All About Pigs

One little pig

All About Pigs

Pigs are highly social and intelligent animals.

Because of the similarities between pigs and humans, pigs are used for human medical research.

A pig uses its snout to dig into the soil to find food, has a very acute sense organ, and because of the excellent sense of smell, they are used to find truffles in many European countries.

Pigs have panoramic vision it is thought they have no eye accommodation

Where's my Mum, I want a feed

Pigs have small lungs in relation to their body size and are thus more susceptible than other domesticated animals to fatal bronchitis and pneumonia.

Pigs also can acquire human influenza.

Because of their relative lack of sweat glands, pigs often control their body temperature using behavioral thermoregulation. Wallowing, which often consists of coating the body with mud.

Older pigs will consume three to five gallons of water per day.

Sows may savage their own piglets, often if they become severely stressed so that maybe what happened in this situation, as the piglet were not ours, it was given to us knowing we would spend the time needed to keep it alive.

I am a coke bottle baby.

Pigs can be aggressive in defending themselves and their young, as my young grandson found out when he went into the shed to have a look at the piglets, lucky for him we had a hay baler in the corner of the shed, he managed to get behind it, lucky as I don’t know what would have happened to him, but he never when near any pig after that even though they would always follow anyone thinking they would get a feed.

He is an adult now with children of his own, we often bring up the subject and have a good laugh, though it wasn’t funny at the time.

I feel full now

Domestic pigs are intelligent and can be trained to perform numerous tasks and tricks, you don’t even need to train them for some things.

I had nine piglets one time to rear as their mother died at birth, they were reared indoors as day old piglets, needing to be kept warm and feed regularly all night long, I had a radio going all the time, those piglets never grunted or made noise like a pig, as they had never heard the mother pig, but those piglets could sing beautiful tunes just like the music they had heard on the radio, they even spoke human language that you could understand.

When they got older they were put in the shed with a heat lamp above them, every morning we would put them in a wheelbarrow and take them to a cage pen to feed on grass etc, wish I had a photo of those piglets sitting in the wheelbarrow with very little room to move, they never jump off, sometimes I think it is easier to rear piglets than bringing up teenagers, at least they never answered back. Ha ha.

Happy little pig

Pigs are not a dirty animal as everyone says, they will use one corner of the building to pass motions etc, it was never scattered all over the building like most of the other animals, they keep their beds clean, even the piglets never soiled their bed.

Quote to end this post   Winston Churchill famously said that “Dogs look up to man. Cats look down to man. Pigs look us straight in the eye and see an equal.”

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Photo Credit  –  A pig trained to find truffles.

Usnea Lichen Growing on Trees

Usnea Licken on Plum Trees

There has been a problem with the trees in the garden for some time now.

So I decided to do some study about this lichen, which I did not know the name of when I started researching.

Having researched this subject thoroughly, I still believe it does kill trees that it host on, as I have the proof of dying trees for the last ten or more years.

Of all the sites I have visited they all say that lichen should be viewed positively, their presence tells us that we live in a healthy environment and they give any garden an established look.

It is said that “lichens prefer areas with clean air, so are more common in rural districts” that may be true as we live in the high country with bush growing all around us and very little traffic, so if Usnea is very sensitive to air pollution, especially sulfur dioxide, the air is clear of that.

There is a lot of lichen growing in the bush reserve which surrounds our farm, also which I consider isn’t good, the possums are coming from the bush into the garden, if it is spread by spores they will be carrying it on their feet, therefore, that will be settling the spores on the trees.

If not then how does it start growing?

It is said that its spread by the wind.

I have found out that this gray-green fuzzy stuff covering many of my trees is one of the gentlest yet strongest immune tonics in the herb world.

But that does not make me feel happy about this lichen as it is unsightly in the garden.

The growth of algae, lichens, and moss may be more common on plants lacking vigor, so their presence could indicate that attention is needed, particularly on old fruit trees, in saying that this, the photo below was a very health plum tree until the lichen start taking over and it died.

Dead Plum Tree

Dead Plum Tree

Three Questions I have researched about Old Mans Beard – Usnea

  • What is Usnea?

Usnea is a lichen which is an organism that has characteristics of a Fungus and Algae.

  • How to tell if it is Usnea Lichen?

Elastic Thread in Usnea Lichen

Break the stalk of Usnea (thallus). If there is an elastic, white cord running down the center, then it is Usnea.

  • Does Usnea grow from spores?

By searching this question I have made the conclusion that it must be spores that nest onto the bark and germinate to start the beginning of the Usnea growth.

Lichen on Maple Tree

Lichen on  Maple Tree

By my study, everything is pointing against Usnea killing trees.

I do not agree.

My guess is lichen growing on trees is harmful to the trees, even though they are saying that the lichen does not extract nourishment from the trees when entering the inner bark and clinging to the tree branches where food is available from the tree.

My garden looks unsightly and I’m slowly removing the trees, but more seem to have lichen growing on them every month, I have tried pulling it off of them on the young trees but it continues on growing.

You can see by the photo below that Usnea does not need trees as a host as it is growing from an old basketball ring and surviving very well, it has the sun on it all day when the sun shines.

Lichen growing on Metal

Lichen growing on Metal.

The Cherry tree below is only about five years old and the lichen has already started growing on the trunk.

Cherry Tree

What are your thought’s about Usnea Lichen?

Have you seen it before, or do you have it growing where you live?

It hard to believe that it grows on sick or dying trees due to the pre-existing loss of canopy leaves.

If that is true it won’t be long before I have no trees.

Appreciate any comments.

One Word Meme

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One Word Memeone word (which is ironically two)

Started at Lori’s blog (As the Fates Would Have It) to play with! It’s called One Word Meme and is originally from shelter life photography.

You can use only ONE WORD to answer each phrase. Let’s play!

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your hair? grey
3. Your dad? heaven
4. Your other half? reading
5. Your favorite food? ice-cream
6. Your dream last night? complicated
7. Your favorite drink? coffee
8. Your dream/goal? animals
9. What room you are in? lounge
10. Your hobby? Crocheting
11. Your fear? rain
12. Your home away from home? farm
13. Where were you last night? bed
14. Something that you aren’t? hairdresser
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. Wish list item? happiness
17. Where did you grow up? Taranaki
18. Last thing you did? breakfast
19. What are you wearing now? clothes
20. Your TV? hate
21. Your pets? animals
22. Friends? rare
23. Your life? focused
25. Missing someone? grandchild
26. Favorite breakfast food? toast
27. Something you’re not wearing? hat
28. Your favorite movie w/one-word title? Jaws
29. Your favorite color? mauve
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Cried lately? no
32. Who will repost this? everyone
33. One place that you go to over and over? supermarket
34. One person, who messages me regularly? daughter
35. My favorite place to eat? home

That was a fun! If you’d like to join in, snatch the questions and link back to me AND https://promptlings.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/one-word-meme/

Please share and go go go!

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#WQWWC – Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – Autumn

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#WQWWC – Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – Autumn

Quote for  “Autumn”.

“A withered maple leaf has left its branch and is falling to the ground; its movements resemble those of a butterfly in flight. Isn’t it strange? The saddest and deadest of things is yet so like the gayest and most vital of creatures?”

Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

Thought’s of Autumn 2016

Autumn has gone for 2016 in New Zealand.

Just thinking back it seems to have been many moons ago as winter has been and gone, we are now waiting with open arms for the warmer weather, spring bulbs are late this year, magnolia trees are just starting to blossom.

A little memory of Autumn has stayed in my mind because of the photo above.

The Maple trees were beautiful this year the Autumn color was brilliant.

Autumn linger long into what was supposed to be winter, leaves were slow to leave their hold on the bushes, it’s as if nature has completely changed in 2016.

The grass hasn’t actually stopped growing right through winter, cows have had plenty of grass and all the large bales of Hay we harvest last summer are still not feed out.

The reason I picked the quote above was most of the Autumn leaves on the Maple trees didn’t really fall this year they just wilted and stayed on the trees for a long time until the strong winds cleared the bushes, what did fall I saw the birds scratching looking for bugs under them, but they didn’t seem to find many, it seemed as thought the worms and bugs weren’t even available this year for the robins, which are very tame, you just about walk on them as you are cleaning up the leaves.

So that was Autumn in New Zealand, I will be interested to see how Autumn progresses in your part of the world.

writersquote wednesday challenge

It’s easy to join in:

  • Find a quote you like that goes with the theme of the week.
  • Use that quote either in or as the title of some form of writing such as a flash fiction piece, poem, or pretty much anything as long as you include the quote and make sure to note who said it.
  • Then do a Ping Back or paste your URL into the comments of this post so we can all visit you.

This week’s theme is: Autumn

The Blogging Meetup Weekly Wednesday Prompt 6/01/2016

Trees Hagley Farm

The Blogging Meetup Weekly Wednesday Prompt 6/01/2016 

#WeeklyWednesdayPrompts  Here are the prompts:

  1. Dream – Write something inspired by a recent dream you had… good, funny or a scary dream… just write.
  2. Age – What is the most difficult thing about being your age?
  3. Legacy – What do you want to leave behind when you’re no more?

I’m a little late writing, I have picked this one.

Age – What is the most difficult thing about being your age?

In New Zealand in the last couple of weeks, we have had very wet stormy weather.

The result is that two large Blackwood trees fell across the fences.

The weather cleared this week so from Wednesday to Friday my husband and I have spent three days chainsawing and burning all the rubbish from the trees, there were seven large loads of firewood taken back to the shed to dry out for future fires (at the moment they are too green to burn.

Now that’s where the above title comes in, ” Age – What is the most difficult thing about being your age”?

My husband is nearly eighty I’m seventy-six in September to us there is no limit to what we can do, only got a little slower, age has nothing to do with not being able to do whatever is needed to do in life, to us, it’s all about mind over matter and attitude to life, you are never too old as long as you have lived a healthy life and are in good health, last May I had ACC Cancer I’m still under a specialist, but I won’t let that stop me from living and doing what is needed to live our life.

Yes, today we are both rather tired but it’s Queen’s Birthday weekend in New Zealand, Monday a holiday, so that’s what we will do relax in our home in town.

Baling Hayledge

Sunday we will go back to the farm and move stock into a new paddock for feed, very soon we will be feeding them hay ledge which involves a Quad and trailer which we open the late bales of hay ledge and peel off the feed from the large bales, put it on the trailer and feed it to the cows, admittedly we only have 65 animals to feed as we sold stock in the autumn, we had 150 animals during the summer.

There are no limits to us in old age, we have a farm and animals to look after when we can no longer work we will sell the farm.

Happy Days Living.

The Blogging Meetup Weekly Wednesday Prompt 5/25/2016

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The Blogging Meetup Weekly Wednesday Prompt 5/25/2016

Imagine you were someones shadow for a day, what would you see?

This post is a little different to the prompt  question, for The Blogging Meetup Weekly Prompt.

I have gone back sixty-five years of my life and I’m living in the shadows of my life as a child.

Those were the days when I was happy, not a care in the world, living as an innocent child, playing amongst the trees, climbing up the branches, sitting in the grass making daisy chains with my sisters, (I had three), to see who could make the longest chain.

Catching grubs that were down holes in the soil with a piece of grass stuck down their hole, the grub would start eating the stalk on the grass, and we would pull out the grub, my sisters and I would see who could pull out the most grubs.

We never had toys like the children of today we made our own games, the days would go by quickly running around the farm, watching rabbits go into their burrows as we came across them in the long grass.

You could most likely say that we were poor, but my parents in those early years usually gave us something nice to eat for a special occasion, like birthdays and Christmas we would have home-made ice-cream, but no toys we got clothes like a new dress or shoes something that was essential to our everyday needs.

The picture above caught my eye when looking for a photo, I would have loved a pretty dress like that, but I never got one like that, I was thankful for any dress which my mother made, she would sit down with her treadle singer machine and make our dresses, she was always making aprons which we would wear over our dresses to keep them clean.

It wasn’t until I was eleven years old that my life went in a new direction and my childhood changed, I had to grow up and almost become an adult overnight.

I will continue writing more in another post, I’m feeling a little tired this morning, didn’t have a very good night’s sleep.

Blessings to all my readers.

#WeeklyWednesdayPrompts)

Writers Quote Wednesday – Sir Edmund Hillary

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The last rays of sunlight on Mount Everest on May 5, 2007. Photo Credit

Writers Quote Wednesday & BeWow Challenge.

My Quote: “It is not the mountain that we conquer, but ourselves”

Sir Edmund Hillary

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Who was Sir Edmund Hillary?

Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (20 July 1919 – 11 January 2008)

He was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist.

On 29 May 1953, Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Mount Everest, also known in Nepal as Sagarmāthā and in Tibet as Chomolungma, is Earth‘s highest mountain.  Its peak is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level.

Following his ascent of Everest, Hillary devoted most of his life to helping the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, which he founded.

He was a very shy man, so I wonder if the above quote made a difference in his life also, I think it did as he had many accomplishments in his life.

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A man to this day still has his portrait on the New Zealand five dollar note.

He was named one of the most 100 influential people of the 20th century.

An event I will never forget in 1975, was the death of his wife and daughter.

While on route to join Hillary in the village of Phaphlu, where he was helping to build a hospital, Louise his wife and Belinda their youngest daughter, (only six) were killed in a plane crash near Kathmandu airport shortly after take-off.

He remarried, June Mulgrewin 1989.

He is survived by a daughter and son, Peter Hillary also a climber, summiting Mount Everest in 1990.

In May 2002 Peter climbed Everest as part of a 50th-anniversary celebration.

I think what I consider the most important thing that Sir Edmund Hillary did was the founding of the Himalayan Trust, in 1960 and led it until his death in 2008.

Through his efforts, many schools and hospitals were built in this remote region of the Himalayas.

A man who not only conquered a mountain, but a name to be remembered worldwide.

He had a state funeral on 22 January 2008