Well it’s been ages since my last post, mostly because I’ve been super busy – I’ve been subediting for the NZ Herald group (which is thoroughly enjoyable – it’s like doing crosswords all day), and on the few breaks from that I’ve been doing some serious hunter-gathering. Recent species caught, killed and eaten include some unusual creatures – a John Dory (baked in ginger), octopus (tomato and wine octo-stew), and my first deer – a six point stag, which I shot in Te Urewera national park.
That was a strange one. The land bordered a very remote Marae, so we spoke to the two possum trappers who live there and struck a deal – if we could hunt on their land we’d share anything we got. That evening we lay on the ground behind a punga log in the rain, and – without going into details, I’ll say that it’s uncanny how deer aren’t there one moment, and then like magic, they simply appear – and that if you want an unusual experience, try carrying the warm body of something you’ve just killed down to a marae at night, before cutting it up under white head-torch light as two rugged-arse trappers mutter ‘cher, cool, cool…’ from the shadows.
To top the whole rather mystical experience off, a morepork fluttered around our heads the night before, and I spotted a pekapeka or native New Zealand bat – the only native New Zealand land mammal and something I’ve never seen – silhouetted by the moon. Perhaps the coolest thing, though, was the way the walk out at night, weighted down with packs full of steak, was lit by clusters of glow worms.
Now I really want glow worms down the side of our house
Is that even possible? All I know is they need damp, and protection from the wind – glow worms drop down little fishing lines to catch insects, but wind messes them up. It could be a cool way to control mosquitoes.
Yep – I want a glow-wormery…