Friday, July 12, 2013

More additions.....

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce Berkley, our two year old Labrador.

To be the worlds greatest exponent of the game fetch appears to be his only goal in life and the amount of joy he appears to expunge from this dull and uneventful game will never cease to amaze.

Like so many of the animals that find their way to the lodge, Berkley was unwanted and found wandering down the state highway. He has however, found a home here and we love him....

New arrivals, a mixed bag of success.......

Further to last year's post Elvis and Pricilla the donkeys never made an appearance at the lodge it just never really came together, but we are not necessarily ruling it out for the future.

Egg hatching......... I think it is fair to say that I have, not yet at least completely mastered the art of artificial incubation. Out of the 8 duck eggs we got three ducklings. Two, George and Mildred were just fine, the third, known affectionately as "stumpy" for reasons that are probably self explanatory, yeah not so much. Anyway, despite Stumpy's obvious disadvantages we pushed on with duck swimming lessons, these did not go so well for our Stumpy, who was not, as it turned out, particularly buoyant.

Unfortunately Stumpy did not stay with us too long, he did not drown by the way, we were on hand during said swimming lessons, he just did not really have much of a chance.

It is here I would love to report that George and Mildred lived happily ever after, as it turned out that was not to be the case either. All seemed to be going swimmingly, excuse the pun, George and Mildred pottered around, George always vocal and would follow us around for food they settled in well. The pair started to nest and lay eggs, great we thought.

Khaki Campbell ducks, however, are a tricky bunch and not quick to give up the location of their nest. So in a ridiculous attempt, that only a couple of ex-city folk, living the high life in rural NZ would come up with we launched a surveillance mission. Sharon and I tactically positioned ourselves, suitably stocked with adequate supplies and provisions, including copious amounts of wine, which was indeed the catalyst for said plan, we staked out our own ducks, for several hours as it turns out. We never did locate the nest!!!

Anyway I digress, George able to continually outwit the two half wits that hatched him, was not so successful against the unknown foe. One day he just disappeared.

We eventually found his remains in the paddock still unsure of the fate that befell him.

Mildred remains with us, currently enjoying the large lakes formed in the garden by the continuous rain. We did try to replace George, with George the second, an incredibly handsome, tall Peking but Mildred was unimpressed, chose to ignore and soon he disappeared too! He may have flown away or Mildred is in fact a serial killer!!!! We just cannot be sure.

First things first.....

Sharon and I are very happy as the lodge continues to head in the right direction, we completed our busiest summer yet and things are looking great for the coming year.

In 2012/13 we welcomed back Ian and Judith for their annual visit and Bob, back again, great to see you guys. We saw "shocker" twice and the second time he brought "dobbsy" along, no, I am not making this stuff up, it was great fun guys and Shocker the big fish are waiting for you this season!!

Ward and Margaret look forward to catching up in October.

Once again to all our guests past or future, thank you....

Still here and going strong!!

Winter has once again befallen the lodge and we have, so far, been doing it pretty tough. Two large dumps of snow and rain, oh boy, gallons and gallons of rain which has led to swollen rivers and wide spread flooding and needless to say things are still pretty soggy under foot.

However, I can't say that it has all been bad; the rain has provided several new swimming holes for our duck Mildred, which I will get to shortly along with other new arrivals, minor disasters also on the duck front, power cuts leading to winter bbq's and candle lit dinners and other exciting developments. Somehow Southland seems to produce some of the most beautiful winter days you can imagine and today is one of those days.

I am currently sat on the new bean bags in the cosy guest lounge here at the lodge, feet up, and the sun has just melted behind Castle Hill to the west after a stunningly bright blue day.  Making this the perfect moment to make some long overdue updates to the blog.........enjoy!