Hey kids and teens, design a Bee Aware Month poster and be in to win! All Tararua District school students are eligible to enter (including home-schooled).
All you have to do is create a poster which has the Bee Aware Month Logo in it, put your name, age and contact details on the back, and hand it in to your local Tararua District library by Friday 2 October 2015. Easy! The winners of the five categories will be announced Monday 5 October.
I was chatting to an old friend recently – old in both senses of the word – and was surprised to learn that he had not heard of the infamous Dreyfus Affair – a scandal that rocked France and was reported around the world before the turn of the 19th century, in 1894.
Captain Alfred Dreyfus was an insignificant Army Officer who, when a French spy for the Germans was about to be exposed, was ruthlessly framed with forgeries, and became the scapegoat for the real traitor. Dreyfus was a career officer, hard-working but uninspiring – he was also a Jew. France, or the French, were prone to anti-Semitism at all levels of society and Dreyfus was court-marshalled, publically stripped of his uniform and medals and sent to be imprisoned for life on a tiny rock off the north coast of South America aptly called Devils Island.
I am recounting this story because though it has been written up by many authors in all its horrifying truth, Robert Harris has turned it into an excellent novel called ‘An Officer and a spy’. Published in 2013, it is worthy to be read by many, as Harris is an accomplished novelist having written a dozen books before this including – Fatherland, The Ghost and The Fear Index.
Harris chooses to centre his story on George Picquart who heads the secret intelligence unit responsible for Dreyfus’ arrest. This young Colonel gradually becomes doubtful of the case against the Captain and the novel traces his subsequent investigations, actions and persistent reports to his superiors who clearly want the Dreyfus case closed and forgotten.
I thoroughly enjoyed this fictionised true story and Harris has made a first class job of retelling the awful tale in this way. If you have not come across this episode in recent history you will find this account all the more compelling. It is a reminder of what happens when corrupt men of power pervert justice in the name of ‘national security’ in order to cover up the crimes of one of their own. This miscarriage of justice reverberated around the world until, finally, Dreyfus was released in 1906 and reinstated.
September is Bee Aware Month, and this year’s theme is “Feed the Bees.” It’s all about educating New Zealanders about why bees are so important, and what we can do to help them prosper – namely, planting bee-friendly plants and seeds so our bees have enough food to survive and thrive. #BAM2015 #feedthebees
We need bees, more than you might think. Bees pollinate one third of the food we eat, and life would be a struggle without them. It’s a two-way street, though – bees need us to plant food they can eat, to keep them buzzing and doing the awesome stuff they do for us.
Over $5 billion of New Zealand’s agricultural exports also depend on bees. Bee numbers worldwide are in decline and we must do all that we can to save them before it’s too late – some of the main factors causing this are nutritional stress, lack of food compromising the bees’ resistance to pests and diseases, and pesticides and sprays.
What can you do to help? Plant bee friendly trees and plants like fruit trees and old fashioned or heirloom flowers and herbs. Provide water – place pebbles or twigs in a saucer of water so the bees have something to stand on and drink. Protect swarms – if you see a swarm of bees (in a tree or on your house for example) contact a local beekeeper. For a list of beekeepers see www.nba.org.nz/contact-us/beeswarm-collection
If you’d like to know more, we have quite a few books about beekeeping (apiculture) in the library. See catalogue
The National Beekeepers Assoc. is also running a School Photo Competition which you can find out about on their website here
Source: National Beekeepers Association of NZ website http://nba.org.nz
Eketahuna – my town
Aww, that’s a great idea,
A poem I will create
About the area I live in and love
While I’ve still got my mental state.
I could mention the bush and the bird life,
And the beauty of the snow capped ranges.
And not mention the north west wind and
And the rain that comes in sideways.
How blessed we are in a southerly,
How Masterton is far worse off than you
Unless you happen to be standing in Main Street
Where the wind is cold enough to freeze
Certain parts of you anatomy blue.
Like your fingers and toes
Your ears and your nose.
In summer it gets so hot and dry
A week without rain is a drought
That’s enough for the TDC to say
‘fire restrictions’ and to turn off the water
Off from your spout.
But it’s the people that makes this place special,
Young and old, quirky and strange, jolly and caring
And all know your name,
So the point is, if you are feeling lonely
Or just ‘out of sorts’ for the day
Take a stroll down Main street
With the cold wind blowing up your back
And someone will always say
‘hello’, ‘good morning’, ‘how are you?’
And you know you’re on the right track.
Actually I’m not sure that this a poem,
I think they are supposed to rhyme
I just know there is only one word
For this place
The people are simply “SUBLIME”
(A senior person!)
When travelling down state highway 2
It will surprise you, the things to do.
A place to stop, later or sooner
Yes, I’m talking about Eketahuna
There’s trendy shops to browse or buy
Hungry or thirsty? Then our cafes you should try.
If you’re needing accommodation there is a great array,
Choose from BnB. Hotel, camping or farm stay.
Our sporting facilities put others to shame,
Bowling club, golf course, swimming baths and domain.
If it’s arts and crafts you’re looking for,
Our galleries always welcome you to their door.
For souvenirs, maps and local information,
The info centre is your destination.
Now getting into the wider area
Take a scenic drive to Putara and Nireaha
A visit to the area would not be complete
Without a Mount Bruce trip, it’s a real treat.
The model railway and farmhouse cheese
Is another attraction that’s sure to please.
Newman, Rongamai, Alfredton, Parkville
Hamua, Hukanui, Ihuraua, Hastwell
Are some of the places around our district
To see sheep and cattle or take a picnic.
The streams and rivers have great trout fishing
What about hunting, I hear you asking?
If deer or pig huntings where you get your thrills
Then take a hike into the Tararua hills.
See, there’s much to offer despite the rumour
Next time, ‘please’ don’t bypass
© Dara Robbie
We have two winners this year, as judged by Tararua author Muriel Cowan – Karen Rees (Woodville) and Steven Clarkson (Taupo). Congratulations to you both, your prizes are on the way to you!
Icy Cold Homes (Winner)
Icy cold homes
Thawing at the day
Break new jewels to
String along wisdom in
Sections down the road.
Drips to the sun
Sliding slowly down to
Misted windows show
Happy faces drawn
Melted to fungus rugs.
© Karen Rees
Four Individual Haiku (Winner)
taste of the Caribbean
under a brolly
the constant judgment
new born daisies
following telephone calls
down the road
© Steven Clarkson (2015)
The Big Bang exploded,
so she could exist.
adorned with adulation.
Sculptured from my body,
animated with the gift from God.
I was indifferent to life,
she created my world.
Diamonds, rubies, emeralds are nothing.
I place her as high as the angels.
The sun’s rays are there only,
to kiss warmth into her skin.
In the perfect curl of her tiny hands,
lies my heart.
© Kerry August
Treasure of Tararua, PUKAHA MT BRUCE, is hosting Birds & Words this Friday 25 August. Pukaha is celebrating National Poetry Day by opening its doors early for nature lovers to wander through the morning bush, with birdsong ringing. A beautiful place to listen to poetry by New Zealand Pacific Studio resident poet Melanie Carter.
Location: Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, SH2, Wairarapa
Date/Times: Friday 28 August, 07:00 – 08:30 am
No entry charge but koha for Pukaha is welcome. Coffee/tea & muffins $8 per person.
Great Aunt Sally Kowali
Great Aunt Sally Kowali, and her centenarian friend, Miss Lally,
lived not far from one another in a cul-de-sac street.
Sally called in on Miss Lally,
who sat by the fire,
drank then wee-ed, pint sized cups of tea.
Miss Lally liked The Queen. The Queen sent Miss Lally,
– who upon reaching a milestone –
a portrait of her (by standard post),
cardigan-ed in aquamarine.
“That cardigan dunt ‘alf make ‘er eyes soft“, swooned Sally Kowali,
who one biscuit too many, and a dress-size too tight,
forced her skirt button, *pop.
© Sarah Walsh
A ROADSIDE TRAGEDY
“Run as fast as you can”,
Oh no too late she heard the sound
Back across the road she ran
tugged and pulled her heart beating
Baby was silent, left the land of the living.
The passing traffic, dust and gravel shook the ground
No one noticed the terrible tragedy
On the side of the country road that day
as the grieving mother pulled her baby away.
Out of the bushes the sympathisers appeared
Father Mongoose sped past others running
pushed mum aside grabbed his lifeless offspring
A cacophony of muted sounds caught my ears
All broke down in sorrow and tears.
No one noticed the terrible tragedy
At the edge of the roadside out of sight
While the traffic sped by churning wind and dust.
And the morning sun shone down so bright.
Such events some humans never know or see
That living creatures feel love,
pain and woe like you and me.
© Nancy Byrne (2015)
The emerald tinge of grass
Basks in the sun
Landscaping the hills
As the mighty river of Mohaka
Weaves its way seaward
And kisses the land as it goes.
A viaduct majestic but now forlorn
Takes it’s bow
No more clickety clank of train wheels
To echo through the valley.
Is the keeper of our memories
Of our yesterdays
Our tomorrow dreams
So take care of the land
And the land will take care of you.
Remember the ancestors
Traces on the land
Reminders in the stars
Amongst us at times unseen
Whispering in our hearts
You are loved
And you are love.
Remember too the young ones
For they are finding their voice
Listen to them
And most of all love them.
For then they will want to remember the stories
And they too will take care of the land
And I will take care of them.
This I promise you.
© Oriana Walker
We are the family down the road,
Together we roam like lost children
Not brought up right, left bereft with
Home gone, we are one, not forgotten.
We are pests, swarms of flies descended on bins,
Starved of love we dine on skinny rats,
Under your door we smell sweet gravy,
We feel the warmth of your ire.
We watch you cuss and hiss like livid witches
Spitting odium. We dodge your cauldron,
Like Houdini we wriggle from river bags to
Dance on glass traps, cuddle barbed boundaries
To score our tiny claws down your polished cars,
Puncture your tyres so you don’t drive us down.
© Karen Rees (2015)
Hey kids, join our new book club at Dannevirke Library! Members get cool benefits like first pick of some new books! We already have almost a dozen boys and girls who have joined.
This will be the second meeting and a club name will be chosen. Bring along a book you’ve just read, or a favourite, to talk about if you want to. Don’t worry if you are a bit shy, you don’t have to talk or join in, you can just watch and listen, but there’s plenty of fun to be had for everyone. It’s not just about books!
Mums and Dads can relax in the library, reading books, newspapers or magazines, or using our free wifi or computers while they wait for you.
Little Brown Bear
Little brown bear
love heart sewn
on your head.
Stitches up your middle
where your creator
sewed you up.
Little red jacket
holding you tight.
Little brown bear
do you think
there is someone
looking in on us?
See the moonbeam
on the carpet
over there. Look
as if cloud covered curtains
opened and closed,
cutting off their
I saw a picture
in the newspaper.
The face of a man
wanting to buy
and toy bears.
I turned the page over
so he couldn’t see
Thank goodness we
have no T.V.
All those faces
looking in on us.
They might want to
My little brown bear
are you ready
let me turn
out the light.
© John Priest (2015)