Monday, 3 October 2016

Where on earth ...



by Simone McPherson 

As the month of September slips away, our season so far has been incredible as we find ourselves in a wet cycle and so late in the season too.   The ‘Old Timers’ from this District inform us that many, many years ago this was how the seasons used to be and it has been countless years since they can recall the rains coming in the month of September, the beginning of our Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere.  As we watch in delight our creeks that are now running with wonderful cappuccino coloured water.

The other morning we found ourselves down at one of our main boundaries that runs up against a bitumen road, for repairs to the fence-line, 


though this fence-line is also a boundary line to one of our neighbours who does not live permanently here, he however does run a few head of cattle at different times of the year.


It was wonderful to see all that water running under the Concrete Bridge on its way to a major Dam in this district that goes on to feed some of the big Cotton and Corn growers further out west about two to three hours’ drive away.


We also had to make some major repairs to a flood gate that runs over that same creek that was completely washed away a number of weeks ago when we had over 100mls in-fact we had 101mls of rain in a 12 hour period, 


... the creek rising to over 4 metres and the rain was that constant sort of rain that just came straight down, without being squally and ferocious, blowing the landscape to pieces.

That huge deluge also coincided with a large delivery of fencing gear for another main boundary that we are building - finally after ten years - my time does fly, and ...

... now it looks as though we may have to wait a little while for all that magnificent water which has presently turned the ground into mud …


With the pristine ‘washed clear’ days that we are having after the torrents it has brought out the many creatures that live here with us …


We have sighted the Cunninghams Skink - Egernia cunninghami – of which are from the Lizard family, they have been sunning themselves after their long hibernation over winter.  These lizards are always a welcome sight as they also dine on the venomous Eastern Brown Snakes - Pseudonaja textilis - that also share this country with us.


 We have had a number of visitors to the house too, the Sulphur crested Cockatoo’s - Cacatua galerita - who mate for life and can live way over sixty years.  These large birds are having a delightful time ...


...going through the horse manure in search of the undigested oat grains that the horses have left behind, these birds are very large and very noisy with an ear piercing screeching sound they can be very destructive too in their behaviour destroying new growth in trees, killing trees by ring-barking them, breaking TV cables and so forth …


… they are joined to by the Pink and Grey Galah’s  - Eolophus roseicapilla - who are rather rowdy too and travel in small families, they belong to the family of Cockatoos as well …


The little Pardalote’s - Pardalotus punctatus - too have come to the house looking for a nesting place, and at this time we usually find these beautiful little birds up one of the exhausts of the vehicles.  


As you see these little birds in nature burrow into sides of the creek banks making a long ‘L’ shaped tunnel and I guess the vehicle exhaust mimics that shape the only thing is that they end up ‘black’ all over and when you start the vehicle up they are spat out … luckily for them.


 Then as the rain lifts for a day or so it is off again to feed out the cattle …


… who ofcourse are relishing in this generous season with all the fresh pick everywhere, as well as the dry feed that we put out for them as we have been unable to get the Grain Trucks in for fear of getting the big vehicles bogged in this sodden ground …


 However the weather has not stopped the Bulls from coming up each and every morning …


 … and of Maxi keeping an eye out while El Ranchero fills up their feeder …


 ... though most of all it has given El Ranchero, Rocky and the dogs a good excuse to go out to do some cattle work …


… and even I too, have been busy in my little gardens with the sudden burst of life … 


... not only in the Valencia Oranges that I have planted around the place in the old 44’rs that I had El Ranchero cut in half ..


… but I have also noticed that all the bees have returned with the fine weather I love to see them busy in my little gardens doing what they do best and I’m sure all the plants are very grateful for their daily visits …


… I even found a hive the other day in an old ring-barked tree, whilst out with the dogs in the late afternoon.


Conversely with these bee’s one needs to exercise extreme caution, as they are what we call here the ‘Wild European’ bee, these bees can be very aggressive being a danger to not only humans but to horses and especially dogs too, so we steer well clear with any hives that we may come across in the course of a day like this hive … 


 … OMGoodness is it October already? Where on Earth has that month of September gone? And there looks as though there is more rain on the Horizon, Happy days! …



Saturday, 3 September 2016

... his first day at work ...



By Simone McPherson
As I am jotting down this post the Wattles are now in full bloom with their beautiful bright yellow bobble blossoms dancing …


  in the depths of that beautiful Cerulean blue of the endless skies that we get in our autumn months still, 


 ... we have had some rather blustery days too.  


 As I walked through the groves I could hear the hum of bees busy at work collecting as much pollen as they could before the blooms finish, with that lovely yellow pollen plastered onto their little legs.  I love to see that yellow of the Wattles framed by the Taupe colours of the winter landscape it always seems to make me smile both outwardly and inwardly …

The Hovea’s, although a lot harder to find for they seem to be ...


 ... camouflaged into the landscape are in flower too, with a hint of a purple hue 

… at a closer look, however you will find a lovely little flower whose family …


… you can almost recognise strait away, as that of the Fabaceae family … the Pea family of plants, and this little one is Hovea – graniticola – and a  ‘Native’ plant predominantly growing in this particular region …


 I am even, starting to find the tiny winy little Early Nancy’s – Wurmbea biglandulose - that are beginning to pop their little heads up through the forest floors. This tiny group of flowering plants who are no bigger than your thumbnail and no taller than 3-4cms are from the Family - Monocots … meaning that they have a single leaf as they begin to sprout unlike for an example a pea or a sunflower.   If you were to sprout a pea or a sunflower you would get two leaves coming up from the seed … this little group belongs to those of the grass family with one leaf steam coming through …


 We are still gloating …


 Even revelling to the point of being ...



… totally delighted with all that rain that fell over those two days last week … 


 … and the creeks are still whispering to us as the water now meanders down the creeks, unlike the great gushing that we witnessed earlier on in the past week …


 Though it has given a new lease of life to the Natural world …


 … all the animals too are now full of beans … when we went out to feed the Bulls …


… first having to move the feeders as the ground was too boggy …



 … as Maxi and Lily pup kept an eye out as those Bulls can be very dangerous for they are very large strong animals that fight all the time; as they come up for their Breaky … 


 … so much so that Maxi and Lily pup have to teach them some manners in the ‘Art’ of waiting which is not high in their priorities of mannerisms


…. As they all jostle for the best position in the feeder …


 The ‘first year calvers’ too are looking fabulous and happy with their life and routine now …


 I have even come across the Fallow deer ...


... who we share our property with unperturbed as we come across them in the Bush having a mid-day nap …


… as well as some Pretty face – wallabies who have been busy grazing on all those new grass shoots …


 As the ground is now so wonderfully soft it has been a good time to get some digging done for posts and gateways …


… on one morning of digging holes, Luigi appeared out of the Bush to say ‘Hello’ with Blondie close behind …



… he is looking very well though a little woolly as he is still wearing his winter coat, he did ask us when he will be going to work with Rocky and we reminded him that it will be in the coming New Year, Luigi said he was looking forward to his first day at work and so are we, especially El Ranchero as he has great aspirations for Luigi as a working horse in this hard country of rocks, rivens and gullies …