Ashburton. City of Trees. I do love this place. The first time we came through here it was getting on to evening and we had a kabab from a street food van. It was our first kabab and definitely the best we’ve ever had since then. The van was still there but only open for lunch and ownership has changed. We have not had one this time.
Judy and I took a long walk through the city garden. There’s nothing like trees for dappled shade and a peaceful ambience. Some of the trees were enormous. The park established 150 years ago. Others trees were planted more recently. Some notable ones with memorial plaques were for Florence Nightingale (1910), Mother Teresa (1997, and in rememberance of Peggy Noble and Susan Cleveland who were shot and killed while working at the local Work and Income office on the 1st of September 2014.
A view through the park.
This is a big tree.
A couple of my favourite flowers.
An interesting sculpture in park. (See thoughts below)
As you travel over the Hakatere river near the south side of Ashburton a large number of Black Billed Gulls can be seen with many young. The black billed is easily confused with the red billed gull, especially when immature. The black billed mainly breed on the Braided Rivers in the South Island and until recently was only found in the South Island. They can be found far inland. The Red Billed mainly breed on the coast and outlying islands.
Black Billed Gulls and their young on the (Ashburton) Hakatere River.
We also went down to the Hakatere River Mouth, mainly to sus out a place to stay in our caravan. The wind was blowing in hard and there were signs warning against swimming. We decided not to camp there. However we did see these cribs. (South Island name, baches in the North Island)
Also at the beach was a notice advising it was a breeding area for the endangered Banded Dotterel, Wrybill, and Black Fronted Tern. The wind was blowing so hard that I couldn’t keep the binoculars still enough to see any birds.
Judy and I spent a lovely day visiting my Great Niece, her husband, and family out on their pastoral farm. We explored the countryside around and visited the Rakaia Gorge. Truly a remarkable place with a caravan park just up from the river. Looks like a good place to stay at some time in the future.
Looking down at the Rakaia River and Gorge.
When we arrived back at the farm a crop of barley was being harvested. I was offered a ride in the Combine Harvester and in the tractor pulling the trailer. I was off like a shot.
That’s me running up the ladder to get into the Harvester. This machine runs through the barley/wheat etc, cuts it off near the ground and feeds it into the bowels of the header where the grain is separated from the stalks. The stalks exit out the back where they will be bailed and sold as stock feed etc. The grain is held in the hopper behind the cab. The hopper holds about 8 tonne. It is then transferred into the trailer and transported back to the grain silo. The harvester I was in has cameras at each end of the header and the video guides the harvester along each leg of the cut. The newer harvester (not shown) is GPS guided.
The trailer. Note the windrows of stalks and in the background the standing barley.
Grain pouring out of the trailer and into the auger where it is fed into the grain silo.
We have been in Ashburton for four nights now and will move on tomorrow.