It's been hot and muggy today. I took the kids for a drive to photograph an old Oak tree at the local primary school since it's due for the chop very shortly to make way for a new classroom. Our community is up in arms about the poor old tree. In a way I don't blame them. Some said it didn't have a history to it at all. But yes in a way it has got a history. It was one of the trees that was planted on Arbour Day 1926 by a caring youngster who cared for that tree every week and watched it grow. It's one of the few trees left from that special day. My girls are angry about it. Me I can't really form an opinion since I edit the local rag here. Someone though, has organised a petition to try and save the old Oak tree. From what I saw there were a lot of names and signatures on it. Good on them.
We got the horses down to mow the back lawn, since a lawnmower would die from all the ruts, and the hard to cut Kikuyu grass some bright spark brought over and it ended up taking over Northland pastures. I hate the stuff. Great in summer - useless in winter. Our thoroughbred mare Sasha had a very bad winter and had got an abcess in her wither. It's taken her a while to regain her condition but she has improved a lot since August. Ed the old man at 28 years old is as fat as a pig and I have to guard Sasha while she has her special feed we give her. Sasha is 22 yrs old. Sadly Thoroughbreds don't do as well as cross-bred horses like the old man. His sire was a quarter horse so he's big solid and strong. Maggie and Feather made the most out of cleaning up the leftovers before the others had a chance to get a look in.
The Terrorist did nothing but bellow all day, deciding it wasn't good enough being ignored way up there on the hill. We have the bull running with the other cattle at the moment so we don't want a five month old calf being jumped by Micah thank you very much. And he will if he gets a chance She's been put to bed now with her night night bottle (spoilt toad) and will be watching over Inaya and Michelle who are sleeping out in their new tent their Auntie gave them for Christmas. I have a feeling Mr Screech will make his presence known to them at around 4 am tomorrow morning. He's decided to show up again minus Mrs Screech. I bet Mrs Screech has found a new Mr Screech somewhere. So we'll be hearing all about that no doubt until a new Mrs Screech pays a visit and makes a new nest by the dam.
The sign is now finished and hopefully it will be picked up in the next day or two and out of my way. It's been a great day and tomorrow should be even better. And the Terrorist is still staring at me..........
Very Red Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release ' New Zealand meat exports at risk due to ill-informed comments'
30 December 2008
“I would have thought Mr Cooper understood the role the NZFSA plays in market assurance for sheep meat. By hopping on this Aussie bandwagon he clearly doesn’t. Mr Cooper is scoring an own goal at the expense of farmers and the wider economy.
"Frankly, I am astounded proponents of the proposed National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme (NAIT) have leapt on the Australian tagging requirement. First, the proposed NAIT scheme isn’t meant to include sheep from the get-go and secondly, as I understand it, the Australian tag requirement is for bog standard visual tags and not RFID.
“New Zealand’s systems for on farm verification and animal status are truly world class. The NZFSA and Animal Health Board are major assets in providing verification and market assurance about the food we export to the world. This is data that our trading partners audit and accept. This is data which provides the vital element of assurance that our food is wholesome and above all, safe.
“NAIT discounts NZFSA and Animal Health Board resources when clearly the EU, with its exacting standards, doesn't. That tells us they are the foundation to build upon and not NAIT.
"Why spend tens of millions of dollars New Zealand doesn't have just to reinvent the wheel with NAIT? NAIT seems to be a solution looking for a problem and Mr Cooper’s comments reinforce that view.
"The EUs comprehensive audit scope for New Zealand going forward includes animal identification, origin, treatments (including withholding periods), feed (including the ruminant to ruminant feed ban), welfare and the use of hormone growth promotants.
"Following New Zealand's most recent audit by the EU in 2008, the NZFSA's on-farm verification audits of beef, sheep and deer farms were increased to 600 from 250. New Zealand has a robust and audited on-farm programme verification system which works. Just ask the EU," Mr McKenzie concluded.
30 December 2008
Fonterra warning on payout not unexpected
“The thing critical to Federated Farmers and to supplier-shareholders is for Fonterra to be realistic with its next forecast.
“While we don’t expect Fonterra’s next revision to be as bad as some smaller companies have forecasted, dairy farmers need better certainty to undertake financial budgeting. These constant revisions are making this difficult. It’s time for Fonterra to under promise and over deliver.
“Around $12 million from on-farm incomes is cut every time a cent is shaved off the milksolids payout. This impacts the entire economy.
Ages ago I was given a stamping magazine. Trouble was I'm miles from the shops and the stamps I did like were a fortune to buy. I like to make cards once in a blue moon since until now I haven't had any time to do much more than come home make dinner, feed the animals and go to bed from straight out exhaustion. With time on my rather grubby paint covered hands from painting a cafe road side sign I decided to revisit that magazine. In it they had a fat cat..he was cool. So I did my own version of him and came up with two. Fun to do and really really easy. Yes I have made up some easy pezy instructions complete with my scribbled out mistakes if anyone wants to give it a try as well.
29 December 2008
Winter 2008 wasn't a wonderful time to be on the farm. The warning signs were all there with rumbling dark thunder clouds and ever greying skies we were in for a bad time. No sun for three long months. The grass refused to grow, the skies were forever grey. Constant thunder storms, heavy rain and flooding made for one of the worst winters on record. One night we had a huge storm. Lightning turned the night into day and we had a strike on the driveway near the house just after midnight. Trees were struck down. This is one winter we learned some hard lessons from. The photos are of the skies during winter including the lightning strike on the driveway. Not good. In less than two weeks 25,000 lightning strikes had been recorded in New Zealand. One storm after the other. Hopefully next winter won't be so bad...but I'm probably kidding myself there. Next post the floods.
I love dolphins and perhaps everything else that's a critter except perhaps for possums and rats that is. This I drew in well under ten minutes just for something to do other than hand painting letters of a cafe sign groan. I had this idea and thought why not. So I made up a set of how to instructions so if anyone wants to give it a go they can. Lots of fun and so what if it's got the shapes still on it. I'll rub them out some other time.
Today was well......long. I saw my cousin and talked my Uncle and Aunt who are staying here on the farm. I've been painting a sign which seems to be taking forever to do. It's almost done thank goodness. Overall not that much has been happening. The Cadillac is still here at the farm too..cool. I'll get some more photos of her before she leaves my sight. The Terrorist is sound asleep outside of the house. She's tied up of course so she can't eat my trees...again (growl). Since New Year is coming up I'll be posting up some photos from 2008. You should see the flood ones...not a good scene this last winter. I'll be back a little later I guess after I've done this sign. Hope everyone has had a great day today.
Campbell's Soup Can 1964 by Andy Warhol
"The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth." - Jim Lovell Astronaut Apollo 8 Mission 1968
A view of the earth for the first time taken over the lunar landscape during the Apollo 8 Mission in 1968. It made the world realise just how small and vunerable Planet Earth really was.
This just a small selection of the list I have and not in any particular order. There are many many more I could post and will at another time. Hope you like them (or not).
1959 Cadillac Fleetwood untouched unchanged and she's just perfect. She's staying with us for four days so my camera is going to be very very busy...cool. I LOVE CLASSIC CARS OH YEAH!!!! Oh and motorbikes too.LOL!