Sunday, 29 September 2013

Seal Kindergarten

Cape Palliser Bay.

Located at the southern most point of New Zealand's North Island Cape Palliser is a wild remote place where the seals live and raise their pups.


 We stumbled across this baby seal nursery last summer and sat for ages watching the babies play. 


We counted about 40 or them playing, fighting and squealing like kindergarten kids.  This little fellow decided to check out what I was doing.
  
They were watched over by a couple of adults while the rest were out at sea feeding.


I'm sharing with 




Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The best view point






Sharing with you and Wordless Wednesday


ABC Wednesday K is for...

The Kapiti Coast in New Zealand which is where I live.  It takes its name from Kapiti Island which sits about 5km (3 miles) off shore.



The Kowhai one of our beautiful native trees which is flowering now as we head toward mid spring.



Kereru is the Maori name for our native wood pigeon.  They love all the blossoms around at this time of year.



Mt Kapakapanui is the mountain that sits behind us which rises up 1100m (3,600ft) above sea level.  It quite often has snow on it during the winter but it's all gone now.




Last but not least our youngest pet lamb Kelly.  Too cute to leave out.













I'm linking to ABC Wednesday



Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Mother Natures Ferns

Surprises in the undergrowth

I enjoy gardening but have to admit I don't tend to work to a plan.  When catching up on a garden that has been left to itself for a while I get a buzz out of finding unexpected seedlings growing.  I consider them my present from Mother Nature for not spraying and like to leave them where they are if practical.



One such "present" is growing well outside my bathroom window.  I spotted this fern a while ago growing under the other shrubs and left it there.  However since my husband had a 'cut back and get some control' day the fern has taken off.  I'm now thinking it might get too big for where it is and may have to be shifted.



The leaves are quite magical to watch unfold.  This hairy looking frond is the beginning.




It shoots upwards and starts to unfurl.  This one is nearly as tall as me.



As it unwinds and the leaves grow they end up like this.  A beautiful lush green fern.



This is another surprise one which started growing by the pond.  A different variety that won't be quite so big.


 
I'm linking to Nature Notes   and  Outdoor Wednesday

Monday, 23 September 2013

Sunday, 22 September 2013

The September Moon

Last weeks full moon, before all the weather arrived.




Later that night........ 






















You almost expect a witch on a broomstick to fly past!


Linking with Skywatch Friday




Friday, 20 September 2013

Another pet lamb

Kelly joins the pet lamb team.


Earlier in the week this little girl was found 2 paddocks back from the mob.  She was very skinny but could still out run me.  I had to wait for my son to come home to catch her.  I think she is about a week old but would have been on her own for 2 - 3 days.
  
Dougal and Kelly

We decided that she had been away from Mum too long and even if she found her there would be no milk left so she came home with us to join the 2 boys.


Dougal has teamed up with her and she follows him everywhere.  Harvey is not too sure about this female addition.

Kelly, sleepy Dougal & Harvey behind

After a day she adopted those that feed her and is in and out and around your legs when you go in the paddock.  It was very hard to get a good photo, in the end I took some through the fence and the gate.  

She is about 4 weeks younger than the boys, they have grown well.  She is running rings around them and doesn't stop for more than a nano second.  I will try for some better photos this weekend, if I can sneak up on them.

You can check out ABC Wednesday - K  for a more recent photo of Kelly.


Linking to Home Acre Hop

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Found! Missing duck!

The Male Paradise Duck

Further to my story about the lonely bachelorette ducks, today I found a male Paradise Shelduck sitting on his own in the paddock.  



 Why?  I ask myself.  Does he have too many females to choose from and he needs a time out?


I left him while I moved the sheep, but on my return found him sitting on a fence post behind some flax bushes.
  

He honked at me a few times as I stood there.  I think the message was "Don't tell them where I'm hiding!"

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Sheep antics

We're moving.....

Sometimes moving paddock is something to talk about.



Sometimes it's something to query.


And sometimes you just wanna dance.




I'm linking to Rurality Blog HopHome Acre Hop    


Thursday, 5 September 2013

The ABC of Spring

A...is for Almond Blossom


An early start to spring,















 and much loved by the birds and the bees. 

B...is for Babies


Nothing says spring like lambs in the paddock.

C...is for Cherry Blossom


I planted 2 of these for the Tui's.


They put their brush-like tongue inside each flower and get a good feed.
































Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The bachelorette ducks

The Paradise Shelduck.


This is New Zealand's only Shelduck.  They are a large goose-like duck which graze the pastures, rather than spending time in the water.  


 The female has a pure white head and chestnut body, the males have a black head and dark grey body.  In this breed the female is more eye-catching than the male.


This group of ladies have been flying around together, so they are either the single girls or they have left the men folk and are off for some girl time.


They are very noisy when flying around and the dogs enjoy barking at them as they fly over.

We usually see them in pairs at this time of year so I'm not sure about these four.  Maybe we have a man drought here??



Tuesday, 3 September 2013

An update from the paddock

Exciting sheep news...  



I was moving the sheep yesterday into the next hill paddock.  This can take a bit of time with all the lambs running around, and not necessarily following the mob.



I keep the dogs away and let them move on their own so they don't get stressed.



The ewes are keen to get at the fresh grass but go and round up their young ones after a few mouth-fulls.
  

The lambs get excited and start hopping and skipping around in groups, but eventually everyone finds who they should be with.


I had one ewe hanging back in the old paddock.  I thought she must have a new lamb so left her till last.  When I got near I saw she had triplets.  This is the first time I have had triplets so it was very exciting.  She is an excellent experienced mother who is very friendly and calm and she was keeping track of all three when she moved them to the gate.  


You can sometimes end up with an orphan when you have triplets because they have trouble feeding 3 but I think she will do OK.  I will be keeping a close eye on her.

Linking to Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop


Sunday, 1 September 2013

The matriarchs of the sheep flock

My two favorite old girls.

The two oldest girls in the flock have had their lambs.  They are wonderful mothers and produce one lamb each every year.


 Chloe is the oldest.  She was born in 2002 so is turning 11 this year.  That's a great age for a ewe.  Normally you would only keep them until they are about five or six so you can have the younger replacements coming through.  Chloe was bottle fed after being rescued by my daughter, who had spotted her alone in the paddock.  She's starting to look a bit old and has earned her retirement, but against my advice she got friendly with the rams and has just had her 9th lamb.


Chloe has a big deep voice and is easy to find amongst the other 100 ewes.


Molly is the second oldest ewe at 8 years old.  She was also abandoned at a few days old.  We had quite a job catching her at first as she could run like the wind from early on.  She was bottle feed and grew up to be the friendliest sheep ever.
  
She is always first through the gate and leads the other sheep wherever I want them to go.  Molly started lambing early - at 1 year old - which is like being a teenage mother.  She has had 7 lambs so far and has looked after them all well.


Molly is always ready for a head rub or neck scratch but Chloe only comes up for a pat if she's in the mood.   I hope they both carry on being fit and well for a few more years yet. 

Linking to Home Acre Hop