Friday, 12 February 2016

Stooks in Winton


We're now parked up at our Winton family's home- though not in our usual spot in the drive. Since our last visit a pesky caravan has taken over the prime parking spot and we've been relegated to the front lawn. Which is just fine as there's a bit of shade to protect us from the warm sun and lovely soft grass under foot. I'm just worried we're going to kill the lawn if we stay too long.

After leaving Monkey Island, we drove straight through to Winton. We were intending to move & stay a couple of nights at Colac Bay which is just over the hill from Monkey Island. But the wind had picked up again and it was raining quite heavily (although that cleared by late morning) so we decided to give Colac Bay a miss and head straight to the family a few days ahead of schedule.

Just outside Winton we came across the unusual sight of paddocks full of oat stooks- it may be more common than I think but I've never seen stooks in NZ before, especially on such a grand scale. The sheaves of oats are stacked like this to protect the unthreashed grain from moisture until it can be picked up and taken in for long-term storage. There were about two dozen flat-deck trailers placed at equal intervals throughout the paddock ready for the grain to be collected.

I returned to the paddock the next day hoping to catch the farmer collecting the grain and was lucky to time it just right. With Winton's historic water tower in the background this shot could have come straight out of early 20th century colonial New Zealand. 

21st century machinery soon shattered that image! 

There were a number of old vehicle wrecks in the paddock and beside a nearby shed that made interesting subjects to shoot... 

Especially when I gave them some rustic treatment...

We'll be here in Winton for a few days and then off to Dunedin to catch up with my sister and family who live in Whangarei; my niece & nephew are returning to uni in the city and their parents are helping them settle back in. It'll be good to see them all again.

Then it'll be back to the front lawn again for a few more days before we head off on our big overseas holiday....


wait for it....

...Stewart Island!


  1. This Blogspot reminds me of my early childhood in the late 30,s early 40,s on farm in Nth. Canterbury were my father was a teamster with some 20 plus draught horses to work and care for.Mature oats were cut and bound by a reaper-binder,stooked by hand and when dry stacked in a conical shaped weather proof stack to be cut by chaff cutter for horse feed at a more convenient time.

    1. Great memories! I think my grandfather did something similar when he lived in North Canterbury :) Now I want to see a reaper-binder at work...

  2. There must be quite a back story on those Stooks & why they are still doing this! My first thoughts were of thatched roofs, there are some people in NZ doing this!
    Interesting blog, no birds will be safe now from your camera on Stewart Island...enjoy.

    1. Yes, I'm sure there is a reason why they are harvesting like this- perhaps money saving by doing it in house without having to get outside harvesters in. And yes we're looking forward to Stewart Island birdlife for sure.

  3. Interesting stook post. I've never seen this as well. Excited to know that you are going to Stewart Island! We haven't been there yet. Would have gone there if the weather forecast for Milford was bleak. Looking forward to see this special island through your eyes! Can 'Out There' follow you there? I once read that all motorhomes and campervans have to be left at Invercargill of Bluff.

    1. Yes, we're looking forward to Stewart Island too. Nine days should give us a good selection of weather! And no 'Out There' won't be going, she will remain parked on the family's front lawn in Winton. We're going to have a solid land base for awhile :)


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