Bloody Moth Plant!
Trip Start Mar 12, 2012
57Trip End Jul 10, 2012
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What I did
As we made our way in, I was briefed on our 'target'; a destructive vine called 'Moth Plant'. It winds its way around trees, quickly strangling them, and spreads it's flowery vines through the canopies, destroying many different species of trees
It seemed that today was my lucky day (sort of), as we came across quite a few major infestations. One was so extensive that we sadly had to cut down around 3 trees just to get rid of it all. It was very hard work cutting and pulling the vines down, then going through every bit to collect the pods. The plant also secretes a milky sap when cut, which can be harmful if you get it on your skin, hence the overalls and gloves, so it was messy work! We saw quite a bit of wildlife during the day, including stick insects, fantails and tuis! Also heard a few nesting saddlebacks, which are quite rare.
Finally, after a lot of hard work we headed back home, bringing a dozen sacks full of pods with us. After changing and cleaning our tools, we had sausages and tea in the original homestead house, overlooking Home Bay. A lovely (and tasty) way to end the afternoon. I thoroughly recommend that anyone visiting or staying in Auckland participates in one of the Motutapu Trust's volunteer days. It's a fulfilling day out, and you're really helping make the island better for everyone. Plus you get a BBQ at the end! What more could you ask for?
I also just want to thank Ken and the rest of my group for looking after me and making me feel so welcome!