Privileged access is very helpful.
Yesterday a friend of my brother-in-law allowed me to wander over his farm at the back of Moonshine Hill Road. This is a sheep farm within a few minutes of the Hutt Valley and yet somehow as wild and remote as many places in the middle of the island. At first sight, the landscape is green and gentle, and worthy of study as a landscape.
I forgot to ask how many sheep were on the farm, but it was lambing time so there were sheep and tiny sheep everywhere. Interestingly, the farmers had scanned their pregnant ewes, and those bearing twins and triplets were on the lower slopes. Those bearing a single lamb were in the paddocks at the top of the hill. There were an extraordinary number of triplets.
The higher I climbed up the farm tracks, the more interesting the photographic encounters I had with the stock.
One aspect that I noticed was that the lambs are quite brutal in getting access to the ewe’s udder, head-butting it vigorously to get the milk flowing. It was also clear that the mother’s first instinct was to flee as a human approached. The lambs on the other hand always wanted a feed before they were ready to run.
As I got higher, the weather cleared and the views out to the South got more spectacular. It was possible to look out beyond Mana Island to the South Island in the far distance.
The land-forms in this area are quite striking, and I have often made pictures of the hillside on the other side of the road. This was the best view yet of the folded hillside.
Another change of scene tomorrow.