An acquaintance who lives not far away messaged me to ask if I'd like a load of good quality horsepoop for the garden. I happily said Yes, of course.

A pile of horse poop.

They delivered it the other day. That's about 5 barrow loads. One horse produces that much each week.

I'm continuing to simplify my life and to step back a bit from all kinds of things. I've just sent out the final edition of the Waikawa Newsletter and will no longer be updating the Waikawa News blog, though I need to create a new homepage to make it easier to find information from the archive.

I've written more than 600 Waikawa News posts in the last 2 years. In the 5 years before that I wrote more than 700 posts on the local Ratepayers organisation blog.

Time now to just focus on my own personal blog and to be less involved in hyperlocal matters.

At 7 am, still about 40 minutes before sunrise, I stepped on to the beach. Although there was barely any light the pair of Paradise Ducks on the nearby remnant lagoon loudly announced my arrival. In the background are a few birds twittering. 🐦

Mindblowing: I talked to people who had never seen trees!

Great 11 minute video — Canadian Arctic Expedition:

Snowy Owls, Ivory Gulls, and Sanderlings were the targets on a Cornell Lab expedition to collect sound recordings in the Canadian High Arctic.

Such a thoughtful and considered article. Everyone should read this — Weighing in on "Man or Bear":

the most common question I get about my travels is some version of, “Aren’t you afraid to bike/hike/travel alone as a woman?” By naming my gender, the implication is clear. What people really mean is, “Aren’t you afraid of men?”

An interesting 11 minute interview — NZ's smallest bird makes new sounds | RNZ 🐦 :

A new study shows the tiny titipounamu or rifleman has the ability to learn to make new sounds, just like parrots.

Hmmm, a piled-river. 🤔🤔 That's a new one on me.

Nicole was as hypersensitive as a piled-river. 'Oh dear,' was all she could say.

Screenshot of  Piledriver incorrectly hyphenated in Kindle book.

Ohhhh. Kindle hyphenation … Pile-driver!

There's a pile of mulch by the south track to the beach. It'll be used around some plantings to be carried out soon.

With the warmth and actual rain of the last day or so, these beautiful fungi have made an appearance.

Several grey Fungi with pointed umbrella type caps.

In March 2022 I posted about planting cabbage trees by the gate. Here's how they looked then:

7 cabbage trees, planted, wider view.

And here's how they look today, some 2 years later. I'm very pleased with their growth. The tips of the leaves on the tallest are just above my head.

Seven healthy cabbage trees, about 1.5 to 2 metres high.

I somewhat liked this, but not enough to read more — The Sigma Surrogate: An Electrifying Cyberpunk Thriller by JT Lawrence 📚 :

As Keke races to solve the mystery—dodging religious terrorists and doomsday cults—she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the very future of the country and everyone she loves.

Book cover: The Sigma Surrogate.

Today I tried making Fluffy Flapjack Pancakes. They were good and indeed very filling. I reduced the sugar to 2 tablespoons and might next time try less.

Warning: it made more like 12 than 8.

Photo shows what's left on the plate after we'd eaten about 6.

About 8 flapjacks on a plate.

Although the weather is gorgeous — I've been sitting in the warm sun reading and napping — today's a real brain fog kind of day. A wee nap helped a bit, but not enough.

This Karoro | Black-backed gull was enjoying the comforts of a clump of washed out river weed.

Black-backed gull rests on a clump of weed by the sea.

Zoomed in, it looks like both Caspian Terns are wearing bands on each leg.

Caspian terns feed in shallow water.

The middle Variable Oystercatcher has grey legs … this may be one of last season's breeding pairs with offspring.

Three Variable Oystercatchers.

Today's refreshing Oolong tea — Himalayan Beauty, Nepal:

a beautifully balanced, delicate and fragrant tea with a smooth, creamy texture. Initial floral notes give way to fruity aromas - orange peel, apple skins and muscatel grape – which happily marry with its woody undertone.

This Pohowera | Banded dotterel has somewhere to be … 🐦

Banded dotterel flying just above the sand.

While this Black-fronted Dotterel is looking good …

Black-fronted dotterel with its dark stripes and white chest.

Such an interesting 6 minute video. Do watch: Sea lions - The return of a native taonga?:

Up to half a tonne of big-eyed, long-whiskered, galumphing curiosity, feeding, breeding and cavorting in the shallows, slumping across roads or snoozing on beds of kelp along the Otago coastline.

I often show the Tararua ranges as seen from our house, but this morning thought I'd try a video from the beach where you can see so much more.

I was intrigued that the Fuji X-T5 didn't maintain focus very well as I panned. In real life the mountains were sharp against the sky.

This 11 minute video explains how dishwashers work, and how to load them. Are you loading your dishwasher wrong?:

We dug into the science of dishwashers to finally put an end to all your dishwasher debates.

Definitely worth watching.

Yesterday's beach trip revealed lots of driftwood 'mulch' near the river mouth. In it were many five-armed starfish.

Fine bits of driftwood like mulch.
A white 5-armed starfish.

I also saw my first ever Hermit Crab, in quite a big shell.

Hermit crab peeks out from a large shell. Kia ora.
Kia ora.

When I touched the shell the crab retreated.

Hermit crab retreats into the shell.

BEV update. We've had our MG 4 Essence 64 for 8 months now and the nights are getting cold. It's currently 0C outside and Deb's on her way to work.

With the cold Deb's seeing higher power use every day.

Today the battery charge indicator is being erratic, showing 78% where it should by now be 70%. 🚗