On the Farm - Planting for a brighter future

I thread my way carefully by torchlight down the paddock to the creek running through my farm. The breeze picks up as the running water imparts extra energy to the airflow. The torch beam highlights movement in the water – small fish dart or just...... Read More

Animals - Summer diseases

Summertime in veterinary practice often revolves around fleas, barber’s pole worm and facial eczema. A warm, wet summer, like that which is predicted for this year, provides ideal conditions for all these problems. The benefits of taking a proactive...... Read More

Country Living - Life on the road

With the roosters still firmly tucked in their beds and a delicate kiss on his sleeping wife’s cheek, John Parker knows that his logging truck number 5659 awaits him for another long day behind the wheel. I met with John, from Aztec logging, under...... Read More

Country Living - Turkey shoot

Remember when we played “bang bang”?  We shot them down, “bang bang” they hit the ground, “bang bang” that big loud sound, “bang bang” we shot those turkeys down. Well, not quite the lovelorn sentiments...... Read More

Animals - Animal euthanasia

I am sure many of you think of pet euthanasia as a quick process of minimal stress that comes at the end of a lot of forethought, which includes an attempt to appreciate what the animal’s perspective is. In my experience this is often the case....... Read More

On the farm - Snows of spring

Spring always seems to be a triumph of fertility over atmospheric inclemency. It’s an annual marvel. Increasing day-length gathers momentum through the solstice and although wintry weather may be reluctant to concede ground, new life is an unstoppable...... Read More

Gardening - Salad days

One of the joys of spring is the ability to grow and pick a wide range of plants for daily salads. There is nothing healthier than fresh salad from the garden, with loads of different plants and the full range of colours to get the maximum number of anti-oxidants. Standard...... Read More

Gardening - Pests: go hard, go early

We have had a particularly warm winter this year and MetService is predicting a warm, wet summer for the eastern North Island due to a combination of La Niña and what looks to be another marine heatwave emerging. This combination of weather events...... Read More

On the farm - Warming up

The bare winter branches were decorated with diamanté webs this morning as a low fog clung to the valley – very quickly to be burnt off by unseasonably warm early morning sunshine. As I write, the mercury is wavering above 19 degrees. We...... Read More

Animals - Blocked cat

Urethral obstruction in cats is a fairly common condition encountered in small animal practice. It affects primarily young to middle-aged neutered males. The condition presents itself as unsuccessful attempts to urinate. Restlessness interspersed...... Read More