Tuesday, 23 July 2013

the first bursting of brilliance ..

by Simone McPherson
After a long week of drenching cattle and preg testing our first calvers, we packed our bags and we were off to Brisbane for a two day break.

Our woodcutter looked after Maxi and Lily .....


........ while we said goodbye to Pedro and Porky Girl.

The morning started off fairly clear then ......


........as we started to climb the range, getting closer to civilization it became overcast and drizzly.

Of course there is always some sort of road works going on, no matter what, 


with plenty of traffic banked up too – so onward we go.

Then after four and a half hours we finally arrive at our destination – New Farm in Brisbane.  

MACADAMIA TREES LINE THE RIVER FRONT
And not to waste any precious time, we’re off - down to the Brisbane River..... 


BEAUTIFUL OLD JACARANDA TREES ARE ABUNDANT

AND THE CITYSCAPE AS A BACKDROP TO THE PARK
 ........to explore a little bit before the sun disappears after another day.

Early the next morning - even though it was threating more drizzle – we thought we would jump on the ‘City Cat’ to view Brisbane from the Brisbane River, how exciting.



We bought a two hour ticket and we were off and on the ‘City Cat’ – standing at the bow we watched the cityscape unfold before us as we went down river.  
  

MANGROVES GROWING ALONG THE CITY WALK

Then we decided to disembark on a stop that was close to the Botanical Gardens.

We wandered through the Botanical Gardens .......


........and then stopped for coffee and Tapas ......


........before heading off again to catch the ‘City Cat’ at another stop.  




I really love the shapes and lines of the Cityscape – I think they are beautiful in structure and contour though the day was rather Grey, but do you know? they were wonderful tones of Grey …..



Then before we knew it our two days where up and it was time to head home again.   

And as we headed south again all we could see were ‘Black’ stormy clouds. 
  
Now, to many this would spell disappointment .....

.....not to us, this meant rain and by the looks of it ‘lots and lots’ of rain.


And an hour before reaching home it’s still raining – YIPPEE.

.......Ah! Home at last!

The next morning all I could hear was the ‘Roaring’ of the creeks as the water gushed through all the gullies and the down the banks into the creeks below – just wonderful.  I could not resist the temptation so I organised the dogs and we walked down to our closest creek gully to investigate.

Maxi and Lily could not wait and by the time I caught up with them down at the creek they were already enjoying all that water.
We wandered up the creek to find waterfall after .....


.........waterfall of cappuccino coloured water.  And then something brilliant and yellow caught my eye!  

RED LEAF WATTLE - acacia rubida

RED LEAF WATTLE - acacia rubida
Our first bursting of Wattle and it is the Red Leaf Wattle - acacia rubida - which we have growing here on this Property, not sure on it's name.  

I found some Knife-leaf Wattle - acacia cultriformis - though still not quite there – I’m estimating maybe four to five days till the first bursting of brilliance! ………..


Sunday, 7 July 2013

..a little bit ahead ...



by Simone McPherson
The days have been pretty cold of late and we have been feeding the last of the ‘Copra Meal’ – coconut meal – out to the girls in one of our back paddocks.

The feed bins have been moved around to accommodate the winter feeding routine with the Molasses .....

....... and on our way through to picking up and placing the new feeder bins I noticed that the – Mugga Ironbark – eucalyptus tricarpa – is still flowering as the chatter of all the honey birds – White-eared Honeyeaters – Lichenostomus leucotis, Yellow-tuffed Honeyeaters – Lichenostomus melanops, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters – Lichenostomus chrysops, Blue-faced Honeyeaters – Entomyzon cyanotis and a collection of Noisy Friarbirds – Philemon corniculatus – fill the air with their squabbling over all the wonderful honey nectar that I can smell as it fills my senses.

The horses have been out of work for the past week but that does not mean that they – get out of work.   

They have been kept occupied by being lunged ……. 

....First Porky Girl..

Then it’s Pedro turn …. 


......They actually enjoy it and it keeps them in shape for working.

We have also been out Bush looking for – ‘Scrubbers’ – these are rouge cattle that get it in their head to – split - from the Mob and go and live and be independent on their own – not a good thing!

Usually it will only be maybe two to three cows and their babies, but these cattle though, have a tendency to teach the rest of the Mob bad habits and we don’t want that, especially in this type of country.  

It can get quite rugged and difficult to muster in some areas.  It also makes it very difficult to bring these cattle in to be marked, tagged, vaccinated and weaned of their mothers not a good thing.

So it’s a job that has to be tackled by ‘foot’ and I am not talking the horse’s feet in this instant ....

 ....... this is us by foot and usually Maxi the black dog leading the way.  Lily is still a bit too young and inexperienced and she thinks that we are on a leisurely walk in the countryside and not out to work and hunt out rouge cattle – bless her.

When you go by foot you really get a ‘reality check’ as to what this country is really like – ‘Rugged’ – hard, steep and rocky to say the least. 

And as for the men that came out here to open up this country? 

......Ring barking the trees ...

.......and setting the fence lines ....
..... it’s quite an achievement considering it was all by horse and by cart.  They did not go home at the end of the day but camped out under a blanket of stars at night for weeks on end till the job was done.

You also come across others that co-habitually live here with us, the Goats. 

They are wonderfully agile and nimble footed creatures the way they move with ease through this rocky, steep hilly country and once caught are very happy to live as a domesticated herd animal becoming very tame and friendly.  Of course they were once domesticated but many were left to roam free and were never controlled and they became wild and now tagged as – ‘feral’ – animals.  They are quite handy in other ways though as the largest percentage of their fodder is actually the woody foliage and some weeds that is unpalatable to the cattle so we don’t destroy them and let them do their thing.

And then as the day comes to another end?  Well we did not catch those rouge cattle though it was a lovely day and it was wonderful to be at ground level to experience the beauty of the ruggedness of the country .....

 .....but Maxi did pick up their tracks as we did follow them for two or three hours though they were just always that little bit ahead of us – with the advantage of being able to travel across the country a lot quicker than what we were able to.  So it’s to another day that we will meet up with them again!  The little ‘Blighters’ …………