Sunday, 26 May 2013

I will be Surpised ...



by Simone McPherson
Ten days ago I was in the yards with El Ranchero and Porky Girl to get another lesson in Horsemanship?  I sort of dread these lessons – you know it’s the same as getting a parent to teach you how to drive – it just doesn’t work, one way or another you seem to get communication ‘Blockages’, where nothing is taken in and understood.  This was to be one of those days!

I hopped on Porky and was loosening her up in the Yards when on her third circle she stumbled and I, instead of jumping for it – not that I can really do that anyway – rode her to the ground! And before I knew what was happening, as one does have a tendency to close ones eyes in situations like this – I still had my right foot in the stirrup and Porky rolled on me before I knew ‘what the’.  Damn! I thought, then I realised what had happened and lay there plastered to the ground in the dirt.  

Men in situations like this are always so consoling, comforting and understanding - “Have you broken your leg?” he asks me.  “Doesn’t look like it, why did you let her do that?” he says to me as I lay there in the dirt unable to move an inch as my leg starts throbbing and burning. 

“Get up and get back on her” - “My leg, I can’t move it?” I said.

“You’re fine, why did you do that”? … Oh I don’t know, thought it would be fun? I thought? Goodness!  So I hopped back on Porky and we did continued with my lesson, me in tears and Porky being told to stay ‘Awake’.

So for the past ten days I have been walking four kms ...

......each day to get the blood moving in my leg.  It went from a lovely shade of purple to almost a jet black and now it has bits of yellow tinges through it, so that can be a good sign and all the pain has gone with the swelling!  And, yes I have been back on Porky since that day, too.
The days now have really changed as winter comes knocking.  The grasses have gone from the lovely shades of green after all that summer rain, to now the dry looking winter grasses 

....with hues of 'Naples Yellow' .....

 .....to a lovely 'Yellow Ochre' that just shimmers in the autumn sunshine.

We have weaned and moved the “Tiny Weannies” ....

....into their new paddock for the winter and you can hardly see them .... 

...for all that tall winter grass.  

And they all seem to be happy being naughty little tiny weannies out there.

The Mugga IronbarkEucalyptus sideroxylon – sideros from the Greek word – iron and oxylon the word for wood .... 

......which refers to the hardness of the wood; though it is by no means the hardest in the genus..... 

........ and the Mugga (tricarpa) Ironbarktri the Greek word for three and carpos the word for fruit ... 

 ....... has been in flower for the past two weeks now, and brought an array of honey birds to feast on its nectar …. Parrots, Rosellas, Lorikeets, and other honey birds, the racket is amazing!  

And we have also had about 400 Budgerigars here for the past three weeks too, which is very unusual as they do not come this far, east – they usually habitat inland and central Australia.  The flock is magnificent as they fly through the blue of the sky and then suddenly change direction and you get a glimpse of a beautiful emerald green and a brilliant yellow, it's just incredible!

I have also noticed that it won't be to long now before the Wattle - 'Knife-leaf Wattle' - Acacia cultriformis - will start to bloom again - another month or so .... can't wait for the splendor of Golden Yellow that covers some of the Gullies like a patchwork blanket, it's just beautiful ...... 

The little pansies that I planted a couple of weeks ago are roaring ahead I have already de-headed them twice so that they can concentrate on growing but they just insist on poking their little happy faces out … so I have let them be now, I love the colour ‘Pink Surprise’.  


The other batch that I planted out ‘Chianti’, well I had a bit of a disaster with half of them – the manure that I had collected from the yards was too ‘Green’ and I killed half of them – I did however, pick up some more seedlings on our shopping day, this time a mixture - so I will be “Surprised” …….

..... and now it's the end of another day, see what tomorrow will bring?  another endless beautiful day full of clear blue skies and sunshine, I know that much for this time of year ...

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

like beacons in time



by Simone McPherson
I really looked forward to our Sunday Breakfast, but where did it go?  It came and went and now it's already Thursday!  I must say though, I also looked forward to my Lentil sprouts as well ......  

 .......... I love Lentil Sprouts with anything they are so delicious!  It was just El Ranchero and I as we had no visitors over the weekend just gone .....


though we have had a busy week with moving weaners around and bringing cows in as their feed gets shorter, into paddocks that have fresh feed for them to carry them over the winter months.

We’ve been fixing up the yards, where we had a few bottleneck problems ....

 .....which resulted in a gate and part of a fence line being totally demolished ....

and now that the repairs have been made it looks and works fantastically with the flow of the cattle up through the yards

......and El Ranchero no longer has to get off Pedro to open and shut the gate … phew! getting a bit older now, to get on and off a horse these days!  He won’t admit that but I am telling you that!

The horses have finally put on their winter coats and ....  

....... I must say that Pedro in particular is very ‘woolly’, the wind has turned ‘Icy’ and I do mean ‘Ice’ with the Southerlies that we get at this time of year.  They tell me that they come of the ‘Snow Country’ down towards southern New South Wales and Victoria.

A BEAUTIFUL TUMBLE GUM - NEAR THE YARDS



ANOTHER TUMBLE GUM AT THE YARDS - THE TRUNKS ARE SO DIFFERENT FROM ONE ANOTHER
The days are endless and clear though, as long as you get out of that wind.  We have been frozen each evening.......

 ...... as we come in and it is dark by 18:00, shortest day coming up soon too for us here in the Southern Hemisphere! 

I have even had to rearrange the veranda as in has turned into an icy wind tunnel.  I’ve moved some of the pot plants around so that they get some more warmth and some sunshine – even brought two of them inside to enjoy at this time of year - they look happy enough.  

Just as well we don’t have any young children though, as I fear they would have an eye poked out by those sharp spikes! and how do you like the containers?  Well they are two roller drums out of a Bulldozer that El Ranchero collected - I thought they were a good find - and my god no one would ever steel them as they weight a ton I had to roll them into the house just as well we only have cement floors at present as I would not be doing that on tiles! .....


"THE 'KEMPS' OLD CRUTCHING SHED" by Me

a close up of "CATTLE SCAPE @ BARELLI" by Me

"ACACIA CULTRIFORMIS IN COBBS PADDOCK" by Me

a close up of "KEMP'S OLD CRUTCHING SHED" by Me
I have also had time to finish all my paintings too after a lot of umming and rrr-ing - mixed media on canvas …. So they will be wrapped up and ready to be sent off to the Woolshed at Bendee.  Will be interesting to see how things go, all for fun you know and I will keep you posted on the outcome ......

And I will finish here with a couple of photographs I look earlier this week while we were out checking the fence line 


I love Mother Nature ... these trees here were ring barked back in the late 1930's and have been standing here like beacons in time ... 

 ...... like a sentry standing, guarding his post they stand ... 

..... and that sentry has now provided a living space for another living thing - it's a little native orchid that we get living in only the dead trees they have a lovely cappuccino coloured flower which I will show you when they next come out in flower - and not to mention the many native birds and lizards that live in these trees too - just wonderful .....




Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Vividness ...

by Simone McPherson

I have finally put the Flannelette sheets and the Doona on our bed.  The days have been slowly getting cooler and cooler.  Though we are very fortunate for the way that our house has been designed ..... 

 ........ facing North with big windows and the concrete floor - for the moment, tiles one day! – that captures the heat of the day - Solar Passive - it is so lovely and warm in the evenings, that we still have no outside heating that we have to rely on. 

We are so lucky here, for in this climate we still have blue endless skies that go on forever and sunshine which is a great ‘Plus’.   For one thing you don’t get the ‘Blues’ with all that vitamin D from the sun and I do believe that the colour Blue also has an effect on your psyche as well.


The wonderful rain that we had over summer ........

........has filled all the dams and it is at this time ....... 

........that water becomes critical as we do not get as much rain over our winter months here.  

And especially at the moment, as the rest of the Eastern seaboard of Australia and the Southern States are going through their worst Drought for many years and the loss of Stock is starting to take its toll on those people that are holding cattle and other stock on their properties.  Our thoughts are with these People and their families at this time, it's hard for producers when they depend on the weather for rain.

In between mustering this week, we managed to slip into Stanthorpe to see how the Camp draft Championships were going.  

They had more than 700 entries and all the riders – of all ages and backgrounds were having a wonderful time for what we could see. 

I don’t have much of an idea on the pros and cons of Camp drafting so El Ranchero was my interpreter ......

.....as the riders and their horses went through their paces.  We were only there for an hour or so ...... 

as we had to get back home to finish up on our own Stock work waiting for us ........


I also have been working on three paintings that I have entered in our local little art exhibition held by the Granite Belt Art Group.  I am not a member as such and have not entered an art exhibition for a number of years now.  The exhibition of Arts and Crafts is held every second year at the start of June at a local old Woolshed at a property called Bendee, which for us is only about half an hour’s drive north of where we are.  The theme this year is – to do an image reminiscent of the District – landscape, wool, sheep, cattle etc.  

 
SIR ARTHUR STREETON 1867 - 1943

I would love to paint – one day - the Australian landscape like one of Australia’s most famous landscape painters from the turn of the century, Sir Arthur Streeton – 1867-1943.  Sir Arthur Streeton was part of a group of Australian Impressionist artists that belonged to the ‘Heidelberg School’ in Victoria, Australia along with fellow contemporaries Tom Roberts and Frederick McCubbin.  

APPROACHING STORM by SIR ARTHUR STREETON - private collection
Sir Arthur Streeton was a wonderful painter, in my opinion ..

GOLDEN SUMMER - EAGLEMOUNT by SIR ARTHUR STREETON
....he really captured the vividness of the  beautiful Australian ‘Light’ and his pallet of colours are just magnificent, they are so true to the Australian landscape, the Australian Bush! I hope they bring you as much joy as they do for me ........