Country Living - The naked truth on rural roads

So, what propels a middle-aged mother of five to strip naked in a pothole of soapy mud in the middle of winter? Is it community depravity, inequality or perhaps sheer madness? No, it’s a desperate cry for help and a confronting love letter to a...... Read More

Animals - The hunger games

I have just spent a day as a veterinarian with some of the officers of Northland’s Ministry of Primary Industries Animal Welfare Compliance team, investigating a complaint of skinny or underfed cattle. This raised two important points, which I would...... Read More

Gardening - Greenhouse stocktake

The other weekend was a good one for me; a staff party on Friday, followed by my birthday on Saturday, followed by Father’s Day on Sunday, which happened to also be the first day of spring, and good weather to boot. It doesn’t get much better...... Read More

Animals - Clostridial diseases

Clostridial diseases, such as tetanus and blackleg, are caused by bacteria that live in the environment and sometimes inside animals. They produce the most potent toxins known to occur in nature. When conditions are right for the bacteria to multiply...... Read More

Country Living - Shear madness

Catering and cooking for shearing gangs should have been the easiest task afforded to someone like me in my farming career. Unfortunately though, I have always had this uncanny ability to over-complicate everything in my life, and this was no exception....... Read More

Gardening - Sowing seed

We’re officially in the depths of winter and Mother Nature is doing her best to remind us of that. No matter how positive I try to be, most days are just too miserable to be in the garden. However, there is light on the horizon, spring is on its...... Read More

Animals - Rat bait poisoning

Rat bait poisoning is, unfortunately, a recurring event every winter, and if the symptoms are only detected in the later stages of poisoning, it is a seriously life-threatening issue for your pet. Rat baits are designed to produce delayed onset of symptoms,...... Read More

Country Living - Died in the wool

Was it blissful naivety or complete desperation that propelled that shearer to ask me to rousey that one memorable time? Whatever it was, I had absolutely no intention of allowing my numerous fitness level flaws get in the way of my pride. Looking back,...... Read More

Gardening - Planting for birds

We are fortunate in northern Rodney to be able to enjoy a wide array of native and introduced birds. Frequent visitors or residents of our gardens include kereru, tui, waxeyes, various finches, blackbirds, thrush, mynah, turtle doves, morepork, ducks,...... Read More

Beekeeping - Monstrous mites

It is that time of year when our beehives are wintering over and the rainy and cold conditions are not really conducive for peeking inside hives, thus leaving us beekeepers forlorn and with extra time on our hands. Now I realise this might conjure up...... Read More