General chat

“Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat?”

Do it here. Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted.


  1. Gezza

     /  10th December 2018

    Elvira, from yesterday, around 11.25 am after she had stood upright in the deep water at the eel spot, with her head out of the water, and begged for dog roll chunks held 2 or 3 inches above her head for around 15 minutes – as she completes a final circuit looking for any fallen chunks on the stream bed, and comes back to double-check that the lunch time dinner service had ended, before swimming off home downstream again.

    During this feed-time, a dog roll chunk slipped off the end of the Feeding Stick. She has learned, when she smells her food in the water, to swim on the surface, or just below it, because that is where she will find it, & because chunks that drop off often drift downstream a little, caught by deep water eddies and currents, she misses these chunks – until she goes deep on her final circuits and finds them then.

    Yesterday, while she was there below me in the water, & as I have so got used to her gentleness (she lets me stroke her gently with the feeding stick) I lay down on the bank and reached the Feeding Stick well down into the water to see if I could skewer a dropped chunk & bring it up for her.

    (Stroking her underside previously with the stick to get her curl over and go down deep was unsuccessful; she seemed to just enjoy having her tummy rubbed.)

    The meat chunk was annoyingly just out of reach of the Feeding Stick – so I quickly decided to reach swiftly down further, my hand in the water, past her & snag it – not easy as I had to avoid touching her big, undulating body and wide, sweeping tail.

    My hand was actually in the water when I suddenly realised “Jesus Christ ! What am I doing??” Her head was waving about, popping under the water and back out again, mouth open, looking for more food, 3 or 4 inches from my hand ! And I quickly yanked both my hand and the stick out of the water !

    That mouth is huge, full of tiny, razor sharp teeth, and her eyesight is very poor – she reacts instantly, to bite and swallow food – on the slightest touch to her head. Familiarity had bred contempt. I will never get that distracted, and absent-mindedly let that happen again – no matter how affectionately I feel towards her !

    • phantom snowflake

       /  10th December 2018

      Hell she looks like a crocodile when she sticks her head out onto te parenga!

      • Gezza

         /  10th December 2018

        I know. 🙂

        She’s just gorgeous in the water these days. I realised I’d started thinking of her like a puppy. She takes food gently – she bobs around … I got carried away because she let me tickle her tummy I think. 😀

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  10th December 2018

          I am the sort of idiot who would stroke her, I think. She looks so sweet. I can’t believe that she would bite the hand that feeds her.

          A sparrer was trying to persuade a sparette to have a bit of how’s yer father, but she wasn’t having any and flew away…not very fast and not very far, and looking back every few seconds.

          I saw a very fat sparrer in Hamilton CBD being bashed up by a young sparrette. He had very pronounced white markings, but not splotches. I thought that he couldn’t fly and went to the rescue (dreading what I would have to do; I hate it when I have to kill anything) but after a bit more bashing up (completely unprovoked) he did fly.

          • Gezza

             /  10th December 2018

            It’s an instinctive reaction for her Kitty. If she right below in the best position with her mouth open I can touch the food to her mouth and she just pulls it off gently and swallows it (I can see right down into her mouth, it’s quite cute and pink on the bottom inside, haven’t decided yet it that’s her tongue held flat down).

            But if she bumbles it a bit and it drops alongside her head she instantly whips her head down and grabs it as soon as she feels it with her mouth. That’s what I had forgotten.


            Here’s an example from earlier this year of what they can do if they bite. I’m from New Plymouth. I know the Te Henui stream well, Kitty.

          • Gezza

             /  10th December 2018

            Where’s my godson ?

            I’ve just come back up from the stream. I had hoped to feed Granville when he showed up, but Elvira came up again. I was halfway through feeding her as usual when young Eli also appeared. And then Granville, all writhing around Elvira.

            That was it – she wasn’t putting up with it. She bit them both and chased them off. Then came back and was as nice as pie to me as usual, swimming around with her head up, snout out, and mouth open.

            If you remember dolphins doing this in seaquariums, waiting for fish to be tossed to them to catch, that’s what she looks like, that’s actually what she does. I’m captivated by it.

            I call them my river sharks for a reason. If you watch Big Ella or Elvira move in the river, they move like sharks. Stick a tall tailfin on them at the back, and a triangular dorsal fin near their middle, you have a shark. They are silent, powerful swimmers and I can see them clearly when they go deep and swim below me at the eel spot. Even their colours are the same as grey/white sharks.

  2. phantom snowflake

     /  10th December 2018

    I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Post-Punk lately. Here’s a great example from 1978:

  3. phantom snowflake

     /  10th December 2018

  4. High Flying Duck

     /  10th December 2018

  5. phantom snowflake

     /  10th December 2018