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The Christchurch woman still surfing at 92

A wrap of the biggest stories and best writing about the outdoors from New Zealand and around the world.

When Nancy Meherne was in her 40s her son suggested she should give surfing a go. Who would have thought that 50 years later she’s still hitting the waves?

She fell in love with the sea when she first moved to Christchurch as a 17-year-old. Each of her three children got a surf board for their 10th birthdays, but it wasn’t until later that she decided to have a go herself.

Now the 92-year-old can often be seen at Christchurch’s Scarborough Beach and wants to continue getting out in the water for as long as possible. “You wait for a good size wave and the seventh one is often a very good one.

“If you go down with the wave and go in, it’s lovely. It doesn’t hurt or anything. You just go floating in. I don’t go way, way out. I go as far as I can to get a big wave and in we go.” Read more at RNZ.

Dogs being poisoned on US walking trails

Authorities are very concerned, as well as confused, as to why someone should be leaving hot dogs laced with Ibuprofen on tracks in eastern Idaho.

Ibuprofen can be lethal to pooches, even in small quantities, and the hot dogs seem to be placed at strategic points. One dog has been killed so far, and at least another two injured.

“It could be that somebody thought it was a prank, and it could be that it was malicious and they were trying to take pets out,” says Jared Fisher from the Caribou-Targhee National Forest’s Westside Ranger District.

“We do have reports of [dog owners] who don’t follow the leash rules at those trailheads, and this might be retaliation of some kind. But regardless of motive, it’s a serious crime and we’re taking it very seriously.” Read more at Backpacker magazine.

Who’d like New Zealand’s most remote lodge?

You don’t want to forget the milk if you live out here! Flowerpot Bay Lodge is up for sale. It’s situated on Pitt Island (Rangiauria), 30km south-east of Chatham Island and more than 700km from the mainland.

You’d share the island with 45 others and you’d be in one of its largest buildings, which hosts up to 10 people.

“It’s the only accommodation on Pitt Island. I guess it’s the most remote accommodation in New Zealand,” says resident and owner Brent Mallenson.

“It is remote, but it isn’t. We’ve got internet now, and Sky TV, and we’ve just got mobile coverage, so that’s made a big difference. It can be challenging getting on and off the island.” Read more about this amazing place on Stuff.

Kererū and pīwakawaka are on the up

That’s what’s suggested in the latest New Zealand Garden Bird survey. Almost 15,000 people counted the birds they could see in gardens, parks and schools last July, and the results are promising.

The number of kererū has more than doubled in the past 10 years, while pīwakawaka have gone up by nearly 50 percent. Tuī are also doing well – up 30 percent nationwide – while the decline of silvereye has slowed.

“The survey does not attempt to determine the causes of changes in bird counts, but it is tempting to suggest that the increases in counts of native birds reflect the results of increased predator control and habitat restoration activities around the country,” says survey founder Dr Eric Spurr. Read more at RNZ.

Valentine’s Day… gone wrong!

Romance might not be dead, but it doesn’t always go to plan. Personal trainer Atick Miah wanted to take his partner Tiana up the Welsh mountain of Snowdon on 14th February to propose to her on the summit.

He had an engagement ring in his backpack, but as they got close to the summit, he got tired and took shelter while Tiana went on to the summit. Being the middle of winter in the UK, conditions were icy and the wind so strong they could barely stand.

Due to a misunderstanding and difficulties in reaching each other, they each decided to make their own way down, but Atick got lost and slipped down a small waterfall. Thankfully he was okay and found his way back to the path, but it’s here he believed he lost his engagement ring.

“I still don’t know whether she’ll say yes or know,” he said afterwards. Read more at the Liverpool Echo.