Wai has the strangest shape due to his burns as though he is two pigs in the same body. He is so weighty in the front and then much slimmer in the back Even though he is on a strict diet, but he is still the sweetest, quietest, dearest little pig.

Do you see Poppy’s wagging tail? She wags her tail when she is eating. Her babies are the fattest wee things. Nice and healthy. Ton bringing Del in for the milking. My co-worker has taken the milking over entirely so the chores are so much easier in the evenings now. Her production has actually increased lately so she is back on twice a day milking. Keeping the house cow healthy means constant vigilance but the milker and the milkee are doing well. Fingers crossed.

Things are very busy at work at the moment all our summer staff having left to prepare for the coming school year and the boss is off sick so I am working much longer hours.

Here is Sheila. In her garden. I am loving the wildness of all the pig gardens this year. Though, we are so dry now, that most of the plants are going to seed. But we started with such good height before pigs go into their gardens that the weeds are still good shade.

Sheila is still waiting for Poppy to finish feeding her babies so they can both go down the back but there is no sign of Poppy wanting to give up yet. The sow usually lets me know or at least I observe signs of the sow being run down or not wanting to share food, being aggressive or running them off when they try to feed. But I see none of this. So they can stay together a while longer. And Sheila will wait close by so she and Poppy retain their scent connection.

I think the meat chicks should arrive this morning. I am ready. The turkey house and its various sized enclosures ( we start with a big tote) are clean and dry and ready to go. The water and feed is on standby and the lights hung and tested.

I am, frankly, looking forward to chicken in the freezer.

So, I must get out there and get busy.

Enjoy your day!


The weather is so cool – it almost feels pre- autumnal. The humidity is low for August. That chill at night and morning mists. The cobwebs are already much more prevalent. But only August. I hope we are not looking at an early winter. That would not be good. Though I have a good amount of hay in, if I start using it too early we will be in trouble.

Farming is such a balancing act.

30 Comments on “TAKING THE SUN

  1. And you are so very talented on the balance bar & the tight rope. The coolness must feel wonderful to the animals (and every one else too.)

  2. I love that first photo of Ton escorting Aunty Del to the milking parlour through the morning mist. That dog almost doesn’t need a human…

  3. Great news that your co worker has taken over the milking. Those little fat piglets! 💕🐖🐖🐖

  4. Envious of your mild days. 101 is the prediction today. Car registered 118 when I left work last night. The recorded temperature is taken in the shade at the airport and not in the concrete jungle of the city. I think that is akin to air brushing photographs to make people look different. aka Lip stick on a sow. It is still a sow.

  5. Sheila looks very happy and healthy, along with the other pigs. Wai is a miracle of kindness!

  6. Our mornings are much the same here, but we get direct influence from the storms mixing it up along the coastline and sending their influence inland. This has been a very different August for us when it comes to weather, but at least our state is not burning up from wildfires as it was last summer.

  7. Ahh, so that’s how I get my husband’s ghost peppers to go to seed. I need to quit watering so much. It is incredibly dry here. 2 brief showers in 2 weeks. I had to fill the juvenile Aldabra tortoises’ mud hole so he could cool off, and it took me 20 minutes to fill it because the ground is so thirsty! The peppers are in the tortoise greenhouse, though, so they get regular watering.

    • We are also summer dry. But the temperatures are glorious. Do all your tortoises come inside in the winter? Do they hibernate somewhere? How does that work?

      • All tortoises come in. The native turtles overwinter outdoors. They know instinctively what to do, though we do worry about them their first winter.

        For the tortoises, Spiders go in and out daily as weather permits because they lack adaptations to protect from raccoons, so they stay indoors and sleep at winter temperatures (25C). For the non-hibernating species, we have a large greenhouse that stays a balmy 32C.

  8. How is Wai’s skin doing.
    That Instagram of Del heading for her milking with Ton is so special. Wondrous. And was it Tia coming in out of the pouring rain a while back? Another amazing video. Well they ALL are. (Thinking of the ducks under the hose )

    • I loved that wee video. I think that was Tia – yes. Wai’s skin will always be tissue thin in the injured areas but has taken to spending all day in the deep shade of the paw paw trees and that is good

  9. Giggle! LOVED the picture of Sheila in her grden! Reminds me of the old Johnny Horton song – (my words) Oh, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles, and they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn’t go………… The misty picture of Aunty Del and Ton in that first photo is nothing but exquisite serenity! So good to see Wai Wai again – so contented and his kind of weather! Thank you!

  10. So, if the wild fields are setting seed, does that mean they will regenerate next spring? Or will you need to re sow? If you re-sow, do you just sow to maintain the balance of the mix or a full re seed of everything?
    I’m interested in this because I’m letting a wild area regenerate. Different to you, in that its manuka scrub (Northland), but I see that birds are busily reseeding the adjoining paddock – and I think I will need to intervene to maintain the grazing in that area.
    It’s interesting working out how much help nature needs. Diversity is so good for soil quality and there is so much to learn. Much of which is counter intuitive, especially when some plants are weeds that just take over if not controlled.
    I love watching my animals sampling the offerings of a newly opened grazing paddock. Like a salad bar.
    Anyway, curious about how you keep the balance in you ‘wild ‘ areas.
    Nice to see Sheila too. I found my T shirt the other day. Its still wearable.

    • I do weed out the weeds that are inedible and raucous – soon in fact I will mow one of the pig fields because a particular weed they do not eat is in takeover mode and there will be lots of grass below needing light. Because of the winters here I top sow every spring in something new. I noticed in my oldest pig-field that there was such a variety of plants from previous years. I was very excited. And it looked beautiful for such a long time. Unlike you ( lucky thing) none of this is scrub, let alone manuka( how wonderful when they flower). Anyway – short answer – I weed out the weeds I hate because none of what I grow are native grasses. And pretty much nothing is a perennial. Do your stock eat/prune the manuka? It would be kind of prickly. But beautiful as a field.

    • I feel that too! But do you feel an autumnal change in the air? Mr Flowers has started dropping his feathers already – but I think that his timing is the normal one. Still, it feels like the beginning of the end. It has been a lovely summer so far!

  11. “Farming is such a balancing act” Isn’t that the truth! I can’t help but wonder if the very deep damage to Wai’s neck area has something to do with his weight distribution (and inability to change it)

    • I am sure that the interruption to his whole lymphatic system with such deep burns has everything to do with it. This is just a theory of course but he sustained some awful damage with no skin grafts to replace tissue. He has one shoulder that is huge and one that is normal. Many oddities. Last night for some obscure reason he decided to stay in the paw paw trees until way after dark and it was quite the performance to get the poor fellow in his bedroom. He has such poor eyesight that darkness effectively blinds him
      Like cutting the bark out of a tree- the carving into it.

  12. It feels pre-autumnal here in the mountains too. The nights are so chilly. I’m worried about my tomatoes…spring was so late this year. I always love seeing the pigs, I find them just adorable! I hope you find some time to relax a little with all that work you’re doing on your own!!!

  13. It makes sense that it feels autumnal for you because it feels like spring here… and smells like summer because there are already bushfires… mid August before winter’s end… it is tinder dry. But climate-wise it makes no sense at all. Unless you believe that climate change is actually happening. Which I do. We are going to have to adapt. We’re looking at making changes to our house, garden and practices to deal with more extreme weather.

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