You know, I am very fond of sheep, especially of lambs. But it is true, most of them are really stupid... The sheep you see on this photo were a kind of record runners on one of our trips to the Woolshed Creek carpark. Shortly after the turn from the Ashburton Gorge Road they stood on the road – but instead of just stepping beside the road and making way they ran in front of our car forever. And I mean: until we parked at the carpark some two or three kilometres later.
Then the sheep ran back to where they had appeared in front of our car – and raced back to the carpark in front of the next car. And so it went on – probably the whole day. They still arrived in regular intervals when we came back to the carpark after our walk.
I am not sure if the sheep were just friendly and not purely stupid, and wanted to welcome the visitors, and show them the way…
If it was pure dumbness it was good that it was not a very nice day, so not a lot of people decided to go for a walk at the Woolshed Creek, so the sheep did not get chased back and forth too many times…
My special friends (5): New Zealand woodpigeon
The beautiful woodpigeons are majestic birds, measuring about 50 centimetres. If they fly over you they can give you a fright, as with their large wings they can make a scary noise. Their noisy swish of wings is very distinctive. When I was new in New Zealand and had my first experiences with woodpigeons I thought something or somebody would attack me from the air and wrapped my arms around my head LOL
They love to sit on high branches and scan the area for food. They are herbivorous and mainly feed on fruit. Their favourite fruit is miro, tawa, puriri, kahikatea, coprosma, nikau palm, elderberry and plums. When the fruit supply is scarce they also feed on flowers and leaves of kowhai, tree lucerne, broom and clover, etc. So you will not only find them feeding in trees but also on paddocks. I once saw 15 woodpigeons at a time feeding on a paddock near Lake Matheson on the West Coast (near Fox Glacier).
The most distinctive features of the woodpigeon are the striking red beak, feet and eyes. Their head, throat, upper breast and upperparts are metallic green with a purplish sheen and bronze reflections. A sharp line separates the upper breast from the white lower breast, belly and legs.
The Latin name of the woodpigeon (New Zealand pigeon) is Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae.
Maori names are Kereru (the most common one), Kukupa and parea.
The woodpigeons were an important protein source for early Maori. They caught them with very clever lassos that strangled the birds when they drank from bird troughs. You can see such constructions in the museum at Okains Bay on Banks Peninsula.
before the daylight..
flocks of sheep in perfect harmony with nature, often there is no other soul around and you ask, who is looking after them, I don't know the answer to that...nobody during the day. lately, whole flocks have been stolen of the paddock
"the Gateway to the Skifields"
a rural area, down to earth people, the gateway to the skifields of Mount Hutt. playground for Christchurch Cityslickers, around 95km or 1 1/2hour drive through the greenery. Mount Hutt is arguably the best Ski area in the South Island...
Queenstown the more posh, full of tourist and quite expensive.
and there is more to the region.fishing at the Rakaia, Hotair Balloning, Skydiving, Shotover jets and for the more sedate....walking the Rakaia walkways, picnic in the fresh air or golfing at the Terrace Downs, one of NZ best Golfcourses...not so cheap I must add. US$55.- per round. but it is an int. Championship 72 hole Course