Archive for the ‘summer’ Category


Tree weta/ Putangatanga
hemideina species

Common in forest, orchards and gardens, especially in firewood sheds. They hide during the day in holes in trees, coming out at night to eat mostly fresh leaves, but also small insects. If handed roughly, they can inflict a painful bite , kick or scratch with their legs.

M5 found this weta in the garden


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GIANT Dragonfly

As we were finishing dinner outside we saw a BIG Dragonfly. As I (J12) raced to get the camera after he landed on the wall, mum got Andrew Crowe’s Which New Zealand Insect? . This is what he said:

Bush Giant Dragonfly/Kapokapowai
The male has broad claspers at back. Seen early summer to autumn, near the edge of   native forest. With a wingspan often reaching 13cm & a body length 79-86 mm, this is New Zealand’s largest Dragonfly. Clattering flight. Large eyes, far apart. It can eat 20 house flies in one hour and has been seen catching insects as large as cicadas. Yet the adults themselves are often eaten by rats, wild cats, kingfishers, and even wasps. The Maori name has been used for all large dragonflies and means “water snatcher”.  *Our* one was easily as big as they are supposed to get. It landed on K9 and gave her a bit of a fright, but took off before she had time to get too worried about it!      

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The Butterfly Emerges

Last night a saw this butterfly coming out of his chrysalis. Unfortunately his wings hardened before he (or she) could straighten them. I do not think he will survive. 

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metamorphosis miracle

This morning I saw that overnight one of the chrysalises that we had hopefully saved had hatched open. T3 was not as keen to have the butterfly on her hand as M5 was.

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famine on the way

On our seven swan plants I counted at least 70 caterpillars, one of which is making his chrysalis. In his book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, Eric Carl suggests caterpillars stay inside their cocoon (as he calls it) for “more than two weeks”, but we have noticed our monarchs stay in for only four to eight days. I’m not sure how many are going to survive, because there may not be enough food for the huge number of crawlies.   

When we weeded the garden we found two chrysalises lying on the path, so we tied them to some string hoping that they will survive (and that we will see them hatch open). K9 found the middle already staring to make its chrysalis one on a leaf which was on the ground. The chrysalis has finished  

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potato patch

This morning we weeded the garden and pulled up the potatoes all 12 kilos of them. That is a LOT of potatoes.

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“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Our first ever memory verse.

In the beginning we learnt
“All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.”
Our first ever hymn.

Beyond the beginning we discovered great and small nature journal
The first ever online nature journal we had seen….and were inspired by….and so now we have our own. For most of our lives we have already been keeping paper creation journals; now we are adding an online journal as well to record the wonders we discover in God’s created world.

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