Wednesday, 6 July 2016

... the many, many stories ...



By Simone McPherson  
A number of weeks ago when we were down at the Creek with the old Ute I had a number of questions in relation to the chain that is hanging below the bumper bar on the old Ute, and so I thought that I would share with you as to why that chain is there.

You see at times we need to go off our road tracks that we have meandering through the paddocks for one reason or …

… another and it is at these times, especially when the grass is rather high that we need to take care or else we will become marooned on a large rock, a tree stump, a felled tree, a termite mound or anything else that may be hidden under that long grass.  

And these obstacles that we collect actually do, do a lot of damage not only to the old Ute to us as well as we all come to a very sudden stop.

 You see the chain is there to be collected first as we become hitched on whatsoever the object may be and in doing so the chain will essentially stretch a little bit which gives El Ranchero, who is more times than not the driver enough warning to be aware that we have collected something.

On another note the Feeder that we had invested in a little while back …

… has proved to be a hit with the cattle and they were very quick at the uptake to work out how to get the grains out, so much so that El Ranchero decided to invest in another …

 … this one however is  a little bigger than the last and it too has proved to be very popular with another Mob of cattle in another part of the property and being a ‘self-feeder’ the cattle can only get a certain amount of feed which is dictated by adjusting a leaver within the feeder its self. 

After a number of years I too have been fortunate to have been able to replace my little KODAK camera that I take everywhere with me; in truth however the little KODAK does find its way still, into my coat jacket when I am off some-place or another though.

This wonderful new acquisition is a Digital camera ofcourse; a LUMIX FZ70 and with a ‘view-finder’ as I am blind as a bat without my glasses when taking a picture and I cannot see these screens at all that all the new cameras have, and I still refuse to wear my glasses when I am out working, well just for a little while longer … mmm who am I  trying to kid?

The other wonderful thing about my new purchase is that I have finally got a ZOOM and my goodness ‘what a ZOOM it is’!!!

 So as you can imagine I have been practician on everyone, everything and anything in-between.  I have also gone from 4 pixels – yes that is not a spelling mistake 4 pixels can you believe it? to … are you ready for it … 60 pixels; well one could say that one does not know one’s self at all.


However to get my feet firmly planted on the ground again, I have been working hard in organising the top gardens especially now that the days are cooler  

 … collecting more rocks for the rock-garden …

 … spreading all the manure from the Stables and …

… I have even dug a hole with the help of the crowbar for a couple of Orange trees that I have waiting to be planted in this lovely cool, well it is actually cold weather here at the moment.

 The other Citrus’s the ‘Villa Franca’ lemons are doing wonderfully, however …

 … we have had a ‘mystery dinner’ on all the Italian Parsley as well as the Petunias that I had planted around the base of the Lemon trees, so I have created a little barrier made of the mesh that they put under concrete when you are making a concrete floor, which I have used as a fence in the top garden …

The ‘mystery dinner’ is visiting in the small hours of the morning and has left some tell-tail signs of who they were … either a Wallaroo or a Pretty-face Wallaby.

And I think that the ‘Rio’ rings, the steel that the mesh is made from is called ‘rio’ look rather rustic with the rocks and such in this type of garden.

The little Kumquats too, are doing wonderfully at this time of year still fruiting with more blossoms coming through even now at this cold time of year?

… and the Thai Basil has proved its self as well …

 … loving their position so I am considering planting more this coming Spring …

 … as has the Kale which we all love at any-time of the year this Leafy plant I find invaluable to our garden and in the kitchen as well as the …

… lovely little lettuces that we enjoy at this cold time of the year … this little fellow is ofcourse the little Mignoette lettuce …

… even this succulent, which I know as “chicken in a basket” not sure on its real name and I have no idea as to why it is called “chicken in a basket” perhaps you do?  Well this little succulent is, just doing wonderfully in a rather shady spot of the garden at this time of year.

I have also been very faithfully saving all my eggshells, which I have dried out in the sun and will crush into a fine grain, for that extra bit of Calcium for the garden over the Summer months and with the anticipation of planting out some Tomatoes that that I am hoping will not get infested with some sort of worm, nothing worse than taking a lovely bite out of your very own home grown tomatoes to see this ‘thing’ wriggling at you, it’s terribly off putting!

 And on that note I will leave you with some ‘Practice’ shots that you may enjoy.

… the interior of the house which has not changed much, still waiting for those lovely terracotta tiles and window furnishings one day soon …

 … And these are some absolutely beautiful ‘Leggings’ that El Ranchero, well I had them posted all the way from Spain, for his work on the horse and as a surprise, however they are so beautifully made; all by hand that they hang on the wall in our Lounge with an old collection of Horse Memorabilia of times long gone now, so we had to order another pair for work and even this new pair is now treated with ‘Kid gloves’, hilarious really … 

… and this shot is an image of a bit more of the collection that hangs in the Lounge too.  This close-up is of some beautifully handmade horse hair ropes, reigns and a Hackamore that El Ranchero picked up many, many years ago when he was a Young Man without a care in the world as he travelled through The United States working for a travelling ‘Horse Show’ all the way from Australia for over three years and of which he has very, very  fond memories of and the many, many stories that he still recites to me on a regular basis and of which in truth I do not tire from, Bless him.

Monday, 4 July 2016

... delighted by the beautiful ...



By Simone McPherson

As we move into our Winter months here; apart from the very dreary, dull and very cold days we have also been blessed with some delightfully clear days that just go on and on forever.  The Rainbow Lorikeets have been very busy treating themselves to the nectar from the Grey Box Gum blossoms.

The Pretty-face Wallabies have been up visiting the house too … 

… for the little rain that we have been blessed with the grasses have bounded ahead with growth …

… the rains have even flushed out little parts of the creeks …

 … much to the delight of Maxi boy and Lily-pup …

 … I even got the Toyota out to give it a wash in the rain … it’s the only time that I don’t feel guilty using our precious water to clean the vehicle especially knowing that the rain is just down in the gully.

El Ranchero has been busy amongst other things, cutting fire wood for friends of ours … 

 …and with the glorious days that we had been having we were all happy to go out and give a hand to load up their Ute … 
… we even did our own cleaning up of some paddocks by burning off which we can do safely at this time of year.

We have also investing in a number of feeding stations now for the cattle which were delivered to a business in town.

We then had to plan the next stage, loading the feeders into the Horse Float?

Well ofcourse where there is an idea there is always a way to accomplish that idea.

  A number of weeks ago too we had a wonderful visitor from China in particular the Szechwan Province which I remember as the region being famous for its Szechwan Cooking, which incorporates the combination of dried Tangelo peel, fiery chilli peppers and the tingly Sichuan peppercorns, not at all related to the Peppercorns that we know in the Western world, the Sichuan Peppercorns come from a small little bush, so I was told by “J”.

 With the wonderful days that we had we went out to feed the cattle …


… much to “J” delight …

 … and to the delight of the 2year old Heifers …

… I was also ‘delighted’ as Maxi was too … 

… as we went out collecting silt …

… from along the side of the road where the run off from the rain had accumulated all that lovely soft silt, which once gathered …

 … we then unloaded the silt onto the front garden as top dressing, yes I was very ‘Delighted’ with all that wonderful help “J” gave me …

… we also went exploring, and that is Lily-pup there doing her Yoga position of the ‘Down ward Dog’ she is rather clever at this particular pose …

 
… we also came across some beautiful Orchids … the little Native Snake Orchid that grows abundantly in this region …


But most of all we were very delighted by the beautiful Traditional Szechwan dishes that “J” shared with us, just delicious thank you “J” …