Me and my grandma went to the Brook Sanctuary on Saturday for a KCC activity. We all gathered around at the house as Katrina took the roll.
Then Rick showed us some wetas his son had caught in some jars. We had some time to explore the house and press the buttons with bird calls. Soon Rick called us outside to the gate holder. Pressing a green button, everyone stepped inside and we crammed together. Rick asked us to check our bags for hitchhiking rats. Finally we walked out the other side. Rick stopped us to show the group Brian’s chairs. He was wood carving for the founders of the Sanctuary. Then we went onto the Loop Track. After a few minutes we stopped to talk about the trapping and tracking tunnels. Rick showed all the parts and how they worked. Some people asked questions and then we carried on walking.
Our next stop was at the Tutu plant. Rick told us every part of the plant is deadly if ingested. If you get it on your hands that’s fine but wash them as soon as possible. The Maori used to boil up the leaves and use them to treat broken bones and wounds. There was a man who was out in the bush, and he picked and boiled it up with his carrots and ended up in hospital very sick. He had mixed it up with Supplejack, an edible look-alike.
We kept on walking, pointing out bellbirds and enjoying the views. Rick stopped us at the tree fuschia and told us about a person who asked him why a tui had a purple head. He said it had been eating tree fuschia flowers. His son told us that it was the only native tree that lost its leaves in winter. Rick picked up a flower that fell down and passed it around. Next we stopped at the kawakawa tree. He told us that if you eat too much of it you get diarrhea. The berries, their seeds are a substitute for pepper. Then we walked on for a while. We stopped at the weta hotels. I saw a huge weta inside one of them. Rick shone a phone torch into a tree hole and we saw on the camera that no one was home. Then we kept going. I saw some tuis and lots of bellbirds. Soon we got to the waterfall. I took loads of pictures and then ran to catch up with the rest of the group. We walked up more steps and then Rick stopped to show us Supplejack. He snapped off a shoot and passed some around for us to taste. It tasted like green peas. Then we walked on. We finally arrived at the outdoor classroom. The birds were going crazy!
Rick announced that we were doing a 5 minute bird count. You could count the birds you saw or the birds you heard. Me and my grandma heard tuis and bellbirds. Someone saw a stick insect, and everyone gathered around to see it.
Rick demonstrated the stoat traps and his son put a stick in it to set it off. It was a very loud snap! He explained that it had to be quick so that the stoat couldn’t get away. Everyone blocked their ears as he did it again. Next we walked across a bridge and saw some glow worms in a little cave. We pointed a phone torch and had a look. Then we walked on more, and I saw mice tracks in the tunnels. Then we walked across another bridge and we were back! Rick took some of us to the fish placement tank. It was a really big tank that had a tunnel leading up to the tank from the river. The tank is used to see what is inside the stream. He opened it and found a baby koura!
Then it was time to go home. I had a great time!
BY LUCY, AGE 10