Friday, 16 October 2015

Yesterday, we took the opportunity to take an old friend from Fiji on a day trip around Golden Bay, which is accessed via a winding road over the 'Marble Mountain' that separates Golden Bay from the Waimea plains. The the road summit's altitude is about 2,600' (792m) ASL with superb vistas to be seen from strategically placed parking spots.
Not far from the beginning of the Takaka Hill road we look (east) down on the Riwaka River in the foreground. Nelson City lies under the hills in the distant background.

Merilyn and Heather enjoying the view from near the summit looking west into Golden Bay. 
A rugby-infatuated cow makes no bones about demonstrating which World Cup team she's backing!

A few salmon at Anatoki Salmon Farm

Some of the purest water on the planet. Visibility is 63 metres. Te Waikoropupu - commonly referred to as "Pupu Springs".

Te Waikoropupu - the seething water emerging at 10 cubic metres per second.

Stacked stones as left by 19th century gold fossikers.

The source of Air New Zealand's corporate Koru design?  The endemic to New Zealand silver tree fern, Cynthea dealbata.

A visit to the Anatoki Salmon Farm, which was almost wrecked by a flash flood in 2013, followed by a 1 kilometer walk through second growth native trees and shrubs and a look at the pristine waters of Te Waikoropupu, or 'Pupu Springs'. The water is unbelievably pure - the bottom is seven metres deep but gives the impression that one would be barely above his knees if he stepped in.

From Pupu Springs we drove to a delightful little village called Collingwood where we had that quintessential Kiwi bit of food popular at this time of year - the Whitebait Fritter Sandwich. The capitilisation of the dish should impart some idea of just how highly esteemed it is in the minds of the average New Zealander.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

We have an old cemetery just over the fence from where we are living. It was, apparently, the original Motueka cemetery until the flood of 1877 when many graves were washed out and coffins were found even at sea. This flood caused the river to switch from flowing along the western side of the valley to flowing down the eastern side, cutting off access to the cemetery to the good citizens of Motueka town.

This is the time of year when the bluebells, the possible descendants of long-ago mourners' flower arrangements, show themselves and add some colour to an otherwise drab and unspectacular spot.

John Boyes 1810 ~ 1869

Selina Chapman 1830 ~ 1906. A descendant of Selina's is a neighbour of ours.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

It's a hard life, on the farm.

Time to get up and mow the boss's lawn.

Friday, 2 October 2015

A few of the boys must have thought they were going out for the day and got themselves all gussied up in readiness.

 Nothing like a bit of exposed earth to rub your face in to enhance your looks!

"I say, does anyone know when the bus is due?"

Thursday, 1 October 2015

It's a tough life for some.

We have half a dozen ewes and one ram. One of the ewes is barren, and (soto voce) will wind up in the pot sooner rather than later. (I like to keep this kind of information very low key, as I might have an ovine mutiny on my hands if word got out). Five of the ewes had lambs, and, inexplicably, one lamb managed to dislocate its back leg and was put down.

The ewes and 'Cecil' the ram, meanwhile, are growing wool which needs to be taken off, and it's falling to me to do the 'honour'. Hence the first sentence. One of the ewes was not so happy about being the first I chose. Given that it is at least 50 years since I'd had a shearer's hand-piece in my hand, she was justifiably anxious, and will probably sue me for what could possibly be judged as the worst haircut given to anyone (or thing) in the last hundred years.

I asked the poor old bleater to not feel too bad about her new #1½ as I had been assured that there was only 2 weeks separating a bad haircut from a good one, and to, in the meantime, be a good girl and go into the trees in the cemetery just over the fence where no one can see her.

A hint to anyone contemplating shearing a sheep after a fifty-year hiatus, you should ensure that there is a competent shearer on hand to take over when you realise that your back is in agony and that you still have three quarters of the wool to take off.

One can imagine the ignominy of explaining to the neighbours, who were likely to check in at any time to see how you were getting on, why the sheep was only half-shorn with bits of fluff hanging off it, because you've given in to the pain and released it before completion.

No photos were taken of the ewe's new style!