Kiwi’s take a lot for granted, and I’m no different.
Even if a Kiwi lives in one of our big cities, they are always only within a 30 minute drive time of something very special. Something that people take for granted.
I’m fortunate, I don’t live in a big city, Nelson is small – even by NZ standards (population of 70,000 if you include Richmond). So my drive time to paradise is only 15 minutes.
I will be honest, NZ is just a big farm. Traditionally NZ was a beef, lamb and dairy producer, although our nation has increasingly diversified over the last 3 decades. We now farm a multitude of different animal and crops.
I am fortunate that on 3 days a week I am exposed to the wonderful splendor of both farmland and forest. When travelling to Blenheim I spent 45 minutes driving through forested hills (both pine and native) and then the next 45 minutes travelling through lush and verdant valleys full of amazing animals.
The forested hills are heaving with fauna, just this week I have seen and enjoyed:
- Kereru (Native wood pigeon’s)
- Fantails and many more beautiful birds, both native and introduced.
But the most exciting thing I witnessed this week was a wild Captain Cooker Pig rooting around the highways grass verge with her two piglets in tow. Just a wonderful heart warming sight, and I hoped that the sour would soon turn and head back up into the hills away from the attention of seasoned hunters and their voracious dogs. The thought of these pigs getting stuck with a hunters knife made me wince.
Driving through the farmland I witnessed new born lambs, sleeping, jumping and generally creating chaos for their watchful mothers. I observed recently born Alapacs and my own favourites, kids – lovely lovely goats, playing, fighting and generally having a ball. Doe eyed calves (another of my favourites) looked inquisitively at me as a drove past, their long lashes emphasizing the deep brown of their beautiful eyes. I wondered if they were thinking ‘what an ugly animal’ as I sped by.
Yes, natures shop window was dressed to perfection and it made me feel good and feel so lucky to live in a wonderful part of the world. This will seem a bit weird, but I felt at ease and at one with nature, I felt privileged and revitalized.
On the Friday drive home I was within 10 minutes of Nelson when I observed the most unusual and delightful combinations of animals I have ever seen. These animals were obviously good mates and walked along completely comfortable in each others company. It brought an instant smile to my face and it was the first thing I told my wife and daughter when I finally arrived home. If traffic was not so bad, I would have stopped and taken a photo. Although in some ways I am pleased I didn’t. Mother Nature had given a free exclusive view of the wonder of her creation – and it is now locked in my memory and no else can see it. That makes me feel a little smug and special.
What I saw was a Stilt (wading bird) walking along the grass berm side by side with a very handsome but common duck. The Stilt occasionally pecked at the ground and as I drove past she pulled up a lovely wriggly worm and promptly awarded this to her orange footed companion waddling close beside her. I was amazed by her generosity and I am sure as I drove by the grateful duck would have let out an appreciative ‘quack.’
Springtime in Godzone is certainly very special and should not be taken for granted and I cant wait till Tuesday when I hit the highway again.
Please note the photographs I have used in this blog are not mine – I have accessed these on the internet. I give appropriate credit and recognition to the owners of these images and apologise if any offence is taken. I am happy to remove if requested.