Caution: Kiwi crossing!

Only in New Zealand will you see these signs. This was taken near the village of National Park:

And some sad news from this country: beloved Kiwi comedian John Clarke (aka “Fred Dagg”) has died at only 68 while on a hike. Heather has posted a retrospective at her site.


  1. John
    Posted April 10, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    It is tending to an egg? Golf ball?

    • tubby
      Posted April 10, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      I thought it was a coin for scale.

      • John
        Posted April 10, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Good thinking.

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted April 11, 2017 at 3:37 am | Permalink

        There already is a Coyne for scale.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted April 11, 2017 at 3:46 am | Permalink



    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 10, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      It’s a sticker someone else put on the sign. It’s been there a while because it can no longer be read. Vandalism is alive and well!

    • Posted April 10, 2017 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s one of those reflectors; don’t know why it’s there.

  2. busterggi
    Posted April 10, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I hope the kiwis obey the signs better than the deer do around here.

  3. Posted April 10, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Jerry, I like your naked feet in sandals. For me from April 1 to October 15 it’s sandal time independent on weather conditions.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      They’re not sandals. This is NZ so he’s dressed appropriately in jandals (flip-flops)! 🙂

  4. MKray
    Posted April 10, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Toi toi in the background, aka `cutty grass’

  5. rickflick
    Posted April 10, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    The silhouette of that creature looks bizarre. The bird itself is egg shaped.

    I’m wondering if the tall grass is endemic or a cultivar. It resembles some I’ve seen at the garden shop.

    • Phil Garnock-Jones
      Posted April 10, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      That’s an endemic genus, Austroderia. There are four species. The related South American genus Cortaderia is also represented in New Zealand by four naturalised species that are becoming major weeds. The native ones have flower heads that droop at the tips; the naturalised ones have straight flower heads.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 10, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        In a natural area here(NY) I saw (while flying overhead) a weird pattern. I later inquired and found out authorities had been spraying invasive grasses from the fields of natives. It’s a big problem, especially where oceanic shipping brings bits of things from all over the world.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted April 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        I find both equally decorative (and only experts can tell the difference).

        From Tangiwai to Ohakune to National Park there are long stands of them alongside the railway line and they look glorious when they’re all in flower (not sure if they bother hay-fever sufferers though).


  6. Fernando
    Posted April 10, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    There’s another bird on the sign, or is it your hand’s shadow?

  7. Posted April 10, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Tamaranui is the birthplace of the outstanding Kiwi expert on molecular phylogenies, David Penny (now at Massey University in Palmerston North). Thanks to David’s efforts and encouragement, New Zealand has more good work on phylogenetic methods per capita than anywhere.

    It is also the subject of a great song

    • Posted April 10, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, that comment was intended for the Taumaranui/glowworm thread.

  8. Posted April 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Why you are wearing slippers. Aren’t there a lot of snakes?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 10, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      No snakes in NZ. (Something I find quite comforting when walking in the bush).

      I think those are Jandals (or ‘thongs’) that Jerry is wearing – a highly dangerous torture device in slippery conditions. If you step on a boulder or similar, your foot slips sideways off the sole into the gravel or other sharp objects, while the strap between your toes tries to twist your toes off.

      I once borrowed my wife’s jandals for walking on the reef in Rarotonga. After a few yards I took the horrid things off since they were literally worse than useless and came back to shore cautiously and barefoot – something I ‘never’ do on the reef.


      • Posted April 10, 2017 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        No snakes. Nice. Didn’t know. Apparently those Jandals are dangerous even without snakes. Thanks.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted April 10, 2017 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          Well, seriously, Jandals are protective against sharp gravel or splinters on flat level ground. But on uneven ground, steps etc, they can be a tripping hazard and they’re not very protective. Because they’re only really anchored at one point, at the front between your toes.

          Regular sandals are far more securely anchored.


  9. philfinn7
    Posted April 10, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    We Australians, of course, like to claim John Clarke as one of ours. We do this with any Kiwi who gets famous – Russel Crowe, Tim Finn (Split Enz and Crowded House), Ernest Rutherford, Keith Urban – the list goes on. Clarke made Australia his home for almost 40 years, so we feel some justification. There are some lovely tributes on the (Australian) ABC website abc dot net door au.

    • hugh7
      Posted April 11, 2017 at 5:34 am | Permalink

      Clarke made his name first here as Fred Dagg*, and that’s how we remember him. You claim Rutherford!? Wow, some cheek! You can keep Russel Crowe, but Phar Lap and pavlova are ours.

      *A dag is a drop of hard dried poo and wool hanging from the tail end of a sheep, hence “Rattle ya dags!” meaning “Hurry up!”

      • philfinn7
        Posted April 11, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Yes, I remember Fred Dagg well. Clarke was brilliant and will be missed.

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