What is sand and why does it make dunes?

There’s one big thing you notice when you go down to the beach: sand, and the patterns and dunes it forms.

Ripples in sand.

If you’ve ever wondered what sand actually is, and how and why it forms itself into dunes, then you’ll find this 16 minute video interesting: Sand Dunes Shouldn’t Exist (Here’s Why They Do).

How can sand, blown by the wind, form such intricate and beautiful patterns as ripples and dunes? The answer is a surprising secret of self-organization. In this video, we travel to Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado to climb the largest sand dunes in North America and bring you the science of how wind and sand combine to create ordered landforms out of chaos.

Bird of the Year 2021

By my reckoning we see at Waikawa Beach at least 17 of the Bird of the Year 2021 entrants. Some of them have popped up so far in the Quiz.

Bird of the year 2021 web page.

Learn a bit more about the birds (and one bat) and cast a vote:

Aotearoa New Zealand has the most amazing native wildlife! But right now, 80% of our birds (and 100% of our bats) are in trouble. Climate change and habitat destruction are big threats to all our native species. If we protect and restore our rivers, forests, oceans, and climate, we can bring back our native wildlife!

Show your love for incredible native species by casting your vote in Te Manu Rongonui o te Tau/Bird of the Year!

Voting is open from 18-31 October 2021.

Who will you vote for? The choice is so hard!

HDC draft climate action plan 2021

The Horowhenua District Council has created a draft action plan to cope with climate change. It’s a very readable 24 page document outlining what climate change may mean for the Horowhenua region and what steps the Council is considering to deal with it.

The original document is available from Draft Horowhenua Climate Change Action Plan (separate version, as included in Council Agenda)(PDF, 3MB).

Waikawa Beach is specifically mentioned in at least 1 place, as the screenshot below shows.

#alttext#
Screenshot from the plan.

Impacted coastlines and coastal communities

Our coastlines and coastal communities will likely be significantly affected by:

  • Coastal erosion and accretion
  • Changing river mouths and estuaries
  • Rising sea levels
  • Warmer water temperatures
  • Flooding and inundation
  • Storm events and surges

Coastal settlements and areas such as Waikawa Beach may experience river mouth migration if the sea level rises. This may mean that any restrictions to flow (sea walls/ structures) may cause overflow and flooding. This will affect property and infrastructure and may mean some family or communities will need to migrate to other areas.

Some other interesting items include:

  • ensure new builds are more self-sufficient with storm water management, for instance rain water tanks which minimise demand on local water supplies. (Page 4)
  • creating spaces and shared pathways
    that promote greener modes of transport like walking, public transport and cycling.
    (Page 5)
  • Choose low-methane sheep breeds. (Page 11) [can’t see the sheep for the cows …]
  • Page 16: managing coastal hazards
  • Page 17: managing flooding from rivers and streams
  • Invest in more shared pathways (Page 18)
  • Create more green spaces and provide green corridors for active transport. (Page 20)

And also, improving access to and use of public transport options.

This is a very readable, and important document. I suggest you take a look at it.

2021 draft Horowhenua climate change action plan with highlights. (3.3 MB PDF) (Note: this version has a few highlighted portions.)

22 He aha tērā? What is that?

This mammal looks so handsome with reddish-brown fur on its back and a white or cream coloured underbelly. It’s a vicious killer though, and devastating to birdlife. Unfortunately it’s common at Waikawa Beach — one Strathnaver resident has trapped nearly a dozen over the last few years. Others have lost hens or quail to this killer. He aha tērā? What is that?

Small quadruped with bloodstained mouth and chest, trapped behind wire.
Photo by Miraz Jordan. Used with permission.

Scroll down to see the answer.

Continue reading “22 He aha tērā? What is that?”

Spinifex day followup — drilling auger

Ann Clark from Horowhenua District Council emailed this:

What a brilliant day on Saturday [at the spinifex planting], so great to see new faces helping out there.

I had a couple of people asking on the day where I got my drilling auger from and promised I would send this through to you to share.

My one is called a power planter, bought it through their website www.powerplanter.co.nz a few years ago now.

There are lots on the market now I see, can’t attest to the quality of those but have absolutely no complaints about my one which I use at home as well.

Drilled holes ready for plants.
Drilled holes ready for plants.

4,000 plants in 1.5 hours — thanks volunteers!

On Saturday 25 September 2021 about 40 people turned up to help plant spinifex and pīngao just south of the river. In the space of just one and a half hours we planted 4,000 plants.

Apparently council workers also planted another 1,000 yesterday a little south of this area.

A few folks — Council workers (on their own time) and locals — drilled holes, so all we had to do was get a plant from the root trainer tray, put it in the hole and tamp it in.

Volunteers came from Strathnaver, the village, Manakau and Levin, and even included local MP Terisa Ngobi and her family. Tiny tots did their bit too, along with some older children.

Over the next week Council workers will install fresh posts and tape to protect the new plantings, and will also create an offshoot track from the North track off Reay Mackay Grove to make it easier and quicker for pedestrians to get to the river. The success of the plantings has made it a bit of a long walk in the last year or so. That’s been harder for families or folks bringing fishing gear down.

Again, many thanks to all those who have invested their time and energy in literally growing our community. Thanks too to the Council workers who give their own time to contribute.

Holes ready for plants.
Holes ready for plants.
Drilling holes ready for planting.
Drilling holes ready for planting.
Drilling holes and planting.
Drilling holes and planting.
New plants in the ground.
New plants in the ground.
New plants in the ground.
New plants in the ground.
Plants and planters.
Plants and planters.
Plants and planters.
Plants and planters.
WBRA Chair John Hewitson plants a pīngao.
WBRA Chair John Hewitson plants a pīngao.
View of planting from above.
View of planting from above.