Friday, 29 April 2011

A Short Week

With two public holidays starting this week,
and children returning to school Wednesday,
it's been an ongoing dilemma
simply knowing what day of the week it is.

Children donning sports shirts this morning
made it so much easier for me to realise it is indeed Friday.

This week has seen some weaning take place

with babies unsettled,

still searching furtively for Mama.

Sale heifers were brought home from Chabo.
These are two of three destined for a stud female sale in July.

Beautiful Priscilla has had a sore foot and is currently un-milkable
due to a penicillin injection with a fourteen day milk witholding period.
All enjoying black tea at the moment.

Meanwhile, cows and calves are showing signs of the wonderful season we've enjoyed.
Fat cows

with even fatter calves.
Happy days.

And then, just because

wandering around the garden

is so much more enjoyable than

mopping floors, washing clothes

or spraying weeds,
I did just that,
with camera in hand.

These red potted roses needed to be watered for the first time this year.
Further evidence of the incredible rainfall this Summer.

This long weekend we head back to Bottle Tree Creek, cross-branding cows that became ours today, sorting equipment to come home and revelling in the excitement of our new purchase.

Here's to short weeks and long weekends.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Bottle Tree Creek

This is Sally's pictorial representation of Bottle Tree Creek.
A very large house dam full of crawchies (red-claw), fish and crabs, a pig watering at the dam,  large windmill, bottle tree (of course) and a shed in which you may be able to make out Sally at her desk home-schooling.

And while Sally's picture may indeed be worth a thousand words, I've included a few photos to fill in any gaps.

The trees are of course Bottle Trees.
Brachychiton rupestris
(Narrow-leaf or Queensland Bottle Tree).
We have an abundance of them.

The mountain in the background is on Chabo, Mum & Dad's place.

Plenty of green feed at the moment.
Should make for a great stress-free Winter.

Looking in the other direction.

Bringing the last paddock of breeders in.

And this is my new home.
It has a flushing toilet and a hot water system.
What more could a girl want?

And these are the cattle.
Beautiful breeders with fat calves at side.

A mixture of Droughtmaster, Charbray, Red Brangus and Brahman cross cows

running with Red Brangus, Charbray and Droughtmaster bulls.

with good sized calves at foot,

not too far off weaning.

We're heading back next weekend to cross-brand and preg-test.

Very exciting times.

When Good Friday's Go Bad

We had Easter at Chabo, my parents' property which joins Bottle Tree Creek, the property we are acquiring this Friday.  We had young bulls to muster and sort in anticipation of this year's sale season, choosing which bulls will suit which sale, which bulls will be available for paddock sale, which bulls will meet their destiny via the meatworks.  They're kinda the short straw yard.  We also got cows in off the mountain, taking a load out of them for the meatworks, before heading to Bottle Tree Creek to muster and count cattle there prior to purchase. 

While not so many years ago we always mustered this place with horses, a combination of time restraints, children and perhaps age/wisdom have resulted in us using bikes these days.  I tag along in the wagon, picking wildflowers, taking photos, singing along to the radio,

... sliding into washouts.

With driver's side door fimly wedged against terra firma, I clambered over gear stick and handbrake making my way through skyward pointing passenger door, wondering what the best approach might be with the boss.  I was to meet Matthew at a dam still many miles away, and set about walking to a closer water, to await his return.  Thankfully he had come upon a small group of cattle closer and was bringing them onto the same water.  I wondered just how much trouble I was going to find myself in, when his mob of fourteen cows noticed lone walking woman in the wilderness, Steel the not-so-much-a-wonderdog by my side and split in fourteen directions.  Fortunately I made it to a large tree and waited for Matthew and Fred the Wonderdog to find me, out of sight of bovines.  As they came closer and I stepped from behind tree, over the noise of the bike I could still make out the words "What have you done"?, as the midday sun bounced off the angled roof of the Nissan some several hundred yards away and hit said boss in eye.

As he motioned for me to hop on behind, it became a frantic competition for position with Fred the wonderdog, Steel the not-so-much-a-wonderdog and myself all vying for top spot.  Within several hundred yards I'd managed to dislodge both of them and was clutching for dear life, fingers entwined through one of Matthew's belt loops, other gripping to rack behind bike, which was imprinting its pattern into my rear end.

On a positive note, we managed a clean muster and vehicle has since been removed with minimal damage. 
Marital relations are returning to normal.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Bags are Packed

These girls were up early
and headed straight to the coal-face.

Still in their pyjamas, they mixed, rolled and cut
these Easter cookies.

...making a fair level of mess in the process I might add.

And then the real mess fun begins
with the icing process.


Heading for the hills now to muster and count cattle at BottleTree before next week's take-over.
Truck packed, car packed, esky packed, camera packed, Easter cookies packed.
Easter baskets packed in anticipation of a visit Saturday evening.

Back Monday.

Wishing everybody a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A Brief Comment on Commenting

Once upon a time I started a blog.
The inspiration came from my brother-in-law who kept a blog on the activity of his farm-life interstate.
It provided us with a great insight into his life,
so very different from our own.

And so I started this blog, 
with the main objective being to provide our far-flung family with a glimpse of what we get up to,
and most importantly a means of keeping track of our ever-growing children.

 In the process I have created a wonderful photo album of our lives.

Of the many bonuses created from this venture,
the best has certainly been the wonderful friendships formed.
Something I hadn't counted on.

Nor had I expected to receive comments on my posts.
Which is the reason for this post.
In the past I haven't responded to comments, either by email or any other form.
Which doesn't feel quite right.
A little like somebody saying hello in the street, and me turning my head the other way.

So in an effort to right this wrong,
I will endeavour to respond within the comments myself.
Particularly when there are questions asked.

So thankyou to all of you people out there ... somewhere,
who either follow, or comment.
I really love hearing from you, and am grateful if images of my hooligan children bring a smile to your face.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Better than Easter Eggs

Every morning she jumps out of bed, quickly changes out of pyjamas and climbs the hill behind the house,

past the solitary orange on our pitiful, neglected orange tree

to check on

Mama Pig.

Beautiful, gentle Mama  Pig.

Knowing that every morning was a day closer to

another batch of warm, cuddly, cute baby piglets.

Happy, Happy Easter.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Monday afternoons...

particularly those that are cool and rainy,

and leading into Easter

are best spent in a cosy kitchen
being warmed by an oven

Honey Jumbles
from a new cookbook
just brimming with tempting delights.

Of course one must have an offsider to share the joy.

Sunday Afternoons...

are usually not too different from Tuesday afternoons, or Thursdays for that matter.
Except yesterday.
When we met some friends at a creek on their place for an afternoon barbecue.
Sarah and Jessie are in town helping Grandad run the river in search of mud-crabs.
While these youngest two enjoyed

all of the attention.

Firstly, manning the crawchie pots,

which resulted in no crawchies, but a few small trapped perch.

And then a spot of hand-line fishing

resulting in a slightly larger perch
and a couple of very happy campers.

After a beautiful barbecue lunch

there was nothing left to do

but skip some rocks.

A grand afternoon had by all.


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