Tag Archives: Rural

Water, Water

Another reason why I have not been doing any painting. Can’t clean the paint crushes when you have no water.

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Our water tank. It is filled from water coming off the woolshed and yards. Our water tank. It is filled from water coming off the woolshed and yard roof.

Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas. Now as you all know We live in the countryside. As the locals would say, We live in the “wop wops“. Far, far away from any city amenities, such as water.  We rely upon a combination of tank and bore water for our water needs.  A 30,000l tank supplies the house with water for everything expect the toilets and outside taps, which come from the bore.  The bore also supplies the household needs of two of our neighbours, as well as a number of stock troughs.  Over the last week it was apparent that there was a problem with bore water supply.  So it was D.I.Y Daddy to the rescue.

Firstly, the suspected leak had to be located.  Our property has been in existence for over 150…

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Lambing Time – Wins and Losses

As you may or may not realise, I live on a lifestyle block. In the UK it would be called a small-holding.  This time of the year is lambing season in New Zealand. All over the country millions of lambs are being born.  Last year I was going to get rid of all my sheep and just run another couple of beef cattle.   Imagine my surprise then when all my ewes fell pregnant, especially seeing  as I didn’t have a ram.  The previous couple of years I had borrowed the neighbour’s ram to do the necessaries.  As it turns out I had one wether left that had escaped the freezer from a year or two before.  There were two left, I grabbed at one, it got away but the other one ended up as roast. The lucky survivor was lucky in more ways than one.

Turns out he was what is called a cryptorchid.  When I nutted him as a lamb, I missed a testicle. He had one left, and apparently, one is enough. So, instead of becoming food, One Nut is now the proud leader of a small flock.

So, there are three ewes, The first one had a healthy lamb and the second bore twins.

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The other day I went out to check on the third girl and discovered that she had a prolapsed uterus. This happened when the pressure inside basically pushes the uterus out her vagina. The trick is to shove it back in and use one of these bearing retainers to hold everything in place. They can lamb through them which is rather nifty. You put the spoon part into the vagina and tie the thing in place so it holds her insides in.

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Not my sheep but an example of a prolapse.
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Bearing retainer

However, by the time we got to this stage she had been distressed for some time, was exhausted  and had partially delivered a lamb. The poor girl was on her side with a lamb stuck halfway. Yanked that one out and it was alive. A bit of rubbing and it was breathing. Had to go inside her and deliver the next one.  It too was alive. At this stage the bearing retainer was inserted and we left them too it. In the morning I discovered she had lambed again. Triplets. Once she had finished lambing she rejected one lamb a few hours later and despite spending a night feeding it inside in front of the fire the lamb died. The other two were feeding vigorously so I had high hopes for them. However, in the morning one was dead. So from three am down to one from this ewe. Saying that, the survivor seems to be doing very well.

The joys of rural life.  Wins and losses.

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An Interesting Week

Today is my last day at home for a week as I am heading back to Wellington for work. The past week has been interesting, to say the least.

The week started with a storm that saw quite high winds pummel much of the country. There were trees coming down all over the place around us, several blocking the only road into the valley. I drove down to the bridge to see what the river was like and on the way back this pine came down. Didn’t have saws so me and another guy just snapped the branches back to clear it.

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On the Monday night our power went off about half five in the afternoon as lines were taken out somewhere.  We were OK though. The oven had just gone on to bake a fish so I took the fish over to the Woolshed and baked it in the BBQ instead. With no power it was candles and torches and the whole family was forced into that weird and very un-21st Century activity called “Talking to each other”.  Our power came back on about nine at night, so it wasn’t too bad. There have been power cuts out here that lasted days or even weeks after some storms. I really need to get a generator so I can keep the freezers going. We have insurance on the frozen meat but it would be a terrible waste if it thawed. The freezers only need a few hours a day of power supply to keep the contents frozen.

A slip on the road at McCain’s Cutting, two kilometers south of us.

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And then…it started raining. Man did it rain. It bucketed down basically all Monday bight and most of Tuesday.  Half a kilometer north of us the road was cut and two kilometers south it was as well. The river came up quite quickly.  We were in no danger, but to add to our joy the phones went out as well.  These three photos show the creek and bridge that connects the house with the Woolshed. Normally it is a dry ditch but takes the run off for some large paddocks in the farm across the road.

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Down at the river, the road was blocked and a bunch of road workers who were clearing slips further up the valley almost got stranded. They ended up parking their utes and flat bed truck at our place and making their way through all perched in the bucket of their digger. The water came up almost over the top of the digger’s wheels.

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Alexander and I went down about half seven when the river was supposed to peak and it was even higher. Check this ‘before’ and ‘after’ shot of the same spot.  The river is now about 5m wider at this point.

ImageImageNorth of us the valley widens and it was a lake (dodgy shot taken with cell phone and it was almost dark)

Image and the next day when the water had receded.

ImageWe were left with mud. Lots of mud. Too much for a car to get through so until the roads were graded clear we were stuck at home.

ImagePhones were out for four days, which made this week a quiet one for me seeing as I was On Call.

One benefit of the weekend was that I think I found all the places in the Woolshed’s roof where it leaks water.