Off the Farm - A photo from our trip up North

This tree is called "Tane Mahuta" In the Maori language it translates as "Lord of the Forest". Its age is around 2000 years old. It's a New Zealand Kauri Tree. Way back in the early settlement times thousands of these stunning trees were cut down and used as spars on sailing ships. Gradually the forests were all but wiped out. There's a few stands left here and there in Northland New Zealand. Naturally the government has protected them forever - that's good they need to be.


And the Nominations are....

My pal Bob has honoured me with an award. Thank you Bob!!!! Following the rules as Bob has advised it is now my turn to do the honours. The rules are as follows:
You are allowed to display the Brillante Weblog Award on your blog - Link to the person you received your award from - Nominate at least seven other blogs - put links to those blogs on yours: Leave a message on the blogs of those you have nominated.
And the Nominations are for Brilliant blogs are....

Ky Farmlife
A blog about Life on a Thousand acre mixed farm in Kentucky USA - Day to day life and images with great artwork as told by Rae. (You rock Rae!!!)

A fantastic blog done by New Zealand Historian Lisa Truttman. Fascinating stories from local New Zealand History. Lisa has a great writing style so good you just can't stop reading it. She also just happens to be the person who inspired and encouraged me to go back to my art work. Thanks mate you rock!!

At Home with Amy
Family life in a small rural New Zealand town. Photos, stories and a bit of good old New Zealand Family life. This is a great blog!!!

Sculptor Steve Worthington has a talent second to none. Fantastically detailed animal sculptures. Worth the nomination!!. Go Steve!!!

Andrea Joseph's Sketchblog

Andrea has a talent and a way of making you want to read her blog. I love her artwork and keep going back to her blog to have another good read - Life and art together. What a team!
PS Thanks to Rae I found it

My Creative Blogspot
Kathleen you have a beautiful blog with the fantastic artistic talent to match - again thanks to Rae for putting me onto it

The Journal of married couple Zachary and Jennifer and their life on a dairy farm in Wisconson. A great blog to follow and full of fun.

Her hiding place has been discovered - at last!!!

My daughter Inaya is clever. After searching for days Inaya was the one patient enough to see just where Maggie had decided to put her little hoard of eggs. Sure enough there she was sat tight on eggs that will never hatch. I decided today I would "annoy" her. Naturally Maggie wasn't welcoming visitors. Avoiding being picked I managed to get some photos. Guess I'll be going to see Floyd about those fertile eggs afterall.


Imaginery Onions - One of my "Masterpieces"

Not really. This was a result of my experimenting some time back with oils and a bread and butter knife. I had lost my pallet knife so I tried an alternative. It's not a masterpiece for sure and specking of onions I had better go and plant some. Trying Welsh Bunching Onions this year - I have heard great things about their flavour so we'll give it a try!

Getting Ready for Calf Club

Calf Club in New Zealand has been a long standing tradition. The best of the calves were taken to school and shown off by their proud young owners. Calf Club in Maungaturoto sadly faded away. Ag day has become pet day but as we are a predominantly Dairy Farming area calves are still shown and judged every year. My lovely friend Anne decided a few years back to start a Calf Club for the kids that would otherwise never have a chance to experience raising a calf then showing it at the Pet day. October the 19th is the day we'll be loading up five calves into the stock trailer and taking them over to the Primary School. It's always a great day for all the kids. Anne and her husband Cameron milk a mixed herd of Ayreshire,Holstein Fresians and some Jersey and the calves the kids take are replacement heifers. The practice mostly in New Zealand is to retain the best heifer calves as replacements the bulls aren't retained. Small heifers and bulls are usually sent to the works at around five days old to slaughter. My next door neighbour has a herd of 750 mostly Fresian cows in the shed during the season. A small herd is around 120 cows in the shed. Calving takes place from around late July through to September with calving lasting sometimes up to November. Here's a few photos of the kids brushing their calves under Anne's watchful eye


Grump Grump Grump!!!

I'm not talking about me either. Maggie has gone broody -again. She disappears for days on end then reappears -usually on the warpath. You know when she's coming. Grump Grump Grump -look out anyone in her way! Looks like yet again I will have to contact my friend Floyd and get some fertile eggs from him. Floyd breeds heritage chickens and each year one of my hens hatches a clutch for him. Last year it was Feather's turn. She's a Golden Laced Wyandotte -and she is downright dumb but pretty. Well this year Maggie can hatch the next lot. Hopefully Floyd will not end up with one hen and several roosters. I'm supposed to be doing work but I'd rather be out on the farm today fencing in the two rotten sheep (Who keep trying to jump my heifers would you believe)I inherited off the side of the road one winter morning (growl mutter complain). I can't stand sheep, but they taste nice so these two will be headed for my freezer and soon - if I can catch them that is....And Jennifer thanks for your comments I love your blog too!! Rae I'm being naughty and shirking again from work. Bob my cats have decided today to sleep in my box of art supplies they truly do pick some very strange places to call a bed!


The 15kg Terrorist says - "Just Testing Mum!"

Well she just had to go and look didn't she!! My so called vegetable garden (that grows weeds at the moment)looked somehow..appealing not that there really was anything in it that is. After a wet wet winter I gave up growing anything. Now we'll be sorting things out -finally!. The opportunity to take her photo was just too good to miss!


A great Book by John Ruskin

Over the last few weeks I have met some amazing talented people through the blogs. We all struggle when it comes to developing our art. I found this on the site I use for uploading the Maungaturoto Matters. It's by John Ruskin one of the greatest artists to have ever lived. It's old, wordy but worth trawling through from the 1800's now less but this is the period when drawing was at its finest (least I think so). Check it out on an evening when you just want to chill out.