'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Christchurch Farewell to the Godwits, 2011.

Traditionally each year, the Cathedral bells have pealed when the last of the migrating Godwits have left the Avon-Heathcote estuary in Christchurch on their journey to their breeding grounds in Alaska.

Source: http://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/category/nature/

Two days before the 22 February 2012 Christchurch earthquake I was out on the New Brighton spit with hundreds of other people, for the official 'Farewell to the Godwits'.

Keith Woodley, author of Godwits - Long Haul Champions, was one of the speakers, and was also spotted being interviewed for a radio programme.

After the speakers, the crowd made their way down to the sand at the end of the spit.

On the way home in the golden dusk, I was of course completely unaware that so soon Christchurch city would be rocked by such a destructive aftershock.

Two days later large rocks - some the size of a truck - would be shaken loose from here; the citadel of Kahukura - Te Tihi o Kahukura - Castle Rock, and the prominent feature of the Port Hills overlooking Christchurch would never look like this again.

...and the Cathedral would look like this.

Source: http://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/category/nature/


  1. As a human Godwit with a much less carbon-friendly footprint the significance is not lost upon me. Ever since being at Miranda and reading Keith's book I have had an admiration for Godwits which is exceeded only by my admiration for Monarch Butterflies. The Cathedral can be replaced - it is a recent human construction but the Godwits and the Monarchs are irreplaceable if we destroy their habitats.

  2. Last week, the BBC News in England recalled the anniversary and showed a street corner music festival in Lyttleton where a big store had once stood and where Shirley and I watched other singers and musicians in January. The lady who ran our little B&B cottage in Little River called Lyttleton a "broken" town. How can you rebuild with confidence when the aftershocks haven't even gone? So sad.

  3. I am following your wonder full site. I have been in New Zealand twice and i cryed when i saw the terribel damage from the eartquake. How is the rebuilding going? Reards Kirsten

  4. Good point GB. Human coonstructions are not as important as a species...or human friends.
    But the older buildings in Christchurch were wonderful and I know they were part of a city's atmosphere that was important to those that lived/ live there...

    Indeed YP. You have been there, so you are connected to the place now. I recall you wondering if you should go. I hope you don't regret it.

    Kirsten, It is sad. Rebuilding is slow I think, although as the geologists and other experts make their decisions about the different zones, it will speed up. However some parts of Christchurch will never be built on again, due to the sandy/silty nature of the substrate.