Word of the day


Ensky – to raise in rank, power, or character; to praise highly, glorify; exalt to the skies; lift to the skies or to heaven with praise; to put in the sky.

Milne muses




POSSIBILITIES – by Wisława Szymborska

I prefer movies.

I prefer cats.

I prefer the oaks along the Warta.

I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.

I prefer myself liking people

to myself loving mankind.

I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.

I prefer the color green.

I prefer not to maintain

that reason is to blame for everything.

I prefer exceptions.

I prefer to leave early.

I prefer talking to doctors about something else.

I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.

I prefer the absurdity of writing poems

to the absurdity of not writing poems.

I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries

that can be celebrated every day.

I prefer moralists

who promise me nothing.

I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.

I prefer the earth in civvies.

I prefer conquered to conquering countries.

I prefer having some reservations.

I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.

I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales to the newspapers’ front pages.

I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.

I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.

I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.

I prefer desk drawers.

I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here

to many things I’ve also left unsaid.

I prefer zeroes on the loose

to those lined up behind a cipher.

I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.

I prefer to knock on wood.

I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.

I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility

that existence has its own reason for being.


Hat tip: The Marginalian

Maya muses


Sunday soapbox


Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Unity does not mean sameness, it means oneness of purpose – Priscilla Shirer

Word of the day


Epiphenomenon – a secondary effect or by-product; a secondary symptom, occurring simultaneously with a disease or condition but not directly related to it; a secondary or additional symptom or complication arising during the course of a disease; a mental state regarded as a by-product of brain activity.

Sowell says


You do what you see


When you’re young, you learn by doing and you do what you see:

Help for wobbly spellers


If like Pooh Bear’s friend Wol (and me) your spelling tends to be a bit wobbly, this might help:

Saturday soapbox


Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Those who expect to reap the blessing of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

Word of the day


Larmhaireacht – the loneliness felt at cock-crow or dawn.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Seeing red – Barbara Kuriger:

Never has an industry been more targeted by a government than New Zealand’s primary sector right now.

The spotlight, within that target for the past five years, falling firmly on agriculture.

This term, Labour no longer needs the blessing of the Greens to enact their ideas.

Nor are they beholden to any other party to pass laws, so they’ve been busy. . .

Failing to govern – Peter Buckley:

. . . This government is telling the agricultural sector that they are the main cause of the GHG emissions and that they must reduce their levels of emissions to manage NZ’s commitments to the Paris Accord even though as we are an agricultural based economy, this will cause severe hardship and economic catastrophe for our country.

Many farmers will go out of business and the country will suffer a severe economic downturn as a result of their policies around climate change and farming so that they can prance around the international stage loudly proclaiming the moral high ground, when in actual fact the Paris accord article 2 (b) specifically states that food production should not be threatened:

Paris Accord; Article 2 (b) states: . . .


Fonterra to prioritise NZ, other markets over us as FDA approval process stalls :

Fonterra has informed the US Food and Drug Administration that it intends to reallocate infant formula stock it had earmarked for the US.

In May, Fonterra submitted an application to the FDA to be able to supply finished infant formula to parents in the country amid severe shortages.

Fonterra trade strategy, sustainability, and stakeholder affairs Americas manager James McVitty said approval was yet to be granted.

“We understand the FDA has limited resources and has been prioritising submissions from companies with larger volumes and with existing distribution networks for infant formula in the US. . . 

Labour shortages tipped to hold up Bobby calf collections – Sally Murphy:

Farmers are being warned there could be delays to bobby calf collections this season due to delays at meat processors.

Bobby calves are normally sent to the works at four days old, with farm collections taking place six days a week.

But Meat Industry Industry Association spokesman Richard McColl said delays at the works meant farmers might need to hang onto them longer this season.

“We’ve got labour shortages, as a result of immigration settings and Covid and that’s caused an elongated bovine season, which has spilled over into the bobby season. . . 



Dunstan Trail New Zealand’s latest iconic cycle trail – Blog the Globe:

A friend and I recently ventured to Cromwell to cycle the new Dunstan Trail.  The trail can be cycled on its own or can be an extension to the Otago Rail Trail. It opened in May 2021 and is a remarkable engineering feat. Cantilevered boardwalks are attached to the cliffs of the Cromwell Gorge. With the Clutha River on one side and soaring cliffs on the other, the boardwalk is literallly bolted to the rock.

The biking and walking trail starts just out of Cromwell at Smiths Way, linking the townships of Clyde and Cromwell.

Having decided I would ride the 55 kilometre trail, I made some enquiries about getting the shuttle back from Clyde. The gentleman on the phone, from Trail Journeys questioned my riding ability. Having disclosed I was not a really confident rider he suggested I do part of the Dunstan Trail, missing the difficult graded sections. I’ve been told it’s doable for everyone, however  the trail ranges from grades 1-3, with switch backs and narrow tracks. Plus, it’s a two- way trail.

Unfortunately, there have been a number of serious accidents. Less experienced riders on e-Bikes and young gung ho speedy riders need to be considerate and cautious of each others. Some of the commercial bike hire companies are advising clients not to use the trail on weekends and to opt for times when there are less people. . . 

Idaho dairy is worth billions of dollars, here’s why it could be in trouble this summer  – Tanushri Sundar:

Idaho dairy cows produced less milk when exposed to wildfire smoke, a recently published University of Idaho study showed. Now, dairy farmers are concerned they could see a significant loss in the next two months, as more wildfires are anticipated to hit the West.

There’s been chatter among dairy farmers about the upcoming fire season and the anticipated poor air quality in July and August, said Rick Naerebout, CEO of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association. And there aren’t many viable ways to protect cows.

“Overall it does have a noticeable impact on the health of dairy cattle,” Naerebout told the Idaho Statesman by phone. “We’re kind of at the mercy of the air quality we receive. And it’s really tough to try and mitigate it.”

Valued at over $2.2 billion, milk is the biggest money maker for Idaho’s agricultural economy, according to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. Last year, Idaho was the third-largest dairy-producing state in the country, right behind Wisconsin and California.. . . 


Farmers are part of solution


Eco-tyranny is the dark green movement that mistakenly believes that converting the whole world to plant based diets is a necessary part of addressing climate change, and one that portrays farmers as the problem.

If we’re to look after the planet without starving the world, we still need animal protein and farmers must be part of the solution.

That means using science and technology, not the tax-more and do-less policies that those of an eco-tryranical bent prescribe.

Showing true colour


The Green Party members who didn’t endorse James Shaw as co-leader are showing the true colour of the party – red.

The environment isn’t their prime concern, it’s merely the means to promote their far left anti-capitalist agenda.

That’s always been the party’s weakness.

If its members were moderate on social and economic issues the party could sit in the middle of the political spectrum and be able to coalesce with Labour or National which would give them a lot of power.

Instead they sit to the left, even far left, of Labour which puts them in a far less powerful position.

This is why the Teal candidates in Australia did so well in their recent election – they, and their supporters, want green without the red.

Whether or not Shaw retains the co-leadership, the members have undermined him and the party and in showing their true colour will be far less likely to attract voters who want the green without the red.

John Grenell 19.7.44 – 26.7.22


Country music singer John Grenell (formerly Hore) has died.

. . . Grenell, who was born in Ranfurly, had a number one hit single in the 1990s with the Jim Reeves song, Welcome To Our World.

The song was heavily featured nationally in a Toyota vehicle TV advertising campaign.

He also had a big hit with the song I’ve been everywhere which was adapted to feature many place names in Aotearoa.

He performed in several countries and won multiple country music awards. . .

Word of the day


Virga – a mass of streaks of water drops or ice particles appearing to hang under a cloud and evaporating before reaching the ground; a dry storm, is an observable streak or shaft of precipitation falling from a cloud that evaporates or sublimates before reaching the ground; dangling tail-like wisp of cloud often seen below rainclouds on otherwise sunny days.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Devil in the detail of EU deal – Nigel Stirling:

Free trade agreement’s finer points are still being worked out – and not all of them are going NZ’s way, says Beef+Lamb policy tsar.

Meat exporters are already facing a reduction in their new access to the European Union market, just weeks after New Zealand apparently concluded a free trade agreement with the bloc.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern travelled to Brussels in Belgium last month to clinch the deal with the EU after four years of negotiations.

But Beef+Lamb NZ’s general manager for policy and advocacy Dave Harrison said negotiations between the EU and NZ had not stopped with the PM’s announcement. . . 

Right time and right place(ment) – Leo Argent:

With labour shortages a grim reality for many farmers across the country – and no end in sight – recruitment agencies have seen demand increase drastically.

With offices in Timaru and Ashburton, overseeing areas ranging from Darfield to Invercargill, Wendy Robertson has run Personnel Placements (PPL) for 22 years, Gaye Scott oversees PPL’s agricultural team, which is involved in jobs ranging from dairy to meat to horticulture.

As a recruitment agency, PPL puts candidates on a database who can then be sent out for clients for work. Along with part-time and full-time jobs, agencies also cover permanent and temporary employment placement, saving clients the time and cost involved in interviewing prospective employees.

Robertson told Rural News that agriculture is an important part of her business’ success and that a large part of the agriculture team’s work is in seasonal jobs. . .



New Tech promises to make shearing sheep less of a drag – Tim Lee:

Australia’s shearer workforce has dwindled from about 15,000 when wool prices were booming in the 1980s to about 2800.

The pandemic has further reduced the small pool of skilled labour and woolgrowers who are struggling to get their sheep shorn.

Australian Wool Innovation chairman Jock Laurie said Covid had made the problem worse.

“The border closures have stopped people moving across borders and stopped the New Zealanders coming in,” Laurie said. . . 

Fonterra welcomes Milk-E New Zealand’s first electric milk tanker :

New Zealand’s first electric milk tanker, Milk-E, has been officially launched by the Minister for Energy and Resources, Hon. Dr Megan Woods, in Morrinsville.

Local Government, Iwi, Industry and Fonterra employees were also present to recognise the significant milestone in the decarbonisation of New Zealand’s heavy transport, while also recognising the team behind the build.

Named by Fonterra farmer Stephen Todd from Murchison, Milk-E is part of Fonterra’s fleet decarbonisation work, which is one of a number of programmes that’s helping the Co-op towards becoming a leader in sustainability.

“Right across the Co-op our teams are constantly looking at how we can decrease our emissions – from on farm, to at our sites and throughout our transport network,” said Chief Operating Officer, Fraser Whineray. . . 

Baseline set for subsurface irrigation trial :

While Cust dairy grazers Gary and Penny Robinson are disappointed not to have collected the data they were hoping for from their subsurface drip irrigation trial due to a wet summer, the couple have established a baseline for the next irrigation season which they hope will follow a more normal weather pattern to enable data collection.

Gary and Penny are participating in a farming innovation project, which examines how the next generation of farmers are using innovation to improve their farming practices. Waimakariri Landcare Trust (WLT) and Waimakariri Irrigation Limited (WIL) have partnered with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for the project, with support from MPI’s Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund along with Environment Canterbury, Ballance, and DairyNZ.

The subsurface drip irrigation system on their two-hectare test block in Cust consists of a network of valves, driplines, pipes, and emitters that are installed in tape below the surface of the soil. The evenly spaced emitters slowly release water directly to the root zone of plants which differs from traditional irrigation systems that apply water to the surface of the soil. . .

The Walking Access Commission changes its name:

Trails aren’t just for walkers, they’re for all of us – and so is Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa, the Outdoor Access Commission, formerly the Walking Access Commission.

Our new name recognises more than the breadth of trail users, which range from people in tramping boots to fishing waders, sitting astride a horse or a bike, shouldering a rifle or pushing a stroller. Herenga ā Nuku refers to the rich connections we find on the trail – with the whenua and its stories, with ourselves and with each other.

Herenga is a bond, obligation or tie. Nuku refers to Papatūānuku, the earth mother. She is the land in all her beauty, power, strength and inspiration. She sustains us.

Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa – connecting people, connecting places. . .

Now for the good news


As much of the country copes with too much rain, we need to keep bad weather in perspective.

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