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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Down on the farm

I've posted about sheep and goats here and here  in earlier blogs, but I still have a few more farm animal photographs to use in response to the Sepia Saturday prompt for this week. This first photo is from my mother's second photo album that covers the 1940s and is captioned "The Bull and Uncle Bill". I think the bull is on the right of the picture. Uncle Bill was Daniel William Morrison (1877-1956), older brother of my mother Jean's father John Morrison. Bill married Violet and they had seven sons and three daughters. He and his family farmed in the Rai Valley, located in the Marlborough district in the northern part of the South Island of New Zealand. Bill and John's parents migrated from County Cork to new Zealand in 1875 and apparently Bill became known as Billy Ireland, although he was in fact born in New Zealand. I know Jean enjoyed going up from Christchurch to visit her country cousins and their families, but I imagine that as a city girl she would have been wary of getting too close to that bull. 

The next photograph is a little later, and is labelled Holiday at Locksley Downs, Christmas 1951.
My parents were visiting Dad's newly married younger sister Nella and her husband Bert,  who at the time was working as a shearer on this New Zealand sheep station. It shows my father Ian with a friendly lamb,  and a sheep dog beside him keeping a watchful eye on the flock in the distance. Apart from the fact that this is a lamb rather than a goat and that Dad is not in uniform, it is not a bad match for the prompt.  Dad is looking suitably rural and seems to be wearing a vest with an interesting pattern under his shirt. He passed away in 2000 but would have turned 93 this Saturday 5 August. RIP Dad, 1924-2000.

Fast forward to recent times and here are our daughter Laura and myself in 2015 with some calves that she and her husband were raising on their country property near the town of Bunyip in Gippsland Victoria, about an hour away from Melbourne where we live.

And thanks to Laura, here is a very recent photograph of our granddaughter Lucy feeding the next generation of calves, who were born on the property two or three months ago. Little Lucy loves being outside helping with farm tasks!

Click here for more blogs prompted by Sepia Saturday #379


  1. Lovely family memories on the farm. The photograph of you and your daughter could have been taken here in the Scottish Borders, which has similar landscape - and weather, judging by the way you are well wrapped up - not our usual image of sunny Australia!

    1. It's not always warm and sunny, at least not in southern parts of Australia and that photo would have been in winter, which it is again now. Today's expected maximum is just 13°C - distinctly chilly!

  2. Love your father with the lamb! VERY good match to the prompt photo...and that lamb's face tells a story in itself!

  3. Though I know farms can be all vegan without livestock, there is something primal about animals on a farm. This past week I was traveling through rural Virginia and Maryland and took note of the different animals we saw. More beef than dairy cattle, a few horses but no heavy workhorses, and only rarely small flocks of sheep and goats.

  4. Yea the difference between city &farm is huge ( my dad came from a large family of farmers in Eastern Poland).
    A splendid photo of your Father.Cool shirt & Top !

  5. Love the shot of your dad with the lamb. I have around 6 or 7 goats living on the property behind mine. Cute little babes. I know sheep are supposed to be incredibly stupid, but I like to give them the benefit of the doubt. Goats are just borderline crazy.

  6. Horses and cattle are too big for me. Goats were just the right size.

  7. A true farm girl at heart. I was raised on a farm watching and helping take care of many animals. Good and bad things happen when caring for animals but being responsible to them was always the most important.

  8. Lucky Lucy! The photo of Ian is spot on I’d say. Something going on in the background too - just like the prompt picture.