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'New Zealand's Rivers' is impressive for its scope, clarity, poignancy and power

It is a daunting to have your work reviewed by someone as well respected in the field of environmental history as Graeme Wynn, Professor Emeritus in Geography, University of British Columbia. A relief to find it is a positive review, and an very nice indeed to read his assessment that "Catherine Knight is set fair to take her place among the country’s leading environmental historians". Professor Graeme Wynn's review of New Zealand's Rivers appears in December's Landfall Review Online (published by University of Otago), and can be read in full here. The following is an excerpt: "New Zealand Rivers is impressive for its scope, clarity, poignancy and power. Historical synthesis is never easy. I

The mysterious disappearance of Billy and Bob

On Monday afternoon, only a day after getting our new lowline Angus cattle, Billy and Bob (not real names), we came back from appointments in town to a farmer's worst nightmare. Our prize cattle had gone! We thought perhaps they were lying undetected in the long grass, but no, the grass relinquished no sign of them ... They had completely vanished! And apart from a slight depression in the wire net fence (a possible point of escape), there were no clues of their whereabouts. None of the tell-tale signs of trampled grass or ravaged plants or trees. Mysterious ... Was this the work of some dastardly cattle rustler, monitoring our every movement for their opportunity to carry out their fiendish

'Cuteness' has no place on a real farm - lucky we don't have one

On a farm (even just a pretend one like ours), there are always arrival and departures (see Sheep Diaries: The day has come). But Sunday was a particularly auspicious one in this respect. It saw the arrival of two Lowline Angus steers (boys with their bits removed), in a sophisticated shade of brown, with a hint of burgundy. They came from Dannevirke, bought from a bit of character named Bear. We awaited their arrival with anticipation, but were not prepared for the cuteness on the trailer. I know, I know ... farm animals are not supposed to be cute. But just look at these little fellas! Of course, like all farm animals they have a purpose. They will follow the sheep around and deal with the

Sheep Diaries: The day has come

At last the time has come to say goodbye to our boys: the boys born this spring (see Sheep Diaries: Our first lambs). They were weaned a couple of weeks back, which led to a cacophony of baa-ing between the mums' paddock and the lambs' paddock. This only lasted a day or two, though fortunately. When we advertised them, we had inquiries as far afield as Tauranga and Hamilton, Wiltshires (and especially black ones) are in such hot demand, particularly among lifestylers. But it is sad to see them go. This was the first of the boys to go. The Husband didn't want him to feel anxious all by himself in the pen awaiting pick-up, so sat with him until his new owners arrived from Otaki to get him. Bye

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