A good crop of apples means i have been able to store some wrapped in paper in the old bee boxes that I have put a bottom on. It will be the fejoias soon… one tree in particular is laden. To have tree ripened apples is amazing, so sweet.

The Koha carts have been well used in the past new moon to new moon by a group of people coming and going to stay in the forest park about 1 1/2 hours walk from here. They carried bedding, food and such to the end of the road. David helped carry one participate in the quad trailer who had been carried on a man’s back over the slip who uses a wheel chair. We visited the camp site one Sunday for the first meal of the day and stayed on to take part in a talking stick round. These Rainbow people stayed in tents or under tarps, had 2 meals a day, washed in the river, enjoyed the sun and one made a pizza oven with sand/clay and grass mixture that cooked pizzas we were told. We had some interesting coversations and were glad we were here for this experience.

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