Touring on Holiday with Emily


Roadkill.  I will spare you the photo she is taking, but the story and insights I am happy to share. I love tagging-along on this biodiversity adventure.

I have always enjoyed traveling with others.  Some know the history of western civilization and can bring ancient Roman, Greek, European, religious things to life.  Some are urbanites and we hang in the coolest bars and restaurants – dashing across town to get the best dim sum, and then to a smoky bar that has good jazz.  Some are artists and we go to every museum, art show, art event.  It’s wonderful.  But traveling with Emily takes the prize.  I am seeing and thinking about things I would have never never noticed.

So we are traveling down this small road near Wanaka and suddenly there are these little furry piles of roadkill, one after another.  This is after being in Tasmania where there are huge roadkills of wallaby and wombats every kilometer.  New Zealand originally had no land mammals other than bats.  All have been introduced by Maori or European settlers.  “What ARE these?” Emily asks as she puts on the brakes.  (Yes, we brake for dead animals as well as live ones).  Turns out it was hedgehog – brought in for some reason by the Europeans.  (Actually Emily is reading to me this very minute as to why they were brought in, pretty amazing, I will let her post an official blog at some point).

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