Art Stuff -African Wildlife African Wild Dog

Some of you have already seen this one on Wilderness.com. I thought I'd post it on here as well. I've been having some time for once to do the one thing I really enjoy apart from the animals,kids and my very very good friends and that is my art - especially wildlife.

Putting it to the vote

Today was the day our country went to the voting polls to elect the government for the next three years. The polls have just closed later tonight we'll know who is our next government. I did my vote along with my Mum. I won't be wasting time with political opinions. I based my party vote based on Fiscal Policy and overall performance for the last three years not my emotions. So we'll just wait and see what happens later to night when all the votes are in. At the time of writing only 18% of the votes are in - it's going to be a long night.

Abort! Abort!

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The Road from Dargaville - Mangaraho Rock

New Zealand is full of old volcanoes and some still active ones. This is Mangaraho Rock an old volcanic plug several miles from the Tokatoka Volcanic plug. Finally got a photo of it from my Mum's moving car would you believe. Not bad considering it was taken at 60 miles an hour.

8 am Where's our breakfast Hooman!!!

I had the cows and the horses eating down the long grass on the side of the driveway last night. Didn't take them long to eat it all down to near nothing in a night. So of course I got the "We're starving" look, along with the two cats who had decided to follow me down. So had the Terrorist. I took the camera down of course, to see if I could catch sight of any native birds. No joy today but I certainly got entertained by the cats and the cows. Here's a few photos from 8 am this morning on the farm here.


Watch out Mouse!!!!

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Comment Troubles

Seems some of us have been having grief with the comment drop down windows. I've changed mine back for the interim to the old one. Hope that will help. I think google is having some issues on that score.

Recipe for Marinated Raw Fish

I love Raw Fish. It's been a while since I have made any. Here's the recipe - believe me once you try it you won't be able to get enough of it!!!!

Marinated Raw Fish


  • 500 g white fish fillets

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

  • 1/2 lemon , sliced

  • 2 tomatoes, diced

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 400 ml Coconut Cream (You can get it a tin at
    the supermarket)


  1. Cut fish into cubed pieces.

  2. Sprinkle with salt then lemon juice.

  3. Cover and chill for 2 hours or overnight or
    until fish whitens, stirring occasionally.

  4. Put in onion, coconut cream, tomatoes and
    cucumber, and garnish with 1/2 lemon slices.

  5. Serve chilled.

Skid Row

I took photos of this little heifer earlier this year at Anne and Camerons'. She had heaps of trouble getting up because of the yard being too slippery and wet. This photo was hilarious. Poor little calf never mind she's up and now out in the paddock with the other replacements and three times bigger!

Photos from around the farm - Our lily pond behind the house

Doesn't want to be a Cheezeburger!

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After the Rain last night I was greeted with....

Two wet grumpy chickens, one hungry Terrorist and a cat that decided an early morning nap was in order. Some things just don't ever change....

From THAT site

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The Road from Dargaville - Tokatoka Peak

Art Stuff - Wildlife Snow Leopard 2008

Having time for once to do the thing I really like doing and that's my artwork. This is the second attempt at a snow leopard and I think this time no nose job will be required.

What Every Farmer's Wife needed in 1910

Classic Print Advertising: 1910 Beef Chartt

I love this one. I could just imagine that being thumbed over in the evenings by the fire. Just what every farmer's wife needs in her kitchen?


The Ultimate Invention

At last someone has come up with an environmentally friendly alternative to the Global Warming Crisis I witnessed it first hand today. As we head into this terrible frightening recession full of doom and gloom yours truly got a photo of this when I was a passenger in my mothers car today. And well the rest is history. Where's the awards!!!! Just kidding.

Red Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release Green Party in Climate Change Denial

5 November 2008

Green Party in climate change denial

“The Green Party just does not get the reality of global climate change,” Federated Farmers climate change spokesperson, Frank Brenmuhl said today.

Federated Farmers makes this claim following yesterday’s launch of its Manifesto in Wellington, attended by Green Party Co-Leader, Dr. Russel Norman MP. At the launch it was evident that Dr. Norman was unrealistic on the realities facing New Zealand’s farming sector. The Green Party shows no regard for the impact its myopic and nationalistic policies will have on global emissions.

“The Green Party seems to think climate change begins and ends with New Zealand. Their policies will be a disaster for a wider world, our economy and our children.

“Climate change is a global issue needing global solutions. New Zealand’s farmers understand that. Our farmers are the world’s most efficient producers of food which is how we can feed almost one percent of the world’s people but generate only 0.1% of emissions.

“800 million people, right now, live in food poverty and global food reserves are down to just 35 days. With 80 million new mouths being born each year our world needs the most carbon efficient producers of food, like New Zealand, to be at the best and not kneecapped,” Mr Brenmuhl said.

The Federation is alarmed the Green Party, along with the Labour Party, New Zealand First and Progressives, do not understand New Zealand is gifted at producing food with the lowest carbon footprint. As New Zealand is the only country on earth to include farm animals in an Emission Trading Scheme, a lot of our farms will become uneconomic. The graduated reduction in New Zealand’s agricultural output to meet emission targets will simply shift production to less efficient countries. What may reduce New Zealand’s emissions on one hand will be worse for the world.

“New Zealand is in a minority of one by including farm animals in an Emissions Trading Scheme when China, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, the European Union and every other country on earth is not. Why isn’t Dr Norman campaigning outside the embassies of those countries? Is this an inconvenient truth?

“If the Green Party, Labour Party, New Zealand First and Progressives truly care about global emissions they must exempt food production from the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. There is no choice unless those parties wish to be mute witness to an environmental and economic travesty.

“We know emissions are not out of sight so this topic should definitely not be out of mind. We call on all politicians to think and act globally on emissions by exempting New Zealand food production from the Emission Trading Scheme in the next Parliament,” Mr Brenmuhl concluded.

See Also NZ Herald Owen Henbry "Unravelling Greens' agricultural policy

Hot off the Press -Federated Famers Media Release "Mr Key,don't forget water storage is infrastructure too"

Mr Key, don’t forget water storage is infrastructure too

Federated Farmers President Don Nicolson today urged National Party Leader John Key not to forget that water storage is a critical part of New Zealand’s infrastructure and should be “on the infrastructure list” of any new minister.

This follows reported comments in today’s Dominion Post by Mr Key that if his party wins the treasury benches he would immediately appoint a Minister of Infrastructure. There have also been recent comments by several politicians that given the current international financial crisis, the Government should spend more money on infrastructure as a way to stimulate the economy.

“It’s not complex – dams store water, water grows grass and grass produces food which we can sell to the world to pay the nations bills,” Mr Nicolson said.

“If we want to transform the economy we should focus on harnessing our enormous water resources so we get water in the right place at the right time.

“Water storage is critical to New Zealand’s future. Building more dams as part of a strategy for water storage will set the country up for decades to come.

“It is well known that farming is the backbone of the economy. Current run of river water allocation systems see farmers too vulnerable to drought and floods. In the past year we have had both. If we are going to survive this economic crisis New Zealand needs to produce more primary sector exports to pay the bills.

“Not only will new dams help increase exports, we know from the Opuha dam experience in South Canterbury that the towns, cities, boaties, fishermen and environment also benefit. The upside is huge.

“Any new Minister of Infrastructure must focus on water storage as a priority, not just roads, schools and houses, none of which actually earn more export dollars,” Mr Nicolson concluded.

Hot off the Press - Agresearch Media Release New NNA Test for Facial Eczema can save Dairy Industry Millions

New DNA Test for Facial Eczema can save dairy industry millions
5 November 2009

New Zealand’s leading DNA animal testing service, Genomnz™, a service of AgResearch, is about to launch a DNA testing service for facial eczema (FE) that could save the dairy industry millions of dollars per year.

This DNA marker test, which can be applied to Holstein-Friesian or Jersey cattle will include microsatellite markers for both profiling and parentage testing as well as genetic markers that can estimate facial eczema resistance or susceptibility.

AgResearch Senior Scientist, Dr Chris Morris says FE resistance or susceptibility is a heritable trait, which can be a serious animal health problem for dairy cattle, in New Zealand. It is caused by the toxin, sporidesmin, produced by spores of a fungus, Pithomyces chartarum, found on many pastures in summer and autumn. The disease occurs mainly in the upper North Island and in Gisborne and Taranaki, but in years with serious outbreaks it can be much more widespread. In susceptible cows, sporidesmin causes liver injury, with deleterious effects on milk production and survival in the herd.

It’s estimated that this disease costs the country $9.9 million to $110 million annually, depending on weather conditions and the geographical scale of the outbreak. The DNA marker test now available could save up to $39 million of the total costs of FE in a serious-outbreak year, if all FE-prone herds were protected genetically.

Thirty-six percent of the observed variation in FE susceptibility is genetic, meaning that this trait is more heritable than milk solids yield or mastitis. Genetic progress in selecting dairy cattle for FE resistance could be made with traditional breeding methods, as has already been applied with FE-resistance selection in the sheep industry over the past 25 years. “However, the use of genetic markers in a DNA test should appreciably shorten this time-scale, in allowing dairy farmers/breeders to identify resistant animals already in their herds; and also assisting them to make choices about the sires and dams of the next (more resistant) generation of progeny,” says Dr Morris.

He says the test at this stage explains only part of the difference in FE genetics among dairy cattle and other FE resistant genes and more markers still remain to be identified through ongoing research. The research to date has been successful with investment from DairyNZ, Meat and Wool NZ, FRST and AgResearch’s own internal investment.

The research is being done by AgResearch’s Animal Genomics section and this test will be marketed commercially through the Institute’s Genomnz™ testing service based at AgResearch’s Invermay campus near Dunedin.

A Ducks' Ultimate Dream

Once in a while I come up with the odd cartoon or two and they end up in the newspapers now and then. I did this one earlier in the year for the Rural Living newspaper. So if you're thinking of blowing away those fluffy ducks make sure this character isn't headed your way. And no I don't go on the anti-hunting protests.

One very old Duck

Meet Fluffy Duck no one knows how old he is exactly not even Anne his owner can be sure there. His feathers are starting to fall out and he has trouble getting around. This is one duck the hunters never got a shot at.


Now with Prize inside

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One very old fashioned Kiwi Cow Shed - from 1907

I love history and while I was digging away I found this great image. It comes from the Otago Witness July 10 1907. A little hard to see since it came from a digital copy of the newspaper but it's neat. All the kids there with the cows in the shed and Mum as well.

The Good Old Kiwi Cow Shed

I like cowsheds why? Probably because my Grandfather had been a Dairy Farmer many many years ago he passed on a few years ago aged 93 years. Sounds wierd but it reminds me of when I was little growing up in Henderson(now a suburb ofAuckland) in the 1960's and early 70's. Then, before urban sprawl came along it was full of dairy farms, orchards and vinyards. As kids we used to go over on down to the shed where Mr Pritchard would get in his thirty cows into the bales and do the milking. My Dad used to help now and then and if we were good we got to sit on the cows who had names rather than tag numbers. Those days are well since gone. Mr Pritchards old farm ended up being subdivided then eventually was swallowed up by a housing subdivision. These photos are of Anne and Camerons Herring Bone shed and even that will one day become a thing of the past. My neighbour Terry has a huge NZ$3 million state of the art rotary shed. With 750 cows to milk he needs it. I wanted to be a Dairy farmer but it didn't happen. I just have my little farm here all twelve acres with all the craziness that goes along with it. I just love it here.

So Strong he can bite through steel - in his dreams that is

This little guy was very very determined he was going to escape the calf shed at Anne's. Well the jail break of course failed miserably. He had to settle for chewing on Susan's sweat shirt instead!!

Hot off the Press -Federated Farmers Media Release Farmers disappointed at announcement

4 November 2008

Farmers disappointed at announcement

Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairman, Bruce Wills has expressed disappointment at yesterday’s announcement that Silver Fern Farms Limited has terminated the agreement relating to the partnership proposal with PGG Wrightson.

“The failure of this proposal is yet another hurdle that farmers will have to overcome in their quest for a viable and sustainable industry.

”Both companies have worked hard to make this partnership happen, but I think we all understand how difficult raising the money required was going to be in light of the current world financial turmoil.

“Farmers were looking to this partnership to deliver an injection of capital, a more integrated supply chain and new management thinking.

“While it is encouraging that Silver Fern Farms has said its future is not dependent on the partnership transaction, it is likely changes that would have been implemented with the injection of new capital will take longer to be realised.

“As I have previously stated, the supply chain initiative recently unveiled by Silver Fern Farms is very much a step in the right direction towards reaching the Federated Farmers T150 goal of $150 for an average mid-season lamb.

“Federated Farmers wants all those involved in the lamb supply chain, from the paddock to the plate from farmers to processors, researchers, marketers, transporters and supermarkets to lift their sights and help achieve the T150 goal.

“The announcement provides suppliers with some certainty around the situation. I hope that this disappointment will act as a stimulus to the wider industry to press forward with the changes that are badly needed,” Mr Wills said.

One Great Art BLog

This lady was formally in South Africa and has recently shifted to New Zealand. She has one incredible talent. You should see her leopoard painting!!! Blog link here

Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release Manifesto Launch Says future is farming

Manifesto launch says the future is farming

“All New Zealanders, city and rural, have to work together if we are to make progress as a nation and remain a first world country. We need to earn our way in the world if we are to enjoy the social services and standard of living most New Zealanders expect,” Federated Farmers president, Don Nicolson, said today at the Federation’s Manifesto launch.

The Federation’s Manifesto is its blueprint to enable farmers, businesses and the economy to hit its full potential. The launch is in the presence of Progressive Party leader and Minister of Agriculture, the Hon Jim Anderton, the Minister of Rural Affairs, the Hon. Damien O’Connor, the National Party’s Finance spokesperson, the Hon. Bill English and its Agricultural spokesperson, the Hon David Carter.

“During this election campaign politicians have repeatedly said New Zealand needs to get back on the road to growth through increased exports.

“New Zealand’s comparative advantage is growing grass and converting it into protein more efficiently than anyone else on the planet. Our primary sector earns 65% of all our foreign exchange, which not only provides jobs across the country but helps pay New Zealand’s bills.

“The economic climate is challenging to say the least. We are in recession with ongoing fiscal, trade and balance of payments deficits forecast and the world is anything but certain. With the dairy payout forecast to be $1.2 billion lower next year and our sheep numbers down by nine million, this impacts not just our rural communities, but our urban ones too.

Federated Farmers said farmers didn’t need anymore unnecessary head winds. What farmers need is outlined in the Federation’s A to W manifesto.

· Agriculture is the backbone of the New Zealand economy and important to all New Zealanders: this manifesto is about economic transformation that will benefit all New Zealanders and their standard of living. New Zealand’s farmers are striving to make New Zealand an A+ economy and need our policy makers to do better.

· Environmental and economic sustainability: economic sustainability and environmental sustainability go hand in hand. Farmers naturally care for the environment as they work the land everyday. Financially unviable farmers is not going to help anyone, let alone the environment. New Zealand has a great story to tell on a world scale but myopic policy setting threatens sustainability of not just farmers, but of all New Zealanders. If we really want to change the world we need increased trade access, good market returns, and competitive input and compliance costs.

· Farming for generations: Farmers are in this for the long haul. As custodians of the land, the food and fibre they harvest benefits the entire community. Farming needs policy frameworks to ensure we all benefit for generations to come. We need sensible policies around infrastructure, skills, research and development, property rights and water, among others.

Mr Nicolson said the three key priorities right now are: to ensure the next government controlled its expenditure; getting water storage on the list of infrastructure projects; and getting an exemption for farm animals from the New Zealand Emission Trading Scheme.

“Farming is New Zealand’s best bet to lift New Zealand’s economic performance and the well-being of all New Zealanders.

“The future of New Zealand is the future of farming, which is why we are launching this manifesto at Wellington’s railway station. The station is the hub of Wellington’s transport network and farming is the hub of the nation’s economy, “Mr Nicolson concluded.


If you are small and live in the ground run!!!!

Hunter Hunted and the hunted couldn't run!!!!

One very good set of images taken by Inaya starring Emerald the evil kittie as the Hunter and a piece of packing foam as the hunted...we just know the outcome!!!

Check this out - Small Farming Blog

I found this neat little blog/website while I was looking for something else. All sorts of very interesting tips from everything from seeds right through to cheesemaking,goats (Rae you'll need to check it out) composting, and everything else in between. Seriously check it out if you're interested and see what you think

Very Red Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release Federated Farmers counter ACT on Emissions Trading Scheme

This just received

3rd November 2008

Federated Farmers counters ACT on emissions trading scheme

Federated Farmers has reacted with dismay to the ACT party misrepresenting the Federation’s position on the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS).

The comments made on Radio Live Sunday by ACTs environment spokesperson, Kath McCabe, said ACT thought Federated Farmers didn’t understand the repercussions the scheme will have on the country's agriculture industry. Federation president, Don Nicolson, was appalled by this claim:

“It’s the worrying distortion of reality I would expect from someone ranked 42nd on their party list. I suggest Ms McCabe checks her facts with her party leader before commenting further.”

Before the final reading of the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill, Federated Farmers unsuccessfully pleaded with all political parties not to pass the Bill, given its rushed nature and impact on agriculture as New Zealand’s biggest economic driver. From 2011, farmers and consumers alike will be faced with massive hikes in the cost of fuel, petrol, electricity and other basic commodities. From 2018, a graduated reduction in New Zealand’s agricultural output will be required in order for farmers to meet their emission targets.

“If France and Germany are revisiting their emission schemes due to the economic threat it poses to their car manufacturing base, surely we should be doing the same for agriculture?” Mr Nicolson said.

“The current meltdown in world economic markets is nothing compared to the economic ticking bomb this scheme represents. We are utterly dependent on the export of food yet we are the only country on earth to include farm animals in an emissions trading scheme.

“New Zealand’s farmers actually have a great story to tell. While agriculture contributes a ‘massive’ 0.1% of global emissions we actually feed almost 1% of the World’s population. Our highly efficient farmers feed up to ten times more people than the emissions produced. That’s a good for the world.

“By forcing production offshore to less efficient countries, it will actually be worse for global emissions and disastrous for our economy. That’s madness,” Mr Nicolson concluded

Food Finally!!!!!!!!

I took a photo of these greedy little guys at Anne's. Susan was trying to push in the feeder and of course this lot weren't going to wait. I just love the one with the mouth wide open. Funny.

Not so hot off the Press - Federated Farmers "Build Dams not Cycle Lanes" 28th October 2008

28 October 2008

Build dams not cycle lanes say farmers

Federated Farmers President, Don Nicolson today urged all political parties to focus far more on the productive sector. He said if government increased infrastructure expenditure it should spend money on building dams rather than cycle lanes.

Several political leaders on the TV One debate last night, said that given the current international financial crisis, the Government should spend more money on infrastructure as a way to stimulate the economy.

“It’s not complex – dams store water, cycle lanes don’t. Water grows grass and grass produces food which we can sell to the world to pay the nation’s bills.

“If we have a strategy that can harness New Zealand’s enormous water resources so we get water in the right place at the right time, our world-beating farmers will be able to convert more grass into food and fibre for more export receipts. If we are going to survive this economic crisis New Zealand needs to produce more primary sector exports to pay the bills.

“While building new houses, new classrooms and new cycle lanes may be helpful for some, it’s not going to increase exports to set New Zealand up for greater success. Water storage that enables New Zealand to turn the water tap on and off for the productive sector, will.

“Water storage is critical to New Zealand’s future. It is well known that farming is the backbone of the economy. Current run of river water allocation systems see farmers too vulnerable to drought and floods. In the past year we have had both. The drought is widely acknowledged as a significant contributor to our current recession. Storing water now, as part of a response to the financial crisis, will see this risk reduced for at least the first half of this century.

“Not only will new storage help increase exports, we know from the Opuha experience that the towns, cities, boaties, fishermen and environment also benefit.

“Federated Farmers calls on all political parties to think seriously about water storage when they consider any “emergency” infrastructure spending plans in coming weeks. Such proposals should not be about trying to win elections, but about setting our nation up for success for decades to come. Politicians need to get off their bikes, use some common sense and look to storing water,” Mr Nicolson concluded.

Mr Nicolson said the Federation had been working on a campaign on water storage for some time, to follow on from its recent T150 campaign, but was now bringing the issue forward, given comments from an increasing number of politicians.

Not So Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers "Good on you Mr Anderton" released 28th October 2008

This one I missed on the email. Worth a read

28 October 2008

Federated Farmers says ‘good on you Mr Anderton’

Don Nicolson, president of Federated Farmers, has praised the Minister of Agriculture & Forestry and Leader of the Progressive Party, Hon. Jim Anderton MP, for communicating agriculture’s importance to the economy during Monday’s leaders’ debate on TV One.

“At last we have a political party leader who has unequivocally stated agriculture’s importance to the economy. Good on you Mr Anderton,” Mr Nicolson said.

Federated Farmers says that while agriculture contributes 65% of everything we sell to the world, its importance has been surprisingly absent from the election campaign. With only a small part of the world’s surface capable of intensive agriculture and with 80 million mouths joining the human race each year, food production is critical with world food reserves at a mere 35 days. Even at peak output, New Zealand is only capable of feeding around one percent of the world’s population. Mr Anderton’s comments have helped frame the enormity of the sector’s contribution to the livelihood of every New Zealander.

“Over the last two decades New Zealand has employed a magpie like approach to economic development,” Mr Nicolson said.

“Successive governments and commentators have ignored what is right under their nose. Millions of dollars have been wasted trying to find the ‘next big thing’ to agriculture. In the late 1970s it was ‘Think Big’ industrialisation. In the 1980s we were going to become the ‘Switzerland of the South Pacific’ and over recent years, we’ve seen the venture capital ‘revolution’ and ‘knowledge wave’ come and go.

“What has agriculture done during this period? It’s only outperformed almost every other sector of the economy for 25 of the past 27 years.

“What Federated Farmers wants is a clear understanding politicians’ get the fact New Zealand’s future is in the production of food. That way we’ll be cutting our future from the cloth which has made New Zealand what it is today,” Mr Nicolson concluded.

7 am - Do I have to get up?

Yes I had to get up to chickens tapping on the ranchslider,cows mooing and the Terrorist wanting off her lead. The weekend had the family showing up and Inaya sick in bed with a terrible flu. She's still in bed - not school for Inaya today. Staggering out to see all the animals this morning I had the camera of course. Came inside and found Dream had decided my box of art bits and pieces looked like a nice comfortable bed. I'd love to climb back in mine!!! Hope everyone has had a nice relaxed weekend - some of you guys are still having it!!!

Hey Rae!!!! This one is just for you

Rae just to let you know how much I care. And you have email!!!!
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