I'm pretty certain it's pukekos that are pulling up the trees. I found a rabbit hole, and saw a rabbit, but after stopping up the hole, there was no attempt to open it. I also put a trap out for the cat, but all I got was a hedgehog. Earlier this year we had a black cat that ran away, and we had seen a black cat up there by the barn. But I think it was a different cat, since we caught another earlier that was female, not male. However, that still leaves the pukekos.

Pukekos are swamp hens, and apparently common around the world. They dig around in swamps, and pull up plants looking for roots and other food. I worked out that if I cut up plastic bottles, and put them round the trees, they didn't get uprooted. I also found that replanting the trees with lots of wet mud pushed down well also seems to stop them. So hopefully I can rest easy, once I've secured the rest of the trees!

The brass band has the final parade on Friday, and several sessions carolling. It's been a busy few weeks, but at least I didn't get ill like I did last year. Next year the national contest is in April, so I guess we'll be right back into it when we start up again next year...


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