Sometimes in the road there’s a sign
It warns of what’s down the line.
But if you see the sheep,
Your horn you don’t beep.
And the deer have a very good dine.
Synopsis: I’m a family practitioner from Sioux City, Iowa. Honoring a one year non-compete clasue, I’m on sabbatical, having adventures and working in out-of-the-way places. Right now I’m winding up an assignment in Waikari, while I live in Amberley, in New Zealand’s North Island.
New Zealanders call a group of sheep a mob, not a herd. The law plainly states that sheep on a roadway have the right-of-way. While sheep are a fact of life here without which the economy would collapse, having to wait for a mob of sheep on the way to work came as a complete surprise. I took this picture from inside the car, inside the city limits. The border collies kept the sheep together, the drover stayed in the SUV, which, you’ll note, is driving on the wrong side of the road, for New Zealand.
We took a drive last Sunday off to Kaikoura. The city built a car park and tourist site at the tip of a peninsula. As the fur seal population slowly recovered, the pinnepeds established a colony, evidently proving that if you build it, they will come. You don’t see fur seals hanging around the pedestrian paths in Sioux City, and, if you did, you’d never see them reading the Do Not Disturb The Seals sign.
Some people complain about the roads in Iowa. Really, compared to New Zealand, the county and the state build and maintain roadways well. According to current standards, putting a state road across a watercourse requires either a bridge or a culvert; here in New Zealand they just put up a caution sign. I’ll grant you, they put up a really good photogenic caution sign. On the other hand, if the caution sign in Iowa would read !FORD most people would think more about recalls than about flowing water.
New Zealand exports a lot of protein; for the most part raised on a sustainable growth of grass. Feed stores in Sioux City provide for horses, calves, poultry, pigs, cats, dogs, birds, and fish. You might be able to buy llama feed, which you could use on guanaco; and I know of a few ostrich farmers, so you could probably buy ostrich feed. But I can’t think of anyone back home who WANTS to feed deer; those pesky Bambis just come into the yard and help themselves. To everything including jalapenos, and they’re shameless about it; they even come into the front yard.