Wednesday, 26 February 2014

I can sense a sigh of relief ...



by Simone McPherson

The month of February has been a challenging month for us here.  Our rain did not come as usual at the end of October 2013 then November came and went still without any rainfall. 


Subsequently it was Christmas and the end of another year and still we did not see any rain of any description, and I had to let my little gardens go as the heat blistered.


Mind you there was plenty of noise indicating the coming of rain as stormy skies swirled around and we could smell rain and see it as it passed us by.  

We could also hear the sound of thunder as it filled the air announcing that perhaps something was going to happen as lightning strikes lit up the threatening skies above and in spite of everything, naught yet again, but another waterless storm.


Afterwards we realised that we were glimpsing the end of January 2014, and a miraculous thing happened we got half an inch in half an hour even so we looked up towards the heavens wishing for more of a deluge ...

 ...nevertheless that was to be our ration, we were grateful and the little garden sprang back to life ... I don't know how?


So we carried on as we do as there are always matters to attend to …

We finally finished the boundary fence line and as the other end of the old boundary follows the old watercourse of the creek which meanders through the gullies and ravines ...

... there was a second crossing over the creek which we had to attend to …


At this particular section of the boundary the country down in the creek bed is like a wonderland ...

... the country could not be so unlike the grazing country on the tops of the hills.


There are magnificent old trees peacefully standing there in the speckled afternoon sunlight … 

... and others just standing in the edges of the old creek bed when it is in flood.


The grasses are so high as this country has been locked up for over a year now ... 

... that Lily pup completely disappears as she scurries through the tall soft  grasses to catch up to El Ranchero.


There are even pools of water that Maxi puts to good use as he quietly wades through the coolness of the creek.


This crossing is only a short distance perhaps under 100mtrs.


El Ranchero does some mountain climbing to set the line above the ‘Flood line’ and ...

... also to set in the little portable solar panel that will power this particular section.


We manage to resurrect some electric tape that was washed away in the last flood.


And El Ranchero sets about re-aligning the stays for the electric tape that got twisted as the water rushed through the watercourse of the creek ...

... during the last flood it’s hard to imagine that the water even reached this level.


And now that the Creek country has been fenced, we have been organising cattle ...

... that have been specially tagged, with our Brand for this Creek paddock as they have a habit of wandering off.   

The cattle are in desperate need to get into that beautiful feed down in that lower country.


Furthermore Maxi and Lily pup have been on hand and putting in a good days work ...


... as we ventured down to one of our front paddocks to check the creek and another boundary line.

Well it was not running at all … in fact El Ranchero commented on it being as “dry as a popcorn fart” … that is a little bit of Australian humour, yes it did make me laugh.


Here is an image that was taken last spring … a little bit of difference in water height there.

And while down there it was a good opportunity to do some of my target practicing with our Smith & Wesson 357 revolver as I had just received my licence for. 


We carry the Smith & Wesson on the horse when we are out mustering, for those occasions when we come across diseased or injured stock and it is also there if; for some reason we become separated whilst out mustering for signalling if one of us has an accident with the horse taking off, crossed fingers that has not been the case to date.   
  
So El Ranchero has been busy doing reloads as I practice my firing skills.

"… now that would be a thousand reloads in that bucket” El Ranchero informs me ...

... mind you they are not all mine as the Smith & Wesson 357 would have to be El Rancheros favourite firearm, I am just a novice in these matters.

The Bulls have been busy taking care of their harems though at times there are some punch ups. 

This particular one though, was through the electric fence luckily they have enough respect for the fence line and do not challenge its boundaries even so we gave them a hurry up and pushed them on their way, they were very reluctant to move on as they had not finished having words with one another.

Now looking back I suddenly realise where the month of February has vanished too and now the month of March is upon us and I anticipate what awaits us? 

Wait a minute! is that the sound of rain that I can hear? Without hesitation I know what is at hand for us, the Heavens have opened and the rain is now falling I can sense a sigh of relief from the countryside as it is quenched by the falling rain, now that is a good start …