Sunday, March 24, 2013

Take me to a park that's covered with trees...

... tell me on a Sunday please.

Well, this Sunday I spent a leisurely afternoon catching some rays in the newly greened-up park down the road. I packed a little picnic lunch and a jug of iced Sangria and tried to make the most of a few spare hours, in preparation for an upcoming island holiday. Peter arrives in 2 weeks, and after an autumnal cocktail party, we are off to Penang for a much earned week of R&R.

There were a few graceful Ibises about in the park too...
As well a the occasional screeching swarm of cockatoos overhead. It looks much different from back home where an offical state of drought has been declared across 5 different major regions of the country...

 Above: My cousin James, who has been helping Peter with the farm work since he injured his hand. He is holding one of the weaner piglets. We have another litter due any day now (below). You can see how barren the land has become. Luckily they have water and loads of fresh vegetables daily, and the rest of the anilmals are living off the hay we harvested last month.

Above: A sow with a well-descended under carriage. It can't be more than a day or so now.
"A state of drought has been declared for the entire North Island, and the West Coast could soon follow suit. Farmers are being hammered in what is the most severe drought in at least 30 years, which is estimated to be costing the economy millions of dollars.
The West Coast sent a drought declaration request to the government on Thursday, hours after Primary Industry Minister Nathan Guy made the drought declaration about the North Island.
The official declarations will mean farmers have access to financial assistance and other help.
Mr Guy said he was keeping watch on the South Island where some areas were very dry.
Federated Farmers confirmed the West Coast request. "The West Coast of the South Island is today forwarding its request," said the federation's adverse events spokeswoman Katie Milne.
When he announced the North Island drought declaration Mr Guy said some rain was forecast for the weekend but more would be needed to set up for winter and spring.
Drought had previously been declared in Northland and North Auckland, South Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay. Mr Guy says communities are pulling together to help each other out. Federated Farmers is operating a `Feedline' to match farmers with feed supplies. "Many rural people can be reluctant to ask for help, but it is important for them to know that support is available," he said. "This is a difficult time for rural families and they need to know that the government and all New Zealanders are behind them. " The govenour of the Reserve Bank said that if it doesn't rain soon the drought could shave 1% of the economy."

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