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Newsletter - July 2014

June Meeting
Margaret started the meeting with a humourous story about her search for the small black mussel Xenostrobus securis. Specimens of these were wanted by Richard Willan, and she confidently told him that finding them would not be a problem. However it had been so long since she had been to her favourite localities, that all the landmarks had changed and it proved to be a more difficult exercise than expected.

Peter reported on his visit to Jill Hayward in Whangarei. She has an amazing collection of worldwide shells and other marine items. Her shell room is packed from floor to ceiling and is like a mini museum - well worth a visit. Peter also stopped at Uretiti Beach to do some collecting, and coincidently met up with Andrew Spurgeon who was already scouring the tide line.

Pectinidae was the focus family, and members had brought in some interesting trays and specimens. Particularly interesting was Heather's tray containing five fossilised Pectens, including large perfect casts of Pecten novaezelandiae. Heather had also brought in several trays of shells, rocks, and fossils from her 6 week expedition to the South Island earlier this year.

That trip was the subject of her slideshow presentation. It was a classic road trip by Heather and her twin sister Alison, in their reliable motor-home, equipped as always with bicycles.
The focus of their trip was mainly rocks and fossils, and they were guided by the following books ...
. "On the edge - celebrating the diversity of New Zealand's coastal landforms" by Jill Kenny and Bruce Hayward
. "Kiwi Fossil Hunters Handbook" by James Crampton and Marianna Terezow
. "New Zealand Geology" by Jocelyn Thornton

Their first stop was a geology club trip near Kawhia where they searched a Jurassic fossil bed in an area only accessible by boat. They spent the next day at Kiritehere, a nice spot on the coast south of Kawhia, before taking the Cook Strait ferry to the South Island.
In the South Island they visited many remote places that they had never been to before. Heathers anecdotes were brought to life with beautiful photos, plus a selection of rocks and fossils that she handed around as she spoke.

Highlights of the trip were as follows ...
The Cobb Valley, where Trilobyte fossils can be found. A visit to her daughter who lives high up in the hills near Takaka. Nuggety Creek, north of Murchison. Granity, on the West Coast. The Stockton open cast coal mine. Charleston, on the coast south of Westport. A caving trip by train, and a new treetop walkway south of Hokitika. Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers, both of which have now severely retreated. Lake Matheson, with a reflection of Mt Cook. Hunts Beach, just north of Bruce Bay, where they found beautiful stones.

From Queenstown they took an exciting four-wheel drive trip to Macetown. At Stewart Island friends took them fishing on their boat. They saw spoonbills and shoveller ducks during a bike ride around a lagoon near Invercargill. A fossil site near Te Waewae. Bluff Harbour, where they explored one of the few ventifact sites in the world. Ventifacts are stones that have been fashioned into highly-polished conical shapes over millions of years by wind-driven sand.

They enjoyed Dunedin's excellent museum. The Aramoana wetlands. Tunnel Beach just south of Dunedin. Found rattling rocks - small rocks which rattle when you shake them. Christchurch, where they were delighted to see the former Invercargill Paua House rebuilt inside the museum. North of Christchurch was Dovedale Stream which is Heather and Alison's favourite fossil location. North to Ward Beach where they found beautiful stones. Sawcut Gorge, north of Kaikoura. And lastly Blenhiem, where they found fossils in a nearby stream.

Heather's adventures are always an inspiration, and several of us left the meeting contemplating a similar trip.

Next Meeting Tuesday 8th July
Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Avenue, Epsom at 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm). Supper provided.

Margaret Morley will adjudicate a team quiz. It will be stress-free and fun, and you may learn something new!
Attendees please bring a favourite shell or family to talk about or a specimen that poses a question.

Shell Auction Saturday 25th October (Labour Weekend)
Our annual Shell Auction will be held on Labour Weekend at the Albany Hall.
Sellers please get your lot lists to Peter before August 25th. Lot numbers are limited to 30 per person, but please advise if you would like to put in more than that because room for more may become available.
As usual the club will take a 10% commission on the sale price.
Contact Peter Poortman (petermwp@gmail.com or 09 817 1397) for more information.

New Zealand Shell Show 2015
This will be held on 16-18/January/2015 at the Petone Club in Udy Street, Petone, Lower Hutt.
Show classes, rules & registration form, and transport & accommodation information are now available from the Wellington Shell Club website at www.wellingtonshellclub.org.nz.

Poirieria Magazine
We welcome contributions to our club magazine "Poirieria".
Anything related to shells or collecting would be greatly appreciated - Eg. shelling trips/finds, personal observations/tips, scientific research, historic anecdotes, a notable washup, etc.
Please email articles to Peter Poortman at petermwp@gmail.com, or post to 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.

Club Library
We have an extensive collection of books, magazines, and scientific publications available, as well as a biological microscope.

Other News
. Shell collection for sale: Worldwide shells, and NZ shells that were all self collected on beaches north of Tauranga over the last 40 years. Good data. Auckland.
Contact Celia on 4106025. View online at https://www.flickr.com/photos/95321672@N02/sets/72157644955280231/

. Items of interest for the monthly newsletter are always welcome - email to petermwp@gmail.com, or post to Peter Poortman, 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.

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