History is made! (in our garden)
Today, while sitting in my office at home, I had the pleasure of hearing (and seeing) not one but two bellbirds. They were clearly having some kind of discussion because although their song was of the usual melodious standard we expect of bellbirds, it was also quite insistent (and loud), as though they were trying to communicate something quite important.
In the past, we have enjoyed the occasional visit from a bellbird (korimako) [click here for one such story on envirohistory NZ and a picture and song of a bellbird], but two at one time is a historical first. Obviously, the bellbirds chose to visit our garden entirely of their own volition, but I take some quite satisfaction in the likelihood that my actions have had a part to play. (I also suspect that few of our neighbours (in a newish subdivision in the Kapiti Coast
settlement of Paraparaumu) will have enjoyed similar visits.
When we bought this house 8 years ago, the section - like all others here - was a ecological wasteland of lawn, with a smattering of natives and assorted exotics (some of which were ill-advised and long-banished). But slowly but surely all the lawn has been converted to native gardens, apart from one last remnant which has only escaped a similar fate only because it is small enough and flat enough to be mowed using a push mower (which doubles as exercise).
Lawn-free, native-centric gardens also have the advantage being more resilient in times of drought - see my post on envirohistory NZ.