The end from New Zealand

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This is the last Enviro News from New Zeland and by the time this is printed, I will be back home.

It has been a great two months.  I have enjoyed my “farewell tour,” as I have come to regard it.  It has  been great seeing friends and renewing my love of New Zealand—its people, its culture, its history and its scenery.

It is now the equivalent to the end of August here—the grass on some of the hillsides is browner, especially in areas that need rain.  The soil, being largely volcanic, has such good drainage, that roots are not deep and so in dry times there are problems with pastures.

The days are still hot—the sun is so strong that I often wear a protective jacket on my arms as I am driving.  I have quite the tan—especially on my arms and feet.  Sandal marks are amusing.

The nights are cool, in the teens, but the duvet in the campervan keeps me warm.  I am looking forward to returning the campervan – my arms definitely need a rest.  It has served me well though and it will take some time to get everything out of all the nooks and crannies and packed in my suitcases.

I had an ironic smile to myself the other day as I passed a truck with a spray arm out its side, spraying the weeds at the edge of the road.  Since I haven’t been reading any local newspapers, I don’t know if groups here are trying to fight the spraying like we are. 

Since they have a limited fresh water supply here, I am surprised that they don’t just mow rather than take a chance of polluting their streams.

They are having a great deal of trouble with an invasive species in their lakes and rivers in the South Island.  It is called Didymo, and I will have to look up the scientific name for it because they claim it came from North America.  It is only found in the South Island so far and they are waging a strong campaign to keep it out of the North Island.

Just like we had the campaign about cleaning boats and motors to prevent Zebra Mussels from moving from lake to lake, so they have signs about cleaning boats and motors and letting them dry at least 48 hours before putting them back in the water.

It is an algae that creates huge clumps of clinging “stuff” that clogs waterways and uses up the oxygen so that other life forms are smothered out.  Someone said that they haven’t figured out how to get rid of it yet so they are trying to control its spread.

I’ve spent the last week up in the Northland—that point of land that sticks up into the Pacific.  Its coastlines are continuous lovely bays and is the playground of New Zealand. 

So it’s back to the cold—with my lovely tan, and glad to be going home.

Yours environmentally.

Organizations: Enviro News

Geographic location: New Zealand, South Island, North America North Island Pacific

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