My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Friday, February 17, 2023

This week - Gabrielle visits

Gosh what a week and where to start?
When I wrote my previous post, we knew an ex-tropical cyclone was heading for New Zealand, and in spite of hopes that it might veer off the country, at, apparently over 600kms wide, we knew it was sure to hit.
Master Odie turned three last week and YD changed his birthday party to Saturday instead of Sunday.
We all headed home and that was it as far as getting out and about and socialising was concerned.
Cyclone Gabrielle hit Northland that Saturday night, heavy rain and then more rain. High winds and then more wind.
Trees down, flooding, power outages. Communication outages. Everywhere.
Gabrielle carried on down the country and has caused havoc over large areas of the North Island; although many areas have been severely affected, all eyes and hearts are currently centred on Hawkes Bay on the East Coast which has been particularly severely hammered. There are still a lot of people completely cut off and not yet contacted/contactable.
Although it's been a tough week, thankfully we suffered minimal damage. The farm flooded, trees came down and we were without power for much of the time. We had to dump four milkings worth of milk because we were flooded in and the tanker couldn't get to us, but on the whole we got through it ok.
We did have time to prepare and we were able to make sure all our stock were on high ground, and we had enough feed ahead of the cows to keep them happy.
Our generators were fuelled up and ready to go.
Any trees that toppled (or branches that broke) fell away from powerlines and buildings. 
The floodwaters over the pastures drained away reasonably quickly, and on the whole, the damage from the flood wasn't too bad....we've had higher floods and more fence damage over the years.

Here is the generator on the back of the tractor running the cowshed. Now that our power is back on, the generator is at a friend's place milking his cows -  a lot of people in the region are still without power.
Below you can see that parts of the farm are well above the flood levels. The cows are walking past the house area to a fresh (although sodden) paddock —

By Tuesday afternoon the winds had died down for us and the rain had stopped. There was even a touch of blue sky in that area that night.
This family came over for a walk - they told their mum they wanted to 'see the bridge' - good luck with that! This was actually the first time any of us had gone out walking - often when it rains we all quite enjoy putting on wet weather gear and going exploring. Not this time; it was very scary, and dangerous!
And now we have the clean up.  Yesterday the MOML was able to get to the massive Totara tree that had been uprooted and was resting on the bridge —
Yep, he's over the bridge (that's the worst the sides have been damaged in the 19 years since we built the bridge) and off to see the damage on the other side.
These two thought they were 'helping'; too slippery, sticky and soggy!
So, as you can see, a bit of an unsettling week. 

Take care everyone,
'til next time,
happy stitches,


  1. So glad you are all safe and seemed to have missed the worst of it. It is shocking to see the damage caused. We will be feeling the effects for some time I think, so many crops ruined and wasted.

  2. Just popped back to say, Happy Birthday and what a cool cake!

  3. Sorry about the damage but I'm very thankful you and your family made it safely through the storm.

  4. I was thinking of all my friends and folk in NZ.
    Thankful no one was hurt and that you only had minimal damage.

    Great you got to celebrate Odies BD with his fabulous cake.

  5. omigosh awful and such devastation...hope things settle down soon...

  6. Thank you for sharing this - I have been reading about your quilts and by extension about your farm and life there for a while. When I saw the (measly) paragraph in the paper about the storm in NZ I wondered if you had been effected. Glad it wasn't any worse for you all; so many are suffering.


  7. to see the damage and know you escaped the worse of it is making me wonder what the worst looked like. As usual the US news showed no photos that I recall seeing. I would love for the news to report a little more on news around the world. Glad you are all ok and now must wait out the water to go away

  8. So glad you had time to prepare and that the damage wasn't too horrendous at your place. Thank you for sharing the photos - they clearly show the massive amounts of water. Best wishes with the ongoing cleanup!

  9. Great news that you are all safe and cleaning up and able to help others around you--
    I was worried about all of you--so thanks for the update--and that birthday cake is so cute!!
    hugs, di

  10. Good to see you safe..and successful celebrations!
    It is so sad to see all the devastation.
    We were very fortunate, being near Hamilton that only a few trees were down..but have seen far more trees down around Cambridge.
    A pity that you lost a Totara. Most around here seem to be English Oaks that have succumbed as here they grow much faster and the tops seem to outgrow the roots.

  11. I had wondered if you were in Gabrielles path, and you were. Although you have damage to the farm and paddocks, I'm so pleased your home was not damaged. What a time it was, although we were watching from afar, down in the South Island. The terrible devastation everywhere will take such a long time to repair.

  12. Very glad you are all safe... what a lot of mess to have to deal with.... big hugz


  13. So glad you are all safe and the damage not severe on the farm. After relentless rain and very heavy winds for a few days here in Auckland, we were happy to finally wake to a sunny day on Wednesday:)
    We are okay, but I feel for those not so fortunate.

  14. What a relief that you weren’t affected as badly as some, despite quite a bit of damage and inconvenience. I hope it doesn’t take too long for the clean up. You were lucky to sneak the birthday celebrations in last Saturday. Cute cake.

  15. Good to see you were all safe, even if soggy! That is a huge tree the MOYL had to remove. Odie's cake is fantastic! Some people around Hawkes Bay have certainly been hit hard.

  16. It all looks awful - glad you had warning and were able to prepare somewhat. You are all safe which is the main thing and your animals. My cousin has a holiday home near Karekare - still standing but she says many building have been devastated. Stay safe. xx

  17. That had to be a terrifying week for everyone. The cleanup will take quite awhile, but glad you are all safe. Happy birthday to Odie. That’s a really fun and creative cake.

  18. So glad you are okay and suffered minimal damage. These drastic weather events seem to be happening more often. We had a Deroche event last year for the first time in history. We are still cutting up the downed trees. Cleanup always takes a while.

  19. Thank goodness you and your family and animals survived okay. What a storm! We are coming into tornado season where I live in the South U.S. We had a warning this past week where I spent several hours in the basement but all was well and no tornado. I hope you can get everything back to normal soon. So sorry you had to get rid of all that down the drain; literally! I wish you the best from now on!

  20. Glad you fared as well as you did, pity about the loss of milk, didn't read much in our news either, unless I was too preoccupied to notice?

  21. We have been watching the news with all the reports of the cyclone from NZ. It was frightening to hear about the flooding and landslides as well as the wind damage. It seems both our countries just seem to go from one problem to the next.
    I am pleased your family are all okay. I know there is a lot of work to do to get your farm back where it should be, but I am pleased your homes are safe.
    Best wishes to all of you in the recovery effort.

  22. thankfully you made it thru ok...........

  23. Happy birthday Odie....super cake! So glad you came through it all ok. Bewt wishes for the clean up and the hardwork to come. Thinking of uou all,xx


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