2011-02-12

Alice in Wonderland City a lost elephant story


'Princess' Alice (1876 -1941)
at 'Wonderland City' Tamarara,Bondi,Sydney NSW Australia

Image sourced from The Elephant Database website

Lately I've been researching the African Lion King Dick which was the reason behind Wellington's first zoo in Newtown Park. So the far the research has revealed a number of footnotes in the history of long since dead zoo and circus animals. Menageries and Circuses were part of the Australasian landscape and society during the 19th and 20th centuries. All manner of wierd and wonderful beasts were brought from across the globe by great circuses, such as the famous Bostock & Wombwell's Circus and Menagerie. King Dick himself had come from this very organisation, that, for over a century entertained families all over the world.

In the course of my research I discovered an Asian Female Elephant named Alice. Previously I had researched the background of the Auckland War Memorial Museum's elephant Rajah which appeared as a guest blog post on the wonderful Timespanner blog last year. Since then I've been researching other lost animal stories, of which there seem to be many.

Alice began her life around the year 1876. She was in the possession of Bostock & Wombwell's Circus and Menagerie, as far as I can ascertain, until she was sold at auction in December of 1906. The Otago Witness reported the proceedings of the auction in an article reprinted from The Argus

The sale did not begin until shortly after noon, and in the meantime the elephant Alice, oblivious of the fact that within two hours she would have a new master, good naturedly helped to remove the heavy tent poles and philosophically ate grass between engagements.


The highest sum paid was £337 10s, which was realised by the elephant Alice, who was purchased by Mr William Anderson, the proprietor of the pleasure resort 'Wonderland City', at Bondi, Sydney, is 30 years of age. She is described as a splendid worker, perfectly docile and trained to ride. Her equipment consists of a howdah, seating six adults or eight children, elaborate gold-worked trappings, and a set of working harness. It is further announced that an experienced keeper is at liberty to accept a situation at a moderate salary





The Bondi Aquarium later Wonderland City
at Tamarama, Bondi, Sydney NSW Australia where
Alice gave children rides on the beach

Image sourced from The Elephant Database

After the auction Alice went off to spend her days, it seemed, giving rides at Wonderland City for children on the beach. Below is a brief history of Tamarama where Wonderland City was located.


In 1887 Sydney's first coastal amusement park, and one of the earliest in Australia, opened at Tamarama. Named The Bondi Aquarium its greatest attraction was a plunging roller coaster that dived and twisted over the beach. People flocked to the attraction, not only for the rides, but for vaudeville acts and aquarium creatures, including seals and a tiger shark. On the evening of July 11, 1891, fire destroyed the aquarium and pavilion, but it rose from the ashes in September the same year, and continued to entertain Sydney's populace. The last identified concert at the Aquarium was a fund raiser for the Waverley Benevolent Society in July 1906.

Ownership and management changed several times throughout its existence, until the site was finally sold by Mrs Margaret J. Lachaume in 1906 to William Anderson who transformed the amusement park, renaming it Wonderland City. In 1906 Wonderland City opened and replaced the Bondi Aquarium as the latest attraction at Tamarama. Powered by its own steam plant, the amusement park featured an airship suspended over the bay and an elephant named Alice available for rides on the beach. There was also a miniature railway operating on a two-mile track over the cliff tops. Frequent battles with local residents over beach access, charges of animal cruelty and an incident with the airship saw a decline in numbers. After a few years of low crowds and poor revenue Wonderland City closed in 1911. In 1920, the NSW Government bought the area and proclaimed it Tamarama Park. There is still a Wonderland Avenue at Tamarama.


In February 1907 Alice was used as part of a wedding ceremony


WEDDING IN A THEATRE.

ORIENTAL COSTUMES AND AN ELEPHANT.


Sydney, February 17.

Mr. Anderson's Wonderland ,City at Bondi was the scene of a unique wedding on Saturday evening. A young couple, Mr. A. V. Donehue and Miss Derbridge, both of North Sydney, attired in Oriental costume, were married in the King's Theatre, the service being conducted by the Rev. F. B. Cowling. After the service the couple, mounted on the elephant Alice, and preceded by a number of young ladies in Oriental costume, travelled through the paths of Wonderland City amid cheers and showers of confetti. Over thirty thousand people witnessed this remarkable wedding.

- The Advertiser 18 February 1907

In June 1907 Alice arrived by boat in Cairns as part of Wonderland City's travelling entertainment in the state of Queensland. The arrival at Cairns of the Innamincka , a crowd had gathered there, had hoped for some entertainment, when Alice's trunk came in close proximity to a passenger's hat.


ARRIVAL AT CAIRNS

The news of the arrival of the show, kept a number of people, and especially the juveniles, on the qui vive all yesterday morning, and when tho vessel drew up alongside the wharf, despite the rain, there was a large crowd to meet it. The sight of Alice, the elephant, standing out in a prominent position on the vessel, swinging from side to side in the restless manner peculiar to her kind, caused great interest and as she playfully raised her trunk, and held it quivering in dangerous proximity to a passenger's hat, great hopes were raised that a free show was to begin. However, Alice remembered her manners in time, and the owner of the hat was left in industrial possession.

The vessel presented a very peculiar appearance, her decks, crowded with menagerie vans and conveyances of various hinds with all the paraphernalia of a giant circus, whilst along one side, in improvised stalls, stood tho horses of all sizes and colors. The work' of "shipping the show ' occupied all day out Saturday at Townsville, and delayed the Innamincka several hours in her departure.

The interest was first of all centered on Alice, but the way that bulksome female stepped off the gangway prepared for her showed her to be an experienced traveller. Thc beasts in the cages were next lifted over thc side and safely housed in one of the big Adelaide Co.'s sheds, where Alice was also located. Just here may bc stated that 'Alice is still in her teens, being in fact "sweet fifteen,'' but as to the truth of the rest of the adage, the keeper declined to be pumped.

- Morning Post 10 June 1907

Whilst it was reported that Alice was supposedly a 'sweet fifteen', she had been given the age of 30 at the dispersal sale in 1906 by Bostock & Wombwell's Circus and Menagerie.

In December 1907 Alice was part of a weight guessing competition which led to an interesting event


WONDERLAND CITY.
This afternoon and evening the many open air attractions, with recitals of music by De Groen's band, will be available at Wonderland city, where the free circus, entertainments at the vaudeville theatre, and numerous side-shows will be patronised by visitors. For this evening Mr William Anderson announces a military spectacle; showing Dargai Heights and the storming thereof with rifle-fire, artillery bands of music and many picturesque and dramatic effects.
Today at noon Alice the elephant will be publicly weighed on the Sussex-street machine, in connection with the weight-guessing competition.


- Sydney Morning Herald 19 December 1907


The Cairns Post reported Alice being on the street in the company of her keeper without a permit due to the weight guessing competition

STORY OF ALICE
Many people in Cairns will remember Alice, the elephant, that formed part of Anderson's Wonderland show. Here is a story of Alice from Sydney :-In order to decide the weight guessing competition in connection with Wonderland, Alice the elephant strolled into the city behind her keeper, much to the delight of an army of small boys collected on the way. lt transpired, however, that no permit had been given by the council for Alice to traverse the streets, and a constable drew the keeper's attention to the fact.. The latter waggishly replied : " I am not leading her arrest the elephant." Apparently no arrest was affected for shortly afterwards from a Sussex-street weighbridge ' Alice’s weight was announced as 2 ton, 15cwt 2gr 3plb, a figure which, by the way, a Wollahra young lady had exceeded in her guess by' only half a pound. . She got upset," explained tho keeper, 'but she would have struck the exact weight if I had not pedicured Alice this morning'.
- Cairns Morning Post 28 December 1907

Alice is mentioned again in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1908 as still being at Wonderland City


WONDERLAND CITY

Wonderland City will reopen for the Empire Day holiday from 11 till 5.30 p.m., when the beauties of the Bondi seaside gardens and a score of attractions, including Alice the elephant, will attract both juvenile and adult visitors.


-Sydney Morning Herald 25 May 1908

In the reading the history of the Wonderland City venture, there was a notation, that by March of 1908 William Anderson, the owner, was running into financial trouble. By 1911 Wonderland City and all its attractions were shut down for good.

Alice, however, by November of 1908 was back to her previous life as a circus elephant, when she was purchased by George and Philip Wirth of Melbourne based Wirth's Circus, and was later renamed 'Princess' Alice .

"......the performing elephant 'Alice' who goes through a number of remarkable tricks. She ends by abruptly by apparently lying and standing on her trainer, but so carefully her great bulk is disposed that his clothes are not even rumpled' .........'The children are specially catered for by the elephant Alice, who carries laughing loads about the grounds under the guidance of her trainer."

- Excerpt from a report on Wirth's Circus from the Argus 24 November 1908


One of the stars of Wirth’s circus is the huge elephant ‘Princess Alice’ The Princess is getting on in years, for Messrs George and Philip Wirth aquired her from Mr William Anderson, a well know theatrical manager about thirty years ago, and he purchased her from Bostock and Wombwell Circus and Menagerie….

-The Advertiser 30 June 1927
Between the years 1908 and 1941 Alice travelled extensively with Wirth's Circus. In 1916, while on tour at New Plymouth in New Zealand Alice had a close call when she went down to a creek to drink, then slipped and fell. Finding herself stuck, Alice attempted to free herself but was unable to do so. Keepers using the other elephants extracted her several hours later as reported in the Poverty Bay Herald below.



- Article from the Poverty Bay Herald 3 March 1916
Sourced: Papers Past National Library of NZ Website

At the grand age of around 57 years old Alice rendered assistance when a train derailed at the Wagin Railway yards in Western Australia


STOCK TRAIN DERAILED.

Elephant Renders Assistance.

WAGIN, Aug. 23.— The engine of an important stock train from Katanning en route to sales at Midland Junction was derailed in the Wagin railway yards about 5 p.m. yesterday during shunting operations. A relief engine was immediately requisitioned from Narrogin to take the stock to its destination. The relief train left Wagin about two hours behind the scheduled time, but arrived at Midland Junction in time for the sales, as a fast engine was utilised. No damage resulted to the live stock. A special break-down train was sent from Narrogin to Wagin last night, and the original engine of 'the stock train was re-railed about 9 o'clock. It was then hauled to Narrogin. The cause of the derailment is not known, nor the extent of the damage to the engine.

As Wirth's circus was showing here last night, the services of Alice, the elephant, were requisitioned to remove the trucks from the derailed engine. There was no engine under steam in the Wagin railway yards, and the elephant's timely help was fully appreciated. A crowd of sightseers was interested and amazed in watching the work of the elephant, which appeared to remove the trucks without effort and revel in the task. Other valuable assistance was rendered by the electrical staff of the Wagin Municipal Council, its members erecting a lead from the street lighting poles to the scene of the derailment thus enabling the break down gang to work at ease during the evening.

- The West Australian 24 August 1933

Later in 1933, Alice also got up to mischief while aboard the steamer Lutana when she loosened a winch.

WILD ANIMALS ON STEAMER
CAUSE EXCITEMENT
(Reprinted from Yesterday's Latest Edition.)

ADELAIDE, Tuesday.

Music may soothe the savage breast of many jungle denizens, but the clatter of a ship's steam winch is more to the liking of Alice, Wirth Bros. 140 year-old circus elephant.

How this elephant enjoyed herself immensely by setting a steam winch in motion was told by officer of the Tasmanian steamer Lutana, which transported Wirths' Circus from Melbourne to Burnie. The vessel is now at Port Adelaide discharging timber from Tasmania.

The Lutana was a veritable Noah's Ark on the trip, the animals including bears, lions, tigers, seven elephants, monkeys, zebras, a hippopotamus, and 38 horses.

Bored with standing tied by the legs to a stanchion, Alice, the elephant, foraged around with her trunk until she came to a tap controlling the supply of steam to one of the winches. She persevered until a terrific clamor brought alarmed deck hands rushing to the scene, to find the winch drum spinning merrily.

They turned the tap off, but as soon as they went away Alice turned it on again, and the wicked gleam in her eyes suggested that she was enjoying the commotion.

After this had happened several times an engineer spoiled the fun by turning the steam off down below. Later the chief engineer (Mr. Robertson) was dozing in his cabin, when a snake-like object floated through the door and passed within a ,few inches of him.

Mr. Robertson leaped out of his bunk and discovered that another elephant had been sending its trunk out on a foraging expedition.

To add to the variety of the trip a savage honey-bear got loose below and led his hunters a merry dance before he was recaptured. Snarling angrily, the animal was about to leap at Captain Bull, master of the Lutana, but luckily its dragging chain got caught in an obstruction and pulled the bear up abruptly.

- Barrier Miner 13 December 1933



1936, Alice was again in the news. At the grand age of 60 years old she was aging gracefully as well as showing her flamboyant and rather colourful character as reported in the articles below:


- Evening Post 11 April 1936
Sourced:Papers Past National Library of NZ Website

ALICE THE ELEPHANT


Stories About the Famous Circus Animal

Alice, the old elephant In Wirth's Circus, is a favourite with children all over the world. During a recent tour of Australasia, while she was being carried with two other elephants on trucks along the railway between Taronga and Wain(?) in New Zealand, she came to a spot which she remembered well. Two years before she had grabbed with her trunk a tree growing near the line. Alice hung on, but the tree could not be budged, and the truck ran off the rails. This year the same thing happened, but this time Alice got her two companions to help her, and this time two trucks were pulled off the line.

Mr. C. W. L. Bride, of Mareeba, North Queensland, tells how he first made the
acquaintance of Alice 23 years ago. Twenty-three years is nothing in the life of Alice, who is one of the longest lived animals in the world. When he met Alice, she was shunting wagons at Port Pirie. He decided to buy her five dozen ripe bananas. Alice watched him keenly while he asked her keeper if he could do so, and when consent had been obtained, Alice made joyful little squealing noises and all but said "Thank you" in words. She pushed the keeper out of the way and made for the bananas, which disappeared in less than two gulps. Back she came for more, but her friend 'showed her that the fruit was all gone, and Alice sadly went back to work.

Alice in More Trouble.

Later in the day he saw her in, a less praiseworthy moment. She and a companion were being led along a side street to the empty, show ground to take a last load. On their way they passed a pair of fragrant fig trees planted on tile side walk in front of a shop. Alice sniffed the fragrance on the breeze, and in a flash broke away from her keeper and charged across to the trees. Her mate followed, and the two stripped both trees of their leaves before any one could stop them. Alice's tail twisted. with Joy as she was at her luscious meal.

The owner of the trees was in despair, but Mr. Bride tells us that six months later they were flourishing as well as ever.

- Western Mail 6 August 1936

The Great Wirth's Circus Hoax of Princess Alice's 'great age'

Across Australasia throughout the 1920's onwards, a new myth emerged that Alice was the oldest elephant in captivity. Wirth's claimed Alice was over 100 years old. Doris Wirth in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald in 1937 claimed the elephant was 150 years old.
"For a number of years now, Alice, our old elephant, has been employed in carting our trappings to trains and elsewhere. Molly has been in the habit of assisting her. One day Alice set off with a load and a little later, was dismayed to see that not Molly, but another elephant was assisting her. Alice did not pause to think. She broke her harness and almost galloped to Molly's quarters
"Molly was sick and Alice comforted her in elephant fashion. It was the most amazing display of affection I have seen among animals. “
Princess 150Years Old.
"Do you see old Princess over there? Well, she is 150 years old, and at one time was in the London Zoo. She is tired and wrinkled, and is allowed to do much as she pleases. Some years ago Molly was a terror. She was always fighting and breaking away, and we used to chase her on a pony we called Maori. Molly could never get completely away, because Maori could jump fences while Molly had to push them over."
-Interview of Doris Wirth Sydney Morning Herald 6 April 1937

Through out the papers of the times, Alice's age varied from 97 years old to 150 years old. The story so carefully tended by the Wirth Brothers blossomed into claims, in some newspaper reports, that Alice was actually the former companion of P.T. Barnum's African Elephant Jumbo. However, I can't find any record of her being alive in the time frame that this Alice's story covers according to the Elephant Data Base the Alice in the possession of Barnum & Bailey's Circus was an African Bush Elephant, not an Asian elephant so it is not her- there was another Elephant at Barnums also named Alice who was an Asiatic elephant but she was killed in a fire during the 1880's.




In 1941 Alive made one of her last public appearances.....


CIRCUS PARADE FOR LORD MAYOR'S FUND.

Tomorrow, in aid of the Lord Mayor's Comforts Fund, Wirth Bros' Circus will parade in the city streets for the first time for nearly half a century.

Alice, the elephant, who is said to be more than 147 years old, will lead the parade, which will begin at 12.30 p.m. The route will Include -Oxford, Elizabeth, Hunter,George, Liverpool, and Riley Streets.

The Wirth family has given the proceeds of the last 11 days or the circus's Sydney season to the Lord Mayor's Fund.


- Sydney Morning Herald 30 April 1941



The Death of 'Princess Alice' 24 November 1941

On November 25th 1941 Alice finally ended her days as being one of the oldest known elephants in captivity. She passed away at the grand age of 65 years old at Wirth's Circus in Melbourne.

Death Of Oldest Elephant In Captivity
MELBOURNE. November 24.
"Princess Alice." claimed to be the oldest elephant in captivity in the world, died at Wirth's Circus early tonight. She was 157.
Princess Alice was a popular at traction at Regents Park Zoo. London, for many event's, and was a contemporary of Jumbo She was 'brought to Australia more than 35 years ago.
- Advertiser 24 November 1941
For the last nearly 100 years speculation over what happened to Alice of Wonderland City came up with two theories. The first that she had been shot and buried on the beach the other was that she had ended up at Moore Park in Sydney. The entire time Alice had been under everyone's noses right there in the papers, performing in the Wirth's Brother Circus under the show name of 'Princess Alice'.

In 2008 Alice was celebrated in contemporary sculpture in an exhibition by Artist and Sculptor Rod McRae.
Images of the collection Sculpture by the Sea' can be viewed on the Sydney Daily Photo Blog


Postscript:

WILL THE REAL ALICE PLEASE STAND UP!

During my many hours of searches I found reports of an 'Alice' belonging to Wirth's Circus after 1941. There is a record of an 'Alice' being transferred to Melbourne Zoo in 1952 with her death recorded at an unknown location in 1956. Who this elephant Wirth's Circus had after 1941 really is, at this stage, still a complete mystery - what we do know is that it was not the Alice of Wonderland City.

Since the time of writing this blog post further information has come to light about the other elephant named Alice at Wirth's Circus. There were indeed two with the same name. I suspect the second Alice arrived with a shipment of 8 others circa 1923. It's possible she was originally named 'Mary' as her age fits about the age of the mother elephant. 'Mary' was around 35 years of age when she arrived from Thailand with a calf at foot. Once 'Princess' Alice had died in 1941 then the second 'Alice' took over the role of being the star of Wirth's along with the myth that she was over a century old. The lifespan of elephants is around 70 years at most. It's been a century since Wonderland City was closed down for good. The Waverley Library are currently updating their records and doing a special booklet about Alice and Wonderland City. I was only glad that I was able to answer a 100 year old mystery as what had happened to the elephant at Wonderland City.

FURTHER READING:
Multimedia:
Wirth's Circus Film Circa 1925 on Australian Screen
Wirth's Circus on Youtube


2011-02-08

Get 'out in the paddock' with Farm Day 2011

Get 'out in the paddock' with Farm Day 2011


With New Zealand boasting some of the highest urbanisation rates in
the world, Federated Farmers Farm Day 2011 is a chance to pull on the
gumboots and get out on the paddock on Sunday, 13 March 2011
(10am-3pm).



"This is the third annual Federated Farmers Farm Day and farmers hope
people and families will take the opportunity to get onto the paddock
to discover just what we farmers do," says Don Nicolson, Federated
Farmers President.



"Federated Farmers is focused on showing the fantastic work farmers do
as well as revealing the technical aspects of modern farm management.



"When I talk to city folk, I'm continually struck by how many don't
understand what it takes to farm or work with animals or grow crops.
There's plenty of scope for misunderstanding so instead of wondering
how, come onto a farm to ask, see and learn.



"Its been our hope that Farm Day will go some way to reconnect with
our urban counterparts and to help educate where there is
misunderstandings.



"Aside from the physical input our farming system is biological and
that means we work with nature rather than against it. Farm Day is
our chance to talk face to face and to show what we actually do. That
includes the environmental stewardship of farmers.



"One of the big changes for 2011 is a concentration on a core group of
main centres. Instead of trying to be everywhere, we've decided to
invest more time and energy with urban New Zealand.



"It's also our great hope to grow a school visits programme out of
Federated Farmers Farm Day too.



"That's why we are so grateful to have the financial backing of the
Sustainable Farming Fund with our 2011 theme being, 'Out in the
paddock'.



"Some of our venues, like Rotorua/Taupo, will combine dairy with meat
and fibre. That venue is surrounded by trout filled streams, being in
Rotorua's famous Paradise Valley Road.



"There will be an opportunity to not just learn about cheese and
butter making but to try your hand at it too.



"At Auckland's Farm Day in Papakura, we're really hoping to have some
dung beetles to showcase what these little critters could do out in
the paddock. 4WD excursions will be used in Auckland to also
illustrate the hard work farmers put into fencing as well as
environmental management. It includes conservation by way of QEII
National Trust covenants.



"With Otago's Farm Day, Federated Farmers will be providing free bus
transportation from Dunedin to make its farm as accessible as possible
to everyone. Being held at Telford means a fine opportunity to
discover what you need to become a farmer.



"We're proud and excited at the chance to show everyone just how
optimistic, progressive and innovative New Zealand's farmers really
are," Mr Nicolson concluded.



About Federated Farmers Farm Day 2011 - Out in the paddock

With New Zealand 86 percent urbanised, among the highest rates in the
World, Federated Farmers Farm Day is designed to bring farmers and
non-farmers together at open farms. It is part fun, part educational
but 100 percent based on the New Zealand Farm system. It provides
people the chance to see for themselves with a lot of scope to ask
questions of host farmers. Farm Day is a chance to go behind the
scenes on Sunday, 13 March 2011 (10am and 3pm) at:



§ Northland (Whangarei) - Denis & Lynne Anderson (Lynden Farms, 444
Kokopu Road, RD 9, Whangarei 0179)

§ Auckland (Papakura) - Bill and Lynnette Cashmore (Kiripaka
(Cashmore Farms), 389 Kawakawa-Orere Road, Orere, Papakura 2585)

§ Waikato (Cambridge) - Bill and Sue Garland (Rahiri Farm, End of
Rahiri Road, RD 3, Cambridge 3495)

§ Rotorua/Taupo (Rotorua) - The Heather Family (Heather Dell Angus
Stud, 945 Paradise Valley Road, RD 3, Rotorua 3072)

§ Manawatu/Rangitikei (Palmerston North) - James and Dave Stewart
(Stewart Dairylands, 143 Watershed Road, RD 10, Palmerston North 4470)

§ Wellington/Wairarapa (Pauatahanui) - Battle Hill Forest Park
(Paekakariki Hill Road, Pauatahanui)

§ Nelson - Ian & Barbara Stuart (Cable Bay Farm, 799 Cable Bay Road,
RD1 Nelson 7071)

§ North Canterbury (Christchurch) - David Shipley (Island Farm,
Shipleys Road, Harewood, Christchurch 8051)

§ South Canterbury (Timaru) - Andrew and Vicky Steven (494 Rolling
Ridges Road, Rosewill, Timaru 7974)

§ Otago (Balclutha) - Ian Knowles (Telford Farm, 498 Owaka Highway,
Balclutha 9240). Please register interest for bus transportation by 1
March by phoning 03 477 7353 or emailing
otagofarmday@fedfarm.org.nz.



The Bay of Plenty Federated Farmers Farm Day will take place on 20
March 2011 (10am-3pm):



§ Bay of Plenty (Te Puke) - Noel & Marilyn McLeod & Andrew & Robyn
McLeod (1189 Welcome Bay Road, RD 7, Te Puke 3187)



Finding a Federated Farmers Farm Day

On the page of each host farm at
www.farmday.org.nz is a Google Maps
function. Below the location map of each farm is a directions box.
This will provide detailed driving instructions from anywhere in New
Zealand to the venue. Also, there is a weather guide for each farm to
ease planning for the day. Directional signage will also be erected
to the venues on the day too


2011-02-07

Butter wouldn't melt in the mouths of this (mad) lot!

River

Anyone would think they owned the place the way this lot are looking at me. We're down to just three now here on the farm. Ocean made one too many escapes so she has been sent off to another place.
Edward

The old man is getting on in years - he's now 30 and starting to slow down. He's the boss of the other two and even though he is a horse he rules over the herd. If I separate him he frets for River so it's easier to leave him in with the cows.


The Terrorist - artistic bovine (NOT) in training

Meantime the Terrorist went for a visit into my art studio a few weeks ago. What a mess! She had eaten some of the poster paint, pooed everywhere then slept the night in there with me none the wiser for any of it. I don't think she would make an artist anytime soon, unless you count the poo paintings she left on the concrete floor.


I think this sheep was glad of the haircut Shearing Competition at the 2011 Paparoa Show

It's hot hot hot hot here. We've had a cyclone plow through and another one expected later this week. Have to feel sorry for the folks in Queensland who have been hit the hardest by these tropical storms. Our weather is changing more rapidly than we can anticipate. The temperatures in New Zealand in 2010 were the highest on record.
An old tractor reminds of days gone by

The only good thing about all of this rain we've had recently is the grass growth. The summer before we had a bad drought and it looked like we were headed for another one. Even so soil moisture content is still very low.


Miniature Hereford 2 year old Heifer Emma
with her Reserve Champion Ribbon


We're looking at a bull for River and The Terrorist for December. Close friends of mine breed Miniature Herefords. Inaya showed one of their 2 year olds at the Paparoa A & P Show last Saturday and came a way with a Reserve Champion. We've had a look at the two bulls, and one named Ernie may come over to visit at the end of this year. We'll see what happens there. You can view some of these wonderful Miniature Herefords on the Hereminis
blog and read some of the great stories Janet has written about her passion. She runs Riverlets Minature Hereford stud. Check it out.