The week beginning 17th May, 2003.
Saturday the 17th

The two enormous Muscovy ducks are now both able to fly for reasonable distances, although they haven't ventured far away from the house just yet.

Muscovy ducks
Sunday the 18th

We were asked to adopt a goose.  Of course we agreed to do so, since we have no geese.  Now we do have, a goose.  I didn't realise she would be quite so noisy.

a new goose
Monday the 19th

After a bit of pushing each other around, the ducks and the goose settled down together as some sort of odd family.

goose and Muscovy ducks

Goose seems quite attached to the ducks, already.  If they fly away from her, she stands around squawking, seeming quite lost, looking for them.  She has quite large wings, but she's not tried to fly.  Her companions at her previous home were sheep, so perhaps she just doesn't know that flying might be a possibility.

Stephan spent most of the day cutting firewood with the tractor-mounted wood-saw.  He filled first a trailer, then the back of the utility and we set off for Kohukohu, where he and Bruce unloaded it all and stacked it away for use later in the winter.  The wood is tea-tree (Manuka), which burns very hot and is much sought-after wood.  This load is cut to very short lengths to fit in the small firebox of a wood-stove.

Stephan, unloading firewood

There is still a huge mountain of wood for us to use.  We'll probably cart the occasional load out for other friends and family over the next few months, otherwise it'll gradually diminish, in the process of keeping us warm.

Tuesday, 20th

We went to town in the morning.  As we went out over our bridge, we noticed that the water level was rather high, after quite a lot of rain over night.  We did what we had to in town, came home, and had to take off half our clothing to get back across the river!  The water was up past my knees! It felt a little hazardous, since the water was flowing so quickly, and normally I just wouldn't cross, but I wanted to go home and sit by the fire, not hang around in the car for hours waiting for the water to go down.

Wednesday the 21st

To save on gum-boots this winter, I've had my feet encased in fibreglass boots.  Consequently I'll be doing quite a lot of website renovation (you might not see it, but it'll work better) and keeping up with what's happening on-farm via photographs taken by Stephan.  Feel free to send messages, since I expect I'll be quite fed up with my enforced inactivity, quite quickly.

Friday the 23rd

Stephan and I attended an ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) FarmSafe seminar for the day.  The accident statistics in farming are very high, so these seminars are being held to help raise the awareness of farmers, about the risks we take and our attitudes to that risk, and encouraging us to make appropriate changes to how we conduct our business.

Later that day, Damian sent a message....

Damian says hello

.... to say hello.