Wednesday, 16 May 2018

... which was exciting ...


by Simone McPherson
A number of weeks ago in-fact on the last day of April I was still busy working in my little gardens attempting to get as much done as I could before the light vanished altogether.  However I became acutely aware of another light that was rising very fast in the Eastern evening sky …

… It would have been the most incredible Full Moon sighting I have seen for quite a while … I just dropped everything I was doing and dashed into the house to retrieve my Camera … and I just made it!  And the most exciting thing is that I had forgotten about the images and it was only a few days ago that I down-loaded my Camera to my absolute delight … I was beside myself as I could not believe that I had captured such a brilliant sight.

Now that I have got my breath back, I have also been busy setting in the new little gardens ready to fill with soil, then plant out and while organising the positions for the gardens I have also been adjusting and rearranging my rock steps …

… I’ve planted out a whole lot of 'Scarlet' Petunias around the Villa Franca Lemons, for that lovely splash of colour over the winter months and …

… I have also been picking Chilli’s, picking so many Chilli’s now that I have been giving away my sweet chilli, ginger and garlic sauce by the bucket loads which I must confess as I am bias, is so delicious that I even …

… have it on my Breakfast in the mornings … yes I must also confess that I am a Salad-aholic, besides I can no longer digest wheat these days nor pulses or carbohydrates to a degree and as a result I have changed my eating habits; well quite a bit and I do feel a lot better for it, I seem to have more energy …

… the beautiful ‘McLeod’s Daughters’ rose that I received as a gift a number of years ago by a dear Girlfriend has been flowering profusely with the arrival of the cooler weather to the delight of the Bee's.

The Bougainvillea’s, well as usual I keep cutting them back, removing all the old flowers – even though they are really not flowers – and they just keep returning with even more vibrant colour I just adore these plants for this harsh environment …

Last week we were busy with the Cattle as it was weaning time, all the Mobs are brought up to the Yards though still keeping each Mob separate as there are first year calvers, second year calvers and then the mature Cows who all have different needs …

… firstly they are mustered then they are brought up to the yards with the help of Lily Pup and Maxi boy …

… and these girls can be very strongwilled and determined however so are Lily Pup and Maxi boy when it comes to their job …

However Jackie-Jack has to just watch from the sidelines as he is not quite ready to go into a Mob of Cows and Calves yet even ...

... though he tries to convince us to the contrary.

The calves are then drafted from their Mama’s with the help from our Stock Agent as we also sell the calves on site that we do not need for our ‘future Breeders’ …

… El Ranchero does some last minute adjustments on the ‘Crush’ before we proceed ...

… they are run up the ‘race’ where El Ranchero and our Stock Agent ascertain as to who is staying on an who is leaving … however all the Steers are sold at this time as we need the young Heifers as our ‘Future’ cows.

And before we go any further our Buyers arrive …

… reversing their Cattle Truck up to the ‘race’ ready once all the calves have been weighed, sighted ...

... drafted and an agreed upon price has been set … and with technology now days everything can be done at the Yards.   Just a brilliant way to go for all parties  involved …

And after a couple of hours we are all ready, and the sold calves are loaded on the Cattle Truck and off to their new abode, of which I hear is glorious plowed and sown pastures …

We also finally managed to organise a day too, with our friends to start on our ‘Working Bee’ at the Fishing Hut …

… and what a brilliant day it was, especially when you have very willing and enthusiastic, happy hands to help along the way …

The girls even brought a ‘Fishing Hut’ welcoming present a gorgeous old ‘Chip Heater’.  I was told that these heaters where once all, the norm throughout the Schools in Queensland to keep the classrooms warm during the winter months …

… how wonderful is that and to know now that the old 'Chip Heater' has a second life here down at the old Fishing Hut.  We did a trial run and it draws perfectly what a great start …

However once we finished for the day, though we still had a lot more to do however we all had made quite a dent, thanks to all those 'Happy Hands'…

… which was exciting and before we knew it the day had gone and we were all busy organising ... 

... another day down at the ‘Fishing Hut’  


Thursday, 10 May 2018

... the turning point ...


by Simone McPherson

Our 1.8kms of newly Graded driveway is looking fabulous now that we have had some rain which has set the packed earth down well and …

… I’m no longer tripping over rocks and stones as I walk along the driveway …

… with the dogs in those early picturesque mornings hours …

Now with the cooler weather we have been waking up to clouds resting amongst the landscape …

… even the little ‘Pretty-faced’ Wallabies are delighted, I’m sure with the change in the weather as well  ...

 … even Jackie-Jack said “… that the newly Graded road is a lot softer on my paws too …”

… however I’m pretty sure that he still likes to go ‘Cross-country’ as you never know what ‘Treasures’ you might find along the way.  I do wonder whether he is trying to tell me that he needs some more Phosphorous in his diet by the age of that ‘Treasure’ that he has decided to take back home …?

Over the past week El Ranchero has found a bit of time to finish up my ‘New’ little gardens by …

… fixing the wire around each drum to hold in place …

… the pieces of re-purposed ‘Old Sheep’ yards that we collected a number of weeks ago …

What do you think? … Well I just absolutely love them and …

…now all those plants – hopefully – won’t have their roots cooking over the summer months Phew! What a relief!

We have also been busy chasing up a ‘Medic’ to plant down on our flats for feed over our winter months and also to assist the soils here that are very marginal with the hope of fixing a bit more Nitrogen back into the ground as these ‘Medics’ belong to the Legume family.  After a lot of research El Ranchero has settled with the ‘Bindaroo Medic’ – Medicago orbicularis – this particular Species of Medic comes from Libya and was developed by DEEDI.
 
Image pasturegenetics.com search by GOOGLE 
Bindaroo Medic – Medicago orbicularis – boasts

“… early flowering, self-regenerating annual forage legume with distinctive flattened, button shaped pods … producing larger quantities of seed … with a semi-prostrate habit that flowers and sets seed readily under grazing … than barrel medics in dry and marginal environments … with low rainfall …”

of which we definitely are – we will be waiting patiently for the outcome to this little trial over the next year or so … 

A week ago we took a morning off to go down to our main Creek to see where we are with water – ‘Availability’ - taking some friends of ours down for a look around and to check on our ‘Fishing Hut’ - after twelve years we have now taken back ownership – long story for another day …

Well after a rather disheartening inspection of the ‘Fishing Hut’ – though our friends were delighted and could see all the possibilities and offered their willing hands to help bring the “Fishing Hut’ back to being – Habitable – El Ranchero and I stood there full of Gratitude for our friends positiveness - that morning we really did have to walk a while before we came across some sign of water …

… though not enough for a small mob of cattle to survive on by any means …

… however that did not stop the girls from dropping in a line and hoping for perhaps a little nibble, believe it or not there were a number of Catfish in that hole …

… even El Ranchero took some ‘time out’ which was great to see, as it was one of those days that we really could have spent all day there just sitting beside the little water hole contemplating the world …

…on one of our walks up the creek we did find some Paddy Melons – Citrullus lanatus – or Camel Melons as they are more so known; being introduced into Australia around the 1800’s by the Afghan Cameleers who started a life for themselves in the Outback of Australia by transporting Wool bales then branching out to anything – timber, vehicle motors, furniture whatever was needed to be transported across Australia in those early days.  Their history is an incredible story of survival in a very remote and hazardous country, then on top of it all they were ‘Outcasts’ because of their Customs, Traditions, Language and Lifestyle … I think they had a rather sad, lonely life here in Australia then.  However these little Paddy Melons - Camel Melons? … will be made into Jam, lots of Jam! With ginger, jam with pineapple, jam with apple? and I know with each bite I will be remembering all those wonderful Cameleers ...

And I do believe that we are a richer Country for having such marvelous People who have walked the path before us if only we could just stop every now and then and send out a ‘Prayer’ of Gratitude to all those who have walked this land before us, they must have really had incredible Resilience, Fortitude to walk forward in such remote, harsh and uncharted territory …

And before I go I must mention a VIP – ‘Very Important Package’ – that El Ranchero received a week or so ago all the way from Spain, after waiting 8 weeks …

… Yes it is a Saddle – though not just any Saddle … this is a beautifully hand made to order Saddle from LUDOMAR – and of course El Ranchero had it done in Burgundy and Black Leather for …

… Luigi … he has only tried it on, not fully Saddled up yet as we are waiting on a Girth strap, which should be arriving soon …

 … though Lily Pup really does not know what all the fuss is about as she rests there on the back of the Ute keeping one eye on things – just to make sure - and ... I found this image that I thought you might enjoy …

You see we are a ‘Marker’ for the RAAF – Royal Australian Air Force – as their Trainees come out this way from the RAAF Base at Amberley near Brisbane - in these beautiful Heavy Carrier Planes and …

… our Homestead is the turning point before they start to head back to The Base at Amberley – about four hours by car.  This was one day however, that I did 'Hear' them coming and just look at that Magnificent Piece of Machinery – WOW! “… Those Men & Women in their Magnificent Flying Machines … “ and by the looks of things that was a few years back now, before the Gardens were started and on that note I'd like to Wish you a Magnificent week too …