Nigel's thoughts....


Spring has definitely kicked in. Thursday was my last day up the mountain, and the snow was still hanging on well on the upper slopes, but it was clear that the time has come to hang the skis up for the year.

Friday needed to see a change, so I abandoned jeans and switched to shorts for the year. I picked up a few more tomato plants (and a few artichoke plants) for the poly-tunnel and headed to work. On arrival there was a stranger curled up in Jancis the cat’s bed: a new born kid. The runt of three born the night before, it would stand no chance on the hill: our female goats struggle to raise two, three is just too much.

The first issue was whether it could survive at all; barely alive, it shivered despite the warmth in the office. Karen did her farmer’s daughter thing and popped a tube into its stomach and poured in a little colostrum. Within a couple of hours it was coming to life and able to start drinking from a teat. By the afternoon it was standing and bleating enough to realise it would be a nuisance pretty soon. Michelle has taken it home for the weekend and it will probably be quite a handful by Monday.

We had some brilliant news from the Department of Conservation: We had been asked to take part in a programme to raise native falcons and DOC had three eggs they had to remove from a nest in a hopeless position. The first falcon hatched on Friday, one egg isn’t viable and we are hoping the second will hatch any day. If all goes to plan in three weeks we are going to have to parent two young falcons: feeding them half a dozen sparrows or day old chicks every day and making sure they are safely tucked up out of harms way at night.

First buds appearing on the Chardonnay… game on!