Category Archives: Uncategorized

2014 weaners off to market

Looking forward to autumn in the high country with the cows feeling their new babies inside, crisp misty mornings and reading by the fireside at night with the dogs curled up inside.

loading the weaner calves

loading the weaner calves

Thanks to all the Bellbrook Friends who came to the party over Easter. We had twenty for lunch on saturday.

cool night and morning

cool night and morning, nets partly off.(photo Claudia Terstappen)

Crushing2014Pinot 001HarvestPicnic2014 001

Crushing and destemming the Pinot Noir.  Harvest Picnic by the billabong.



Beautiful autumn, season of mellow fruitfulness

bellbrook autumn2014 001nature completes its cycle and we have caught up with some rain. About 130mm now since christmas. It took a few weeks for the grass to grow but now the cows are happy even if the grapes are saying too much too much! The nets are on and we can’t fight the mildew except by pruning the bad bunches with some of the unripe bunches.
I think we may be making some verjus this year.

Wild Dog

Wild Dog
She was as interested in my reactions as I was myself
There was a flicker of recognition that might save her life.
How far back in her memory is that connection with man,
Escaped from close contact, lurking down little used tracks
Living on road kill and culled ferals. She knew what I was thinking
About the power of life and death, choices that exist
Between instinct and knowledge, sixty seconds of possible outcomes.
I lifted the drop gate and said, ‘today you go free, but remember
To kill only for food and to give thanks when you do’.
Relieved that my decision was made, I realised that
It might easily have gone a less poetic way.
Was this the last of the blood letting? Probably not,
ewes normally with twins, were left with one, lambs killed
and not all eaten. Eventually someone got her, can’t have loose dogs.

The Painters View

The Painters View (memory of Fred Williams)

The horizon is sometimes there,
even a curved reference dividing
sky breath from earth body.
The colour of soil visible through the trees
which float above the translucent earth.
Fallen trunks like abandoned ideas.
Scale given by the stab of a brush,
there, and there, the mind of the artist
mimicking nature’s random purpose.
Years of comings and goings, drought,
fire and the rivers wriggling on their bed,
the silent music of a complex land.
Stories of water, sand, and fragile life
in the timeworn composition, the cantata
of the everyday is painted like
notes on natures blackboard.
The barely seen presence of man and animals
in a wide and colourful landscape,
they are there, not forgotten,
trees and rocks all significant
in the luminosity of this canvas world.

I am not pablo neruda

I am not Pablo Neruda

How brief and terrible was my desire.
You existed because of my thirst
confusing me, muy camino indeciso.
I might stop loving you, little by little,
but I am not Pablo Neruda
I cannot measure a little of infinity.
You are not mine, but part of me
is attached to the memory of you.
Your body and proportion my eyes see
but I know the frailty of belonging
to the people you meet, awareness of possibility
and small intimations of the heart.
Not in a corner will I place you so I might
keep you prisoner with my peasant sword,
you are the air and my sheltering sky.