Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Recovering......

.........from a week of hell on earth.  We saw the sun for the first time in a week on Saturday, and a more welcome sight I've never seen.  Words can't describe the devastation, and it is so widespread in the bottom corner of the South Island of NZ, that no farm has been immune.

It wasn't just the severity of the storm - it isn't unheard of here to have a brief snow shower early in lambing - it was the prolonged duration of this storm that did the damage, a whole week with no reprieve from firstly the heavy snow, then hail, sleet, more snow, rain and freezing winds, and right in the busiest week of lambing.  Newborn lambs didn't stand a chance, nor did many ewes, who succumbed to 'sleepy sickness' and other metabolic problems either late in their pregnancy or just following lambing.  Every day was like groundhog day, knowing the storm was not going to ease, and knowing there was very little to be done to save our livestock.  Our farm has a lot of natural shelter and of planted shelter belts, but this was little use once there was a foot of snow on the ground, with ewes not able to get out to feed, most of our dead animals were in sheltered areas.

The lamb losses on our farm are in the many, many hundreds, but some farms have lost thousands of lambs and hundreds of ewes.  We probably won't know the true extent of the loss until tailing(docking) time next month.  While dairy farmers may not have as many animals dying as the sheep farmers, some have faced a critical shortage of supplementary feed, and cows have suffered from the severely cold conditions.
We've been cleaning up for the last few days, and trying to get things back on track, for what is now left of lambing season.  I will admit though, that my positive attitude from my last post didn't last more than a couple of days! It's been heartbreaking, and we will feel the effects of this storm for a long time to come, but farmers are pretty resilient folk, and we don't go down without a fight. 

Will leave you with a few pics of what my garden was up to before the storm..........a few lettuce plants and some flowers starting to bloom ...............


Please accept my apologies if I didn't reply to your comments from last week, or get the chance to stop by and visit blogs lately, things will start to return to normal here soon. This isn't quite what I had envisaged for my 50th post, but that is just the way life is at the moment!  Please know I love reading your comments, and the kindness and good wishes sent last week were very, very much appreciated and cherished.


Till next time, thanks for stopping by today ..............Nicky

26 comments:

Michelle said...

My heart goes out to you and your family, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Theresa said...

I'm so sorry for the terrible time you and your family are having Nicky and I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Thimbelina said...

How heartbreaking Nicky..... I hope things turn around for you soon and it doesn't take you too long to recover from your losses. Thinking of you...Hugs

Maree: said...

So Sorry to hear about the Loss of your Animals...Hope things pick up for you soon...sending cyber Hugs.
cheers

~ Stitchin Sweet Sue ~ said...

So very sorry Nicky, Mother Nature can be very cruel, thoughts are with you from New York...

Annie said...

Nicky, I'm so sorry to hear about this. Sending good thoughts your way for better conditions.

Sylvia said...

I am so sorry to hear about this natural disaster that has struck so many of you. I just hope that all of you are able to bounce back soon and recover from this blow.

Robyn said...

Nicky, hopefully at docking time the losses aren't as great as you've feared and you can restock by natural progression and not need to purchase replacement stock. Cleanups for this type of thing are tough on emotions so do be kind to yourselves even though Mother Nature wasn't. Farming can be a bit like shooting yourself in the foot at times :(.

Vinniey said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your farm's losses. {{{Hugs}}} I hope everything will be back on track soon.

Sally said...

Nicky I am so sorry. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way.

ohiofarmgirl said...

How horribly heartbreaking!!!! Here in the US we have not heard any news of this storm. My father-in-law raised sheep for years but has since retired so all the sheep are gone now but I remember lambing season! Blessings, Dianntha

Tricia said...

Oh, bless your heart, Nicky. My heart breaks for you. I can only imagine how discouraging this is for you & your family. I'll be praying for you!!

Melanie said...

I'm so sorry that you've had to endure this devastation. I hope that spring comes quickly for you now and that it brings you a little hope. Take care of yourself and family.

Raewyn said...

I'm pleased you have had some sunshine at last. It seems no good news has been coming from your end of the country and my heart has been aching for you and the other farmers down there. Sending you best wishes and lots of positive thoughts.

Little Kiwi Chick said...

Aww Nicky, I am so sorry for the huge loss you and your family are experiencing on the farm :o( It is so awful to think of those poor little lambs and their mothers dying out there in the elements... the weather can be so cruel. Keeping you in my thoughts & prayers.

By Hoki Quilts said...

Oh Nicky, obviously I had read my emails before my blog. I can see now how you guys were affected.
Heavens above what is happening to our little spot of paradise that we call NZ. Earthquakes, floods, snow storms - heck what else is to be thrown this way?
Keep smiling, keep warm
hugs
Miche'le

Blu said...

So sorry to hear about the awful losses.
Hugs and prayers.

Chookyblue...... said...

farming is such a sad job at times.......so sorry to hear about your stock losses........hope the remainder recover well.......

Karen 'n Chris said...

Such a heartbreaking way to move into Spring. Hoping that things get better quickly for you.
Hang in there. Hugs for you all from across the gap.
Karen n Chris

Christine said...

I'm so very sorry to hear that the storm was so damaging, Nicky. My thoughts are with you and your family that your farm can recovery quickly.

Rowyn said...

I thought of you when I saw the news the other night and they were showing how bad it was down south. Sorry to hear your farm has been so badly affected. I hope the sun comes out and things warm up for you soon.

Siobhan said...

Oh Nicky, I am so, so sorry. Lots of thoughts and prayers going out to you and your family as you deal with the repercussions of the storm.

BubzRugz said...

Sorry to hear all this - farming can be as harsh as it can be magical...... all the best to you and your family....
Hugz

Lynda said...

Thank you for letting us know how you are going Nicky. I've been thinking of you each time I heard a news report.

Daffycat said...

Oh what a terrible situation, Nicky. I'm so sorry Mother Nature played so cruel this Spring. *hugs*

Leisa said...

Thinking of you. I had heard there had been snow down your way, but had no idea it was so bad. The news report I saw here just showed some silly horse race being run in it. I hope that the damage to your farm and stock will soon recover when Spring finally reappears. The weather is upsidedown here too! But beautiful rain to our drought stricken land. My family has beautiful wheat and barley for the first time since 2002. I looks like your children had fun though.

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