Category Archive: Random rural yarns

Sep 06

It was a dark and stormy night

  The chain of events that saved the life of the baby white-faced heron began months before the stormy night it fell from the nest. The eternal rain also played a part, for if this winter had been as mild as last, the bulls wouldn’t have busted through a weak spot in the fence to …

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Jun 13

Spark staff plant the Kaipara coastline

People power to plant the edge of the largest harbour in the southern hemisphere is being provided gratis by one of our country’s largest companies. Spark NZ, through its charitable arm the Spark Foundation, enables its staff to spend a day a year contributing to a worthy cause. Last week, 11 Spark people turned their …

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Sep 24

Floss plays just for the fun of it

    Dear Readers, I can hardly believe it, but I’m having to backtrack on a bold declaration made in a previous column. Early this year I declared full of certainty that while Jas the puppy could bark and jump and beg, she would never, ever make me play. I backed up this emphatic statement …

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Sep 01

Notebook made with love and a bit of Batley House

It was surely a world first. A bloke who contacted me to buy a copy of my book asked for a hunk of the house as well. “Sure,” I replied. “I’ll see what I can find.” Dave suggested weather board, but a scavenge in the wood heap in the back paddock turned up something I …

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Aug 12

Tips and tactics to motivate the farmer

I’ve tried guilt, shaming, threats, flirting, resignation and taking a wager and while each ploy worked once, I can’t confirm their ongoing usefulness. These are my tried and tested methods of getting a bloke to oblige with practical matters because it’s universally known that nagging – or, often, even asking nicely – doesn’t work. You’re …

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Jul 28

Satisfying time amid the mud

Each morning I’m a picture of sartorial style in muddy overalls, beanie and gumboots as the farmer and I move cattle. Up until the big wet we moved young bulls in the intensive grazing system every two days, but now they’re in smaller paddocks. In larger areas they stomp the lot to muck by the end …

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Dec 13

Pets – the gift that keeps on costing

If you surrendered to a loved one who wanted a pet for Christmas it’s not too late to supplement your gift. Yep – I’m talking money. When animals break or get sick they need to be repaired unlike other gifts which can be returned or trashed. Animals are for life – or that’s the idea …

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Nov 19

Freedom campers need to play by the rules

I hadn’t thought ‘lightly’ and ‘politely’ could be interchangeable until a letter from a rental vehicle company proved that, indeed, this is so. We share a Kaipara beach with ‘no camping’ signs which were ignored by some freedom campers I met during a preprandial wander. The couple, whose van had been parked all day, were …

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Oct 29

Passersby get bearings wrong

Spring has sprung, the grass has ris’, daffodils are blooming and lambs have bloomin’ popped out everywhere. But unfortunately it’s not always a lamb that pops out but what farmers call a ring or bearing. In fact, it’s a prolapsed vagina. The farmer reckons about three of his sheep a year suffer this misfortune which, …

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Jul 24

Floss’s Bark: Skirting around farm gear

A Blog by my Dog. Dear Readers, My boss recently went on a cattle moving mission dressed like a real girlie girl – and being a female, I’m qualified to comment. Oh, the shame! I was, of course, wildly excited when cattle broke through a fence and got onto the beach. Not only is this …

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