Monday, 26 August 2013

My Water Boys of August

Positively the best day I have had this year

First attempt was jolly brave, followed up with a quick escape to make sure the exit worked correctly

'Yes, I think I do like this'
Lets go just a bit further... no, really.... come on

Yup, that is Will swimming with Tom being towed at the end of his lead rope. I was in tears from laughing so much and only managed to catch them leaving.

Above is a really cool humming bird bug I attempted to photograph

This fellow was found in the stream during weed clear up, 59 more and I could have had enough for supper
Another interesting bug, have no idea what it is and have had no luck finding out yet



A bucket of kittens

That is about it from here, the house and surroundings are as ever wonderful and full of goodies everyday.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

July 2013


Wild flowers under Tom's window


Saturday 13th, another small fawn came darting into the driveway, then garden, stopped and looked totally bewildered at where it was, stared at Steven then at me, then shot into the garden, stopped at the pond momentarily then took off at full speed up to the woods, she was quite magnificent and a joy to watch. The hummingbirds have become regular visitors and are becoming positively brave around us. One adult painted turtle turned up on the door step (bottom of the steps, to be exact) and the snapping turtle in my last report, thankfully hasn't been seen again.


300 bales of hay collected this weekend. I wish Matthew could have seen me pulling the giant wooden trailers of hay with the Volvo, 15 mph there and back (or major fish tailing would occur, as I found out the hard way) but only maybe a half mile journey each way. Steven made a new door to the hay loft above the medium barn and for the first time, we have filled a good 1/3 of that, he is becoming quite proficient with a chain saw. Tomo having crashed through the floor of the dairy helped us decide that an alternate hay store for this winter was needed - he is fine and very proud of his new battle scar and lump. Our weather has been harsh, firstly it felt like it had rained non-stop since March with little to no sun and then when the sun does come out, you boil, quite literally (last night as I left work, the temp read 110). Poor old farmers are having a hell of a time.

Barn work for this year, is finished. We made new bat boxes for the bats we unintentionally evicted (they were living behind one of the planks that was removed and needed replacing, see below), they too are out in force every evening. Will is enjoying his new house and spends most days in the shade looking out of his window, venturing out only a night. We have returned him to barn pasture due to the torrential rains we had, which then brought huge amounts of flying beasties. There were streams of water running over the entire pasture for nearly two weeks, it looks so green now it has dried up well.


Sparta, if I am not mistaken, looks decidedly in-kit...

All burn piles but one, now burnt. Ground harrowed and de-stoned/de-glassed and de-metaled.

Patio; stone dust and gravel delivered now we just need the energy and enthusiasm to move it all. The base is complete with hardcore and two beams are in place, 8' long 8 x 8's which for the record, are seriously heavy. Six to go. Then the slate... Besides that, I am just trying to keep up with the mowing and trimming, which I am almost managing to do.

Weasel showing Tom he is a speedy swimmer...

Dogs, Tom and Steve have been swimming almost every day. We had to build a small fence along the house side of the pond as the frog-hunting dogs were starting to destroy the pond wall, it has done the trick and seems to be growing some vegetation which should help tie the bank together and give it some strength for the future. The natural springs make the water very interesting to swim in, you would expect the deepest part to be the coldest, but that is actually one of the warmest parts, the springs come in on the east side and BOY do you know it when you go in, GREAT for cooling off and all filled and cooled by Mother Nature.

The old girls and Weasel cooling off



Saturday, 26 January 2013

Not Forgotten ~ 2013

I can not believe an entire year has slipped by. Working full time has its downsides. A great deal has happened here and we have, as always been working so very hard. I think (hope) the pictures will do some of the talking, so I shall add away. Steven arrived home in May 2012 and we put him straight to work .... the results shown below (he actually made the stone wall to his left, in fairness, without machinery and collecting each and every stone from somewhere on the farm). You will be pleased to see that the old work uniform has not gone to waste, it is now 'work wear' for at home.

The Pond site began to come to life once again, and the changes were amazing to watch throughout the year.

June 17th brought the Will to Bain Road (after a VERY exciting 6 mile ride), it was decided that I should be kept busy (?!) he has been doing just that ever since. He has on occasion also managed to enlist Steven & Tom (which is most impressive) into assisting with his daily needs and 'would-likes' (apples and carrots on demand).

The hole is dug and is slate lined, thanks to mother nature. James estimated that it would take two months to fill. Ohh how wrong was he. Not only do we have run-off from Murdock and every field on the farm but also a large supply of fresh water springs throughout the pond site and surrounding area. 48 hours and she was full to the brim and flowing out of the over-flow stream. Apparently we are skipping from summer to present in the photographs, apologies for that, you will have to wait until the Spring to see it unfrozen and hopefully with grass around it, one day.

Mid January and the pond is frozen through and safe enough to skate, needs a good sweeping before any speed can be got but we all decide that maybe that isn't so bad for the first attempt. Tomo & M.

Quail chick No.1 who I am pleased to report is still going strong, he was very late in the season so we are thrilled he has almost got through the winter. Chickens are well in their insulated house and spend most of their time in the Dairy out of the snow.

Steve and A. building Will's new house. What a team, my huge thanks to both of them and to Mrs A. who helped me move all the wood they needed for this task on a disgustingly hot day in July.

Ok, so I now see that it may appear that we lay down a great deal, but this is the only way to cool off without A/C (on the cold concrete ground of the dairy)! - we had moved timber all day and it was some insane temperature that I did not enjoy very much (the jeans were due to the rough timber, shorts would have been preferred but not wise for this job).

(Another section) pathway to Murdock cleared.

Late autumn, I got home from work to see a man with a gun being dropped off by a pick up truck (that almost didn't stop) right outside the barn. It was quite bazaar. I changed my boots and followed him, he went in along side the paddock with Will in it. He had shot a deer and I am guessing he was trying to find it, at the speed he was off at. I was so furious. Thankfully Steven arrived home shortly after me and came and found me and I explained that I was attempting to track the hunter and what had happened to cause this situation. He went to get the gun from the house, which was good because we found the deer right behind Will's paddock with one shot to its stomach and another that had broken a hind leg, Steven quietly and expertly I might add, put her out of her misery. We then called James the Excavator to come and collect it and remove it from the field, which he was thrilled about and I was darn sure that the 'hunter' wasn't going to come back and get it, bastard, he is bloody lucky I did not get the gun before I followed him, but alas I did not have time to do both and chasing him seemed more fun at the time. Thanks Giving, I gave thanks for our family and home and that I did not have a gun on me when I chased the trespassing git who could not kill a deer cleanly and for me not being in sing sing for murdering said trespassing git. Moving on, to Winter!

Retirement (USAF) and snow, suit him!

The greatest thing about the Winter here (besides there being no trespassing hunters), is when it arrives and snow is on the ground, you HAVE to go out and play in it, no matter what your age. So, yes, it is me on the sled, having snow-shoed to the top. We did one run down together, which was just too painful from laughing so much. Steven  then decided to go down on his tummy and almost collided into the ONLY wood post I concreted in the Murdock pasture, head first, but my goodness it was so funny we had tears rolling down our faces, he stopped I swear, only an inch away from nose planting into the post.

Hoping this finds everyone happy and well, having feasted well over the Christmas period and into the New Year. I do hope everyone has a very prosperous & healthy 2013. Until Spring.