Friday, May 11, 2007

Here is a little more about what we are doing in New Zealand.

Erik wrote, mostly:

We got bikes and now can bike around the city. It is lots of fun to bike all over the city.

We went to a place called Willowbank. It is a place where they have lots of animals that are native and animals that were brought to New Zealand. There were lots more animals that were brought to NZ then there were native to NZ. Tonight we are going back to Willowbank to see a Maori show. New Zealand has no native people or mammals. Some arrived sooner than others.

Two of the most popular symbols of the country are the silver fern and the kiwi. Both reside at Willowbank. The silver fern is a plant with one side of the leaf is green, as one would expect. But turn over the fern’s leaf and the underside is silver.

The kiwi is a bird that can not fly. The kiwi was able to thrive in New Zealand, in part, because it did not have many predators. There was a huge eagle that is now extinct. That eagle had claws the size of a tiger’s and a three-meter wing span. It was the largest eagle in the world and was known to pluck up children under the age of 10. So, I imagine that the kiwi could have been a nice snack for that eagle. But, the kiwi was safe from snakes and reptiles as there are none in New Zealand. The kiwi is nocturnal and is just one of the many native birds to NZ. Both the fern and the kiwi are huge symbols on many designs and logos.

A violin teacher came to the house the other day. She is very nice. We are learning a Maori violin tune and maybe we will even hear it tonight as we attend the Maori presentation / show at Willowbank.


Blogger Uncle Bob said...


The giant eagle that you mention, you noted it was extinct. How long ago? That is an amazing description. If you know its name I am going to look it up for a picture or drawing.


Uncle Bob

3:10 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Hi Erik,
Thanks for that great description of your visit to Willowbank. I am particularly interested in hearing more about the kiwi. I don't know whether you have noticed but I have a block print hanging in my bedroom of a kiwi that was done by an inmate in a Massachusetts prison that your Grandfather and I bought at an exhibit in 1979. It was one way the inmates could make extra money. I have always loved it and wished I could actually see a kiwi.

Do you enjoy the Maori music your violin teacher brought you? I am not familiar with that kind of music and will love hearing you boys play it when you get home.

I just e-mailed you about the Frick invitation for you to join the National Junior Beta Club and Elaine is helping me get your dues to your school so you are enrolled. Congratulations for all the hard work you have done to qualify!

Love, Grandma

1:59 PM  
Blogger Caz said...


9:33 AM  
Blogger Caz said...

Things are great here in the Burgh. But, it rained a few days ago so.......

In might be damp at your house right now.


9:35 AM  

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