What does a forested valley
have in common with this
Early 2002, I was walking up a forest track with Kirsty on our way to laying out a couple of forest survey plots in The Brook valley behind Nelson.Along the way we were accosted by a feebly bleating ball-sized goat. It wouldn’t quite let us catch it so I said we’d look for it on our way out. Several hours later it had moved further along the track and was even more desperately lonely. With a little coaxing I was able to scoop it up with one hand at which point it went to sleep in the crook of my elbow and stayed that way for the walk out, sleeping all the way to a Nelson vet for a check up.That was how we met Brooke.
She was installed in a horsefloat on a farm at Paua-taha-nui for about a week until she worked out that she could run up walls. After several ferry crossings of Cook Strait we (and she) landed up here at Hestebu, where she taught us that goats
have Houdini qualities
have hidden talents
Have a tendency to get into trouble
Have a taste for adventure
but don’t like to get wet
Cast in a different mold
That is until last week when she hadn’t been seen for a day…
So it fell to me to dig a hole in our drought stricken ground. In a ‘Sand County Almanac’ Aldo Leopold reflects on how, in sawing an oak log for firewood each saw stroke is a journey back in time, so too in chipping a hole out of solid clay (a fairly mindless task) there is opportunity to reflect on the life that has past, the highs and lows, and what we learnt along the way.
It’s also a chance to look at the local soil profile, Mairaki silt loam has 1 spit of grey topsoil
followed by a partial iron pan and dense yellow stuff that goes on and on…
Last trip in a wheelbarrow and a spot in the Forbidden Ground (the orchard)
For more on stick animals check out flyingshavings.co.uk