Once upon a time in New Zealand there were 22 sheep for every person who lived there.
Nowadays that number is more like 8 sheep for every Kiwi who lives on home soil rather than in Shepherd's Bush.
What you don't hear about as often are the cows. There are a LOT of cows in New Zealand, where agriculture is a visibly dominant industry across much of the country. There are so many that apparently the government regularly debates a "fart tax" thanks to the mooooo-hoosive (sorry) amount of methane, which is emitted every year from, well, you know where from.
We acknowledged this in the way that only two girls can.
As my bestest friend Betty and I drove through deepest but brightest and greenest farming land of South Island we discussed how remote it was after not seeing a car pass us for miles and more worryingly not seeing a garage, shop or civilisation for some time. Just the occasional farm house dotted in the numerous fields of cows, which silently but consistently kept us company.
"It's just so remote," I said. "I mean it's not like they can just pop out for a pint of milk or something,"
In her uniquely wise way, Betty nodded at a field full of Jersey cows and responded with the cutest hint of sarcasm. "Yeah... something tells me they don't need to worry about a shortage of milk around these parts."
Whilst on the road I dabbled with the idea of photographing a cow up close but if you'll pardon the farmyard pun I chickened out. I'm not ashamed to say that cows scare the cowpat out of me. Betty on the other hand is a fearless pro, not that she had a choice when she came nearly face to face with this one as it crossed her path, literally. (She has stayed on in NZ to visit family friends). Thank you Betty for these photos and for all the laughs we shared during our most epic road trip.
Frances M. Thompson
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