Sunday, 27 May 2012

Weaning in the Wain

57 mm of glorious rain fell here on Friday.  As well as making conditions rather wet,

we're also experiencing a little Winter-like frigidity.

Cold for us anyway.
As I lay in bed Friday night listening to rain on the roof, I felt for the organisers of our local campdraft, who did manage to continue with the draft, though not as pleasant as it could have been.  I envisaged a weekend spent indoors, my husband had other ideas.  With our next six weekends already pre-filled, much of that dependent on this weekend's weaning, we apparently needed to follow the plan.

The only detour from plan, the inclusion of gumboots.  And with conditions less than perfect it was decided to leave the two youngest team members with Nanny and Grandad.  Sometimes less really is more.

And so we headed to Bottle Tree,

emptied 48 mm from the guage, and weaned.

These two old dolls, destined for the meatworks, surprising us with these little gifts.  Out of season calves,

welcome none-the-less.

We left Bottle Tree late this evening, a yard full of bellowing babies left behind.  We return tomorrow to load trucks.  These weaner steers,

having been counted by Sarah,

then weighed by Jessie, to be collected by their new owner tomorrow.

Their sisters will be loaded and brought back to Rock Wallaby.

The last paddock of stud breeders here to be back-loaded to Bottle Tree.

 Rock Wallaby here-forth used to grow out heifers, handling dry cattle far better than wet.

And Bottle Tree will continue to delight us with these happy, sappy weaners.

An early cool start tomorrow.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Away Days

I'm sitting in the car next to the Emerald saleyards, chased here by the misty rain.   Waiting for the sound of the rambling auctioneer in the distance to fade, for Matthew to check off and for us to hit the road for home.

After a weekend starting with a day of preg-testing

and ending with three pigs converted to hams, chops, bacon and sausages, we headed west to Alpha on Monday.

Judging duties beckoned at the local Alpha Show, Matthew presiding over the commercial cattle section, and me the stud cattle and junior sections.  Unfortunately, running so soon after Beef Week, stud numbers were rather limited, not so the youngsters who turned up for the Junior Judging competition in droves.  So rewarding to be involved in helping to train this next generation of beef producers.  The competition involves the juniors placing four head of cattle in order of what they think is best to worst and then speaking to the audience about why they placed the animals as they did.  As over-judge I also judge the cattle, the children are allocated points on how close their placings are to mine, and then I score them on their ability to speak and justify their choices.  Very entertaining.  The youngest competitor was four.  Four!  His name was Jack, he wore Harry Potter glasses and he placed the animals in exactly the same order I did.  Unfortunately Jack found the whole microphone experience rather daunting, but next time he'll be a little better, and by the time he's 24 he'll be judging Beef 2030.  Good stuff.  Most disappointing, my camera remained in the car the whole time we were there and no photos were taken.

Jess ran in the district cross country competition yesterday,

claiming 8th place from a field of 63.  We unathletic types are in awe.

Not to be outdone, Sarah placed 3rd in a State of Origin dress-up competition last night at school.  If I knew how to transfer images from phone to computer, I would.

By comparison, Wallace and Sally's weeks have been rather dull, the highlight of Sally's week being a day off school with belly-ache.  Obviously better able to pull the wool over the neighbour's eyes than Mum's.

Looking forward to returning home and staying put until 2015.

Monday, 21 May 2012


An old USB stick uncovered in recent days has revealed some photos long forgotten.

Photos of little kids.

Little kids with cows.

Little kids in uniforms.

Little kids at Beef 2006.  Didn't seem very long ago.  Next Beef Week this three will all be at boarding school.

Sisters.  Look at Wallace chasing Sal down the hill.

He would have been off to Cowboy Camp in this one.  So he always said.

Look at my brown-eyed baby.

And this big boy having a haircut.  And I was blonde.

This heifer's still in the herd, now very much a cow.

The kids and I managed to waste some considerable time with that darn USB stick.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Hangin' Around

I've tended to take fewer group photos of the kids this year,

still feeling the gap left by having Sarah away at school.  Three just doesn't seem quite right.

Our whole world's been turned a little upside down!

Thankfully the weekends come around quick enough and all is well again, if even for a couple of days.

Finding a willing assistant to help with yarding the pesky milker's calf this afternoon proved difficult.

Children proving more evasive than the fatted calf.

They were busily building a new cubby.

Apparently the cubby-mansion provided by Grandad for Christmas some years back not quite fitting the bill.

The burnt-out skeleton of an old caravan much more appealing.

So much more fun than doing afternoon chores.

Or cleaning their blessed bedrooms.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

No Place like Home

We've returned home from Beef Week just in time to celebrate Mother's Day.

One of the many wonders of the week including the abundance of jewellery stands on site,

the children dazzling me with a little bling this morning.  Unfortunately they wouldn't let me wear it to milk the cow.

As well as a flowering agave (this photo meant to capture the feeding honeysuckle who proved to be far too quick for me), we were also met by these little tykes:

currently capturing the attention of a beefed-out crew of kids.

A clean-out of the vege garden resulted in an abundance of these:

some for the kitchen, the others to be thrown in the pig's grain-boiler.

With cupboards bare and no room for a grocery order enroute from Beef Week, there's been a little baking this Mother's Day.  As the choc chip bikkies came out, a baked custard went in, now nearly due to be replaced with a leg of lamb for dinner.

Yesterday saw a quick trip to Bottle Tree, unfortunately another trip required tomorrow, but one that will fit in with Sarah's return to school.

Matthew captured it perfectly as we fell into bed last night, "It's good to be home".

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...