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    Tuesday, 5 January 2010

    Farm Life In New Zealand

    On arriving in New Zealand it was time for us to take a break from the constant moving about. After 6 months of constant travelling I was looking forward to spending some time in one place.

    We spent the time leading up to Christmas and New Year with Jono’s family on his Mum and Dad’s farms. It’s a busy time of year on the farms which gave me the opportunity to take lots of photographs. This set, as you’ll see, has a farm theme.

    A lot of my pictures are taken in the late afternoon when the animals on the farm get fed. I like the one above as it really gives you a feel for the farm.

    One of the many horses on the farm, this one is Milly, an Arabian Mare. The afternoon light gives her a lovely shine.

    The Jersey calves are really cute. They are curious but a little jumpy when you get close. I had to make sure I avoided all the poo taking this one.

    As you walk round the farm, Chloe the Labrador is never far. I love this picture as it looks like she is surveying her farm to make sure all is as it should be.

    As I got to ‘know’ the cows my favourite has become number 15, as she is curious and will let me get pretty close to get a good shot. I like this one. It looks like she has a couple of bodyguards behind her keeping her safe.

    The sheep were being shorn on the farm, the woolshed made for a great place to take pictures. It was a tricky as I didn’t want to get in the way as there was a lot of activity going on.

    It’s a pretty back braking job and you can see that the sheep shearers have a lot of skill in handling the sheep.

    I think I captured the exhaustion well in this one. He’d been shearing since 8 in the morning and this was taken at 12:30 when the last ones were being finished.

    Here is a shot of a counter one of the shearers was using. I wonder how many sheep had been counted on it over the years.

    Christmas time is also a busy time for making sure there is enough feed for the animals in the winter months. The grass was being cut for making silage. The Grass is cut and then collected and baled and then wrapped in plastic for storage.

    A silage bale ready to be wrapped.

    Along with silage the grass was also cut to make hay. The grass is cut and then left to dry before it is scooped up and made into your traditional rectangle hay bales. All this is done when the weather is guaranteed to be fine so that grass does not spoil. This shot shows well the grass being cut on a sunny day.

    While the cutting was going on we were looking on and taking it easy. I like this picture as I think it gives off the feel of a relaxed summer’s day.

    A couple of days later the hay bales were made and collected.

    A few days later it was the turn of the lambs to be shorn and they had to be drafted. This was the process of separating the lambs from their mothers. The lambs were sent to the right and the sheep to the left.

    Once they were separated they looked great, all the shorn sheep in one pen and the lambs in another.

    The sheep were let ‘free’, they have a big herding instinct and madly follow each other. Watching them for a while I concluded that they are so stupid that they’d follow each other off a cliff face if you let them.

    As the weather was so lovely we did a lot of walking around the farm exploring the nooks and crannies. The good thing about New Zealand is that there are no snakes or venomous spiders so you are pretty safe walking around. The most dangerous thing you are likely to encounter is a bee.

    Apart from the Jersey cows there are others on the farm, I like the Red Devons and I particularly like this one. I imagine a Farside cartoon to this one, something along the lines of how trendy the other cows think she is with her ear pierced.

    Finally a couple of people shots, this is simply Farmer and his dog.

    And finally this photo because I just like it and it was taken on the farm and it’s a pretty common scene of people chatting over fences. We did also venture off the farm in the first couple of weeks in New Zealand and I’ll keep that for another post.

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