The last few summers here in Hawkes Bay have not been dry nor, by the Bay's standards, very hot and sunny. Although the orchardists have not had to irrigate nor have they had the sun at the right time for really good quality and quantities of apples. The irrigators in the orchard in front of The Cottage have not been used for several years. In fact the last time I mentioned irrigation was in 2008. When I arrived back here at the end of October the hills of the Bay were verdant. However since then the amount of rain has been small and in many parts of the North Island only 5% of the average rainfall has fallen this month.
So the irrigator which stands like something I imagined from the original War of The Worlds (the one with music by Jeff Wayne - ah, memories) is back in action. What is striking to me when I look at the following photos is the brown paddocks on the hills behind the orchards.
The water for the irrigators comes from a natural water reserve under the geological bowl in which the orchards and The Cottage are situated. It's the same reserve that we get our water from. Fortunately despite the huge amount used by the irrigators it's never run out.... yet.
Our very own rainbow.