Saturday, 7 May 2016

... for afternoon tea ...


by Simone McPherson
The other morning we were up early as we had to check the Creek paddock for water as it was disappearing very fast for the rains have not been coming as they usually do … and to our amusement we find Dominga with her new found friend a ‘Pretty-face’ Wallaby grazing together.
 
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
Each morning while getting organised for the day we always check to see what the weather is doing so that we can  make plans, if need be for the jobs at hand, and to our surprise we were extremely fascinated in what is being forecasted for the coming week.
 
Australian Bureau of Meteorology

By this map all the Pilbara region of Western Australia and the desert country are going to get some wonderful rain, which will flush out the creek systems and fill the inland Lakes.  Hopefully that wonderful rain will be coming our way too, nevertheless you really cannot plan too far ahead where the weather is concerted for it is shifting all the time.


After driving for about 20mins we are down on the Creek floor, and we loosen the electric tape so that we can drive through, then we start … 


… as we drive along  the creek bed we can see that the creek has definitely dried up.  There is also another task that we need to attend to while we are here, and that is to go in search of some cows with their calves that are missing from another paddock.  El Ranchero believes that they have either pushed through a fence or have been pushed; for we have sighted a mature Dingo living down in that creek area. 

Australian Geographic
I know that when these dogs hunt they usually hunt alone as they are loners.  However they are opportunistic hunters pursuing small game such as rabbits, rodents, birds, and lizards, eating fruits and plants as well. They also scavenge from humans, though they will not bring down cattle.  Ofcourse the Dingo is legendary as an Australian wild dog, though it also occurs in Southeast Asia and their origins are still a bit of a mystery.  They believe that the Australian animals may be descendants of Asian dingoes that were introduced to the continent some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, now that is a long time ago.
We drive along the creek bed as far as we can before taking the rest of the way on foot and we always travel with a firearm on these occasions, for a number of reasons. ‘One’ could actually fall /slip/stumble down a steep ravine, get bitten by a snake, have an incident with rogue cattle or just find whatever it is we are in search of and it is a way of alerting the other of your whereabouts. I carry my 410 single shot, shot gun it is a comfortable rifle to carry across this country whilst traveling by foot and some of this country is …


… very, very steep terrain …


However once we make the top suddenly we can feel that wonderful breeze fall upon us and the vista isn’t too bad either as we look out towards the South.

We decide that we need to split up to cover the distance that we need to cover with Maxi boy making big sweeps between us both, he is a ‘casting’ dog after all.  After a while I come across some tracks in the sand that are definitely not of Cattle.  I think it's an Emu print … I am very excited, 
 
Australian Geographic

… though I have never sighted any Emu’s in this country they are more likely to be found along the  Plains and Grasslands.


After three hours on foot I managed to pick up the cattle track and by the feel of their droppings I estimate them to be no more than five minutes or so away, I stop to hear any sound of them crashing through the bush, nothing.  Then I hear El Ranchero down on the creek floor with Maxi moving the cattle up the steep hillside on the opposite bank … and then I catch a glimpse of them as they disappear into the scrub … they escape us yet again, at least we know where they are camping now and we will just have to come out again on another day.


On our walk back to the Ute we walk along the creek floor and I cannot but admire the beautiful River Gums that are presently …


… dropping their old bark and revealing …


… their magnificent white trunks.


The past week has also had us busy weaning the calves, though this year we are doing things a little differently, we are leaving the Steers with their mothers for a little longer and weaning the little Heifers off their mothers.


While El Ranchero, Rocky and the dogs are out mustering I will usually attempt to catch up with paperwork in the office, until I hear a “ …clip, clop …” outside on the concrete veranda and who do I see when I peer around the corner … Rocky and El Ranchero.  El Ranchero is in for lunch and Rocky after his well-earned hose down is waiting for his ‘treat’ a lovely green apple out of the fridge as he gently takes the pieces from my hand he dribbles apple juice everywhere as he delights in eating that lovely cold apple.

I’ve also planted some more little Minuet lettuces to replace the Oak leaf lettuces,


Some Rocket …


… and I’ve trimmed back the little Kumquat trees …


… I’m attempting to finish up some jobs that were started way back before November 2015 … one was to repaint a wardrobe which I’m now tackling and at this time of year …


… I also re-oiled all our timbers inside with a mixture of 50/50 parts of boiled linseed oil – not raw as everything will stick to it and it is tacky forever as I found out a few years back … and Gum Turpentine that is to say a Turpentine that is made from trees and not mineral.  This mixture lasts me very well, the only thing is that El Ranchero finds the odour a little over bearing; I on the other hand do not as it reminds me of my days of painting in Oils which I no longer do after discovering all the new Acrylic paints they have manufactured nowadays for artists, the selection in colours is endless and they even have the depths that you can only really get from Oils.


… and on that note I have also started sketching again, nothing flash, just quick little studies …


… which has proved to be quite positive for me as my ‘Therapists’ recommended, and I have found the sketching very …


… settling for my mind.  I bring out the sketch book in the mornings when we have a coffee break and then again …

… in the afternoon for afternoon tea, which is about now, so have a great week and while I go and make that lovely cup of Lapsang Souchong and a traditional milky tea for El Ranchero who should be home soon for afternoon smoko …