Wednesday, 30 April 2014

April in New Zealand

Autumn is well under way on my side of the world.

 The day started off sunny but now the clouds have arrived and it is cooling down.  The colder weather has turned the leaves on the trees to reds and golds.

I enjoy this time of year, all the changes happening around me including the weather, which can flip from one season to another in a matter of hours. 

The sheep rustle around beneath the red oaks, a quiet relaxing time for us and the animals before winter hits.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Visiting Easter Chickens

I had some unusual visitors early this week.

Four chickens arrived in the paddock alongside the drive.  I have no idea where they came from but they looked quite at home scratching around under the trees.  They weren't very "people friendly" as they scattered when I tried to photograph them.

Then late afternoon they flew up onto a low branch and roosted for the night.  I couldn't find them today when I went out, so I guess they have moved on.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Storm on the way

I was on my way home from walking the dogs when the sky started to rumble.

It has been so warm and humid today but there is cold weather on the way.  The blue sky started disappearing before I got home.

Then it started to rain.  I was expecting a lot with all the noise but it was just a sprinkle and it moved on.  I think the best is yet to come.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Autumn Sheep

My girls.  The young one's are in the front heading into their first autumn.  I bring them up quiet and they get used to me walking around them so the are all pretty stress free and happy to pose for the occasional photo.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

ABC Wednesday - M

Malus Gorgeous

This is a magnificent crab apple tree that fruits most prolifically.

It is said to be great for crab apple jelly but I haven't tried making that yet.

The fruit hangs on well into winter when the birds move in to enjoy themselves and empty the tree until it blossoms in spring.

Friday, 4 April 2014

The Orchard Gate

The boundary between the orchard, where my chickens live and enjoy anything that falls from the trees, crawls or flies, and the garden, where the chickens are definitely NOT welcome.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

ABC Wednesday - L

New Zealand Lighthouses

Cape Reinga Lighthouse

I love a good lighthouse and like to photograph them wherever I go.  This first one is from the very top of the North Island.

Castle Point Lighthouse

This lovely lady is from the east coast of the North Island heading towards the south.

Cape Palliser Lighthouse

Lucky number 3 is situated at the southern most tip of the North Island.

Akaroa Lighthouse

Then we leap across to the luscious South Island and the lively little french inspired town of Akaroa.

Nugget Point Lighthouse

Next we carry on down the east coast to the lonely looking Nugget Point.

Waipapa Point Lighthouse

Lastly we have the southern most lighthouse in the South Island which was first lit up in 1884.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

White-faced Heron

I have spotted this beautiful bird flying off a number of times as I've walked through the paddocks, but haven't managed to photograph it until yesterday.

The white-faced heron arrived in New Zealand in the 1940's and is now our most common heron.  This elegant medium sized heron can be seen most often around rocky shores and mudflats, but this one seems happy to live on the farm.

Their diet consists of small fish, crabs, worms, insects, spiders, mice, lizards and frogs, most of which he can find in and around the paddocks.

They seem happy to be solitary birds until the breeding season, which will be coming up in a few months.  Hopefully he can lure a lady friend to come and share his patch of rural New Zealand.