Friday, 26 June 2015

The new cow track is really taking shape.   I've named it the Super Highway as it looks so much grander than the other cow paths but it won't stay so pristine for long. 

Adrian was right when he commented that the cows won't walk any faster but when there's 400 of them moving from cowshed to paddock, they need to be able to walk more than 2 abreast or they really would be strung out like Brown's cows. 

Just when I've started to get used to the hum of heavy machines in the distance, they will be soon leaving, their work complete.  It's made me appreciate again how lucky I am to live without background noise, except for the occasional passing bike, quad or truck. 

While I was out walking I wondered why I could hear the family goat calling.  He's usually up around the family's home but the sound was coming from near the cowshed.  Sure enough, there he was.  Obviously he's been making a nuisance of himself around the house and has been banished. 

He tried to ignore me, doing his best regal pose.

But he wanted to talk too badly:

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Close by

I haven't seen any fences that appealed to me when I've been out and about so I'm settling for the one opposite my house.

As you can see we've had some blue skies days after frosty mornings.  And the puddles are drying up after all the rain.  I might even get my lawn mowed tomorrow.

To see more fences just pop over to Theresa's Good Fences.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Hatched and dispatched

My teenage granddaughter dropped in to see me Saturday evening just as it was getting dark.  As she came through the front door I noticed the sky behind her. 

Last week my mother lost her Aunt Edie and gained a great-grandchild who has been named Edith.  Aunty Edie was the youngest of my grandmother's 10 siblings and, when I last saw her five years ago, was a very sprightly 90 year old, her only complaint being the doctor had ordered her to stop chopping wood!  The cheek of the man!  

I find it hard to believe I come from the same gene pool! 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Good timing

Lately I've been making a bit of a habit of being too early for appointments.  Not a bad habit to fall into, I guess, but an hour early?  That's overdoing it a bit, I think.  Luckily the day I arrived at 10 am instead of 11 it was a lovely day and I had a book with me. 

Although there are plenty of places to access the beach at Ruakaka, I quickly decided to go to Princes Road to the river.  Usually I go down the little hill that takes you down to the water but that day I noticed the Bream Bay Club car park at the top of the hill was completely empty so I pulled in there for a slightly elevated view to the estuary and out to the Hen and Chickens Islands.  You can just make out Sail Rock a bit to the right of the middle of the shot.

And around a bit to the north east, Whangarei Heads.

I had a couple of days in Ruakaka and came home yesterday.  When I left, the digger and bulldozer were putting in a new track on the farm for the cows to use when they walk from the dairy shed to the new block on the other side of the road.  

The whole side of the hill looked quite different when I came home.  Looks like a cow super highway!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Chilly morning

I'm still kicking myself that I didn't stop on the way into town on Wednesday.  I was early for an appointment so had plenty of time.  It had been a really cold morning and was followed by one of those beautiful, still days with blue skies.  There was a light fog sitting over the glassy water of the harbour which had lifted a few hours later when I was on my way home.  

This pukeko came running out of the bushes to see if I had anything for him.  He soon lost interest when he saw the only thing I had in my hands was the camera.  The rest area is right beside SH1, in the open speed zone.   It's obviously become used to people giving it food.  Why, oh, why would people be feeding it so close to the highway?   It's like giving it a death sentence.  They aren't the brightest of birds and have little road sense. 

Back at home I had nearly missed out on the heavy machinery action.  New tracks have to be put in linking the new farm to the old. I didn't want to watch the other machine as it was working very close to the water line to my house.  A bit too close for my comfort. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Farm fences

I find it really hard to get decent photos of farm fences.  They are all much the same and not very inspirational.  This is the back fence on the new farm.  On the other side is the Tangihua Forest

No, that cow shouldn't be on the other side of that fence.  She's on the track outside my house.

The fence around a pump-shed beside the creek.

Once dairy cows know the way to the shed they don't need very good fences to keep them going the right way.  They know the fence is there - and they know it could be electric.  That's the Tangihua Forest in the background.

We've had a fair bit of rain this week as this large puddle verifies.

I'm linking to Good Fences which you can find here.

Saturday, 13 June 2015


After my long walk up the creek on Tuesday, I was limping and making very slow progress on my way back home.  I didn't want to walk up the road for the last stretch so decided to climb a bank under some old pine trees, crawl under a fence and walk across the paddocks.  

The ground was dry enough on the bank for a little sit down and it was then that I noticed these little beauties.

They are so pretty they would have to be hallucinogenic!

Friday, 12 June 2015

A fence to keep him safe

The fence that keeps my little grandson safe.

Over the road, at the school, it's just the top of the fence that peeps out through the agapanthus .

I'm linking to Good Fences.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Fresh fields and pastures new

It's been six years since Shayde, Georgia and I had our mystical adventure tracking the creek which runs through the farm, up through our neighbours farm, up towards its source in the forest.   Now that farm is part of this farm and I am free to wander there again. Pastures new for the cows - and me.

Yesterday was such a lovely, bright sunny day I decided I couldn't wait for someone to visit who might want to accompany me and set out on my own.  I can't think of anything better than strolling in the sunshine beside a creek, listening to the babble as the water rushes over rocks.  I remembered the place where the girls announced there was magic but luckily I didn't need anything more than my gumboots and a walking stick to help me keep my balance as I crossed. 

From this point on I needed to cross the stream a number of times as I picked my way, deciding which side was the easiest bank to walk along.  In some places a bank is steep, in others the thick bush grows right down to the water.

I found a tiny waterfall in under a bank of thick vegetation, where another little stream leads into this one.  I was alerted to it by the sound of falling water or I wouldn't have known it was there.

My photos aren't very good.  I set out without looking at the clock.  It was the middle of the day (and I was feeling more than a little peckish by the time I got back home).

Finally I came to where the fairies live.  For a minute I thought I saw a little girl playing there, too.  But the little girl has grown now and no longer lives in the magical world of a six year old. 

This is as far as we went last time we came up here.  And as far as I could go this time, too.  I couldn't find a track on either side to follow.  I will come back in summer with suitable footwear and wade the rest of the way.

I want to see what lays ahead. 

I left the creek and followed a track through a paddock until I came to the boundary fence with the forest.  I will think of that paddock as the place of the pheasants.  I first one I disturbed took flight from under my feet practically.  I got such a fright, I dropped my walking stick.  I've never seen so many of them in one place before!

The tower on the mountain is a lot closer up here.

And there are the cows enjoying their new pasture.  I'll have to go up the other side of the creek to get to there. 

Friday, 5 June 2015

Jami sings

This time yesterday I was in the supermarket.  Shopping of any sort is not a favourite activity for me and grocery shopping is my least favourite. I do admit I don't mind it as much these days when I have no time constraints.  And I do try to not be one of those oldies that gets in everyone else's way.

I was already in a pretty happy mood as I'd had my laugh for the day when I had an amusing exchange with a rather morose looking young Maori guy while I was parking my car.   He was standing smoking beside his car when I pulled alongside it to reverse into the space behind his vehicle.  He must have thought I wasn't up to the task as he came up beside my car and started giving me hand directions and let out a very loud "whooa" when he thought I was close enough to the car behind.  I was amused by this as I don't need any help to reverse into a carpark, thank you very much.  But I decided to be polite and called out a thank you to the man as I locked the car.  

He was still there when I returned to the car but had undergone some sort of personality change.  He approached me and with a big smile and asked did I need his help to get out of the parking spot?  I was tempted to give him a half smart response but instead told him I'd appreciate it if he could keep an eye on my back bumper for me when I reversed.  As I got into the car he said, "See ya.  And you have a lovely day, young lady."

I wonder if he still feels as good today about helping a senior citizen as I do about letting him do so.      
It was busy in the supermarket.   I seemed to be moving through the aisles at the same speed as a young man with a little girl, around two years old.  He obviously wasn't very familiar with the lay out and I'm just slow.  When he threw goods into his trolley it's a wonder they didn't break or burst open.  He wasn't a very gentle soul.   I was behind him when we reached an aisle blockage.  A lady had left her trolley in the middle of the aisle.  Without hesitation the guy advanced on the trolley and with a quick right hand down movement flicked his trolley to the right, knocking the other out of his way.  There's probably a better word to describe that trolley driving action.  He said, "Oh sorry" (yeah right!) and marched on through the gap.  I smartly followed, trying to suppress my smile.  The look on the face of the unthoughtful shopper who had just left her trolley there without a thought for anyone else, was gold.                    

When the young man next stopped to add to his purchases I remarked that he had some good trolley action back there.   
"Haven't got all day.  The missus is crook." 
Then, in a much softer tone, "I need to get home to her."  

I hope the missus is feeling better day.

I try not to brag too much on my blog about the achievements of my grandchildren.   I don't mind if the world knows how much I love them but I don't really want to be one of those boring overly adoring grandmothers.  

Young Jami does deserve a special mention, though.  She has been blessed with a lovely signing voice and I firmly believe it is our duty to develop the gifts with which we were born.  Jami has done that.  On Wednesday and Thursday nights she performed with her all girl school band in a charity fund raising concert with the theme being a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones performing at the Auckland Town Hall, a dedication to the Rolling Stones concert.  Imagine - my 16 year old granddaughter, performing at the Auckland Town Hall and getting a standing ovation after performing a very scaled back version of Sympathy for the Devil.  I reckon Mick would have been proud. 

The photo is courtesy of Blair Quax.
Hope this link works, I'm hopeless at this sort of thing:

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Village fences

Here are a few of the fences I found when my daughter and I visited the Pioneer Village near Stratford in Taranaki. 

It's bit hard to see this is a fence.  It's made of ponga posts wired together, making a first class home for ferns.  The ponga is also known as the silver tree fern or silver fern, the symbol commonly associated with this country.

Waiting to ride the steam train.

Keeping him safe from the water.  Or the ducks and chickens safe from him.

I'll be linking to Theresa's Good Fences.  The Good Fences blog is usually posted while I am sleeping and by the time I get home from my exercise class tomorrow I'll probably be one of the last to join in, as usual.  Better late than never, as they say.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Stormy sunset

Last evening I wouldn't have noticed the dramatic sky in the west if I hadn't lost power.  I would have been preparing my dinner.  I would have heard the thunder and seen the lightning, of course.  Couldn't have missed that. 

So there I was sitting by a window reading by the last light of the day, keeping an eye on the clouds as they rolled closer, darkened and looked more and more threatening.


And then they were gone.  The storm blew away to the south.  The power came back on an hour or so later.   I had a late dinner.  All's well.