Oh yeah people! Yet ANOTHER friggin’ gale passed our way. In October, we were hit with strong winds that brought down heavy willow tree branches. Then last week, not one but TWO nights of howling winds. The second night was the worst. We were woken up about 4.00am by swirling blasts that shook the house.

We had seen the weather report earlier in the evening and thought we’d best prepare ourselves (again). I never stable the horses in high winds because there are too many trees surrounding the stables and tack room area. I don’t want them locked in their stalls, frightened by the sound of tree branches falling on the roof. I make sure they are in a safe area of the property and leave them to do what they do best – turn their hindquarters facing the wind, with tail clamped and heads down.

The power went off around 4.30am for a couple of hours. Zeph and Zsa Zsa were safely tucked up in their crates, with plenty of blankets on top to protect the crates if windows blew in. The house shook, rattled and rolled. I truly thought the roof would come off. There’s no way you can sleep when these North West winds hit. You try and nod off but then a huge gust smacks into the house and it creaks and groans.

Sunday was Clearing Up Again day. Huge branches had fallen and a few crashed into electric fences. The horses were more than happy to supervise the cleaning up. Quite a few willow branches landed in the stream – the horses have free access to this stream via a slight incline. I found them with their hooves plonked in the water and stretching their necks across to the other side of the embankment to gobble the willow.

No sooner had the winds started than they stopped and all was eerily quiet. Spring is NW winds season but it seems that this year and last year the winds have been unusually fierce. Climate change (it’s real people) is resulting in patterns of extreme weather. Whether it’s anthropogenic or a natural, planetary cycle is a debate that will go on. Meanwhile, the world will experience more severe droughts, hotter temperatures, more tornadoes, hurricanes and fierce wind patterns.

So we continue looking for a new place to live. We have decided on the North Island but it’s still up for grabs. Anywhere in NZ can experience wild weather but we’re hopeful of finding a tradeoff – somewhere that is pleasant with minimal weather issues. We often wonder about a return to Australia but we prefer NZ. The search continues!

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Saffy anticipates a HUGE willow feast.

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Large willow branch crashed down.

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The mares having breakfast!

 

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