Thursday, January 04, 2007

Tuataras and Wetas

A highlight of my recent visit to Wellington was visiting the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. There is always something new to see there and this time it was the two tuatara. This was my first encounter with them 'in the wild' (not inside) and I have subsequently decided that I have finally identified my totem animal. I am actually a tuatara. Like them I don't really move very fast and I like to be warm.

One of my companions on this visit was my nearly-five year old niece, Zita who was also a huge tuatara fan. She would happily have spent the whole time squatting down and watching them doing nothing at all except that most of the older and all of the younger members of the party had much shorter attention spans.

Zita is refreshingly unsqueamish about insects. She loved the weta hotels at the Sanctuary and told me that her favourite insect is a cicada (though butterflies are good too) and her least favourite is a bumble bee. Her mother said she can spend hours watching ants on the concrete path.

When I finally returned to Hukeranui, I found this weta watching paint dry under its feet. This photo is for you, Zita.

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