Sunday, April 22, 2012

Protecting Penguins

Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day here in New Zealand!  I was thrilled to spend a day out on the peninsula at Natures Wonders to help put up predator-proof fencing.


These aren't your typical lions, tigers, and bears kind of predators, though.  They are loathed little critters like opossums, hedgehogs, rabbits and mice.  These introduced pests have been quite naughty, especially when it comes to albatross and penguin eggs.  The idea is to protect the land with the fence and eradicate the little buggers with poison.

The actual task at hand was pretty self-explanatory.  A group of students helped to staple down a "skirt" of fence with small holes onto a fence with bigger holes.  My job was lugging around rocks to weigh down the bottom edge of the fence so that grass could grow through and secure it in place.

Albatross Colony...


Transportation on the farm...


Perry Reider (owner) explaining how the fencing works...


Our task: go up the hill and down the other side with the new fencing...


A good portion done before lunch...


Ocean!!!



View of the Otago Harbour from where we were putting up fencing...



Perry's family owns all this land...


It's a fully operational sheep farm...


The sheep have a great view, huh?



We took a small break for lunch, and then it was back to work...


Not a bad view in the background...


So, Perry is very proud and passionate about his work and wool.  He wanted to share what it's like to do a tour of Nature's Wonders by demonstrating how to shear the wool off one of these sheep...


Perry showing us how they use the dog to herd sheep...

video


Blogger won't let me upload the video of the sheep getting sheared. Boooo!



I felt very fortunate that we had the opportunity to spend time at such a neat place for the day!  If anyone is looking for a neat activity for an afternoon, I'd definitely recommend a trip to visit Perry.

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