Taranaki Rugby Legend Ian Eliason joined Mayor Harry Duynhoven and over 200 volunteers to plant thousands of native trees at New Plymouth’s Coastal Walkway. Special thanks also to the many Brownies and Girl Guides who came to help! A big thanks to the Bell Block and District’s Lions club who somehow cooked 200 sausages in just 30 minutes for the hungary helpers.
Spring appears to have sprung early in Bell Block as though out Taranaki, along with many other parts of the country, records high temperatures and little rain. The unseasonably warm weather, known as a “false spring”, has seen a growth in sales of fruit trees, shrubs and summer vegetable seeds weeks ahead of usual. The warm weather also caused pine trees to release yellow pollen, which resulted in a few emails to bellblock.co.nz from people reporting there had been a dust storm after finding their cars coated. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research climate summary for July shows mean temperatures in Bell Block were well above average and above average for the rest of the region. Bell Block’s Big Jims Garden Centre owner Vince Naus also said the warm weather had seen an increase in customers. “It’s very good for this time of the year, it’s going really well,” Mr Naus said. “People are keen to get planting and get going, people are physically getting out in their garden and enjoying doing stuff.” Mr Naus said while he did expect a cold snap before spring finally set in for good it wouldn’t matter if people got their planting done early.
Mako Jones is the key contact person of a flax plantation (called a Pa Harakeke) at Bell Block. It’s in Ellesmere Avenue, at the end of the road, with native bush surrounding it and houses nearby. It is tucked away, only obvious if you’re with someone who knows where they are going. The Kaitiaki Pa Harakeke Group maintains the collection. Within this large stand grow nearly 50 varieties of flax native to New Zealand. The Kaitiaki Pa Harakeke Group and the New Plymouth District Council have drawn up a four-year management plan. The aims are to maintain, evaluate, use and divide the collection for use by other weavers and craftspeople.
Orca’s or Killer Whales as they are commonly referred to, were spotted off the Bell Block Coast recently. Orca’s come close to shore to hunt Stingrays which are common on the Taranaki coastline. These Orca’s may look pretty scary, but they won’t cause a problem for people swimming, kayaking or swimming. These ‘Killer Whales’ are actually dolphins and are well known for their incredible teamwork when hunting. Female orca’s usually live to about 50 years but can live as long as 80-90 years. They are an impressive site and if anyone catches a photo of them off the Taranaki coast, send it in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image sourced from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Killerwhales_jumping.jpg