Winter Solstice

Sunrise June 20

It’s raining……… The season has come late this year, with the main dam overflowing into the creek several weeks later than last year. The nights have cooled, but the days are still warm, so the green feed is continuing to grow and we have a good supply of hay on hand.

This year’s lambs have been marked and once again the was one to be bottle fed. After 7 weeks, Simon was put out in the paddock with the ewes and lambs, boy did he complain! For a week or so, any time he saw a person or a vehicle he let out loud bleating, running up and down the fence-line.

Maiden ewes keeping our lawn in check.

Three new calves arrived early in the year and so Pauline is now the proud first time mother of Rusty who cavorts around with Blade and MissT.

Trudy with Harriet, Sunny, Hilda with Blade
Proud mum Pauline with newborn Rusty.
Honey with newborn MissT.

The bird life continues to enthral us, from the small Weebills, Thornbills, Robins, Fantails and Wagtails that hop around the verandas, to the Eagle that visits from time to time. Such is the need to find a feed, that we forgave this large bird for taking one of our free-ranging chooks. Sometimes in the late afternoon it can be quite noisy with the laughing Kookaburras, the squawking Black Cockatoos, the squabbling Geese, the carolling Magpies and the chattering flock of 80+ Wood Ducks.

Wedge Tailed Eagle

The 28s (Port Lincoln Parrot), so named for their call, have also been feeding around the property: on the sweetcorn, olives, any fruit not under a net and digging into the lawns for tasty roots. We managed to keep them out of the nectarine tree which yielded about 30 cricket ball sized juicy fruit, the first time we have had a crop. They tried hard to eat the Granny Smith apples through the netting with some success and we got a plentiful crop of rather small yellow peaches from the 2 trees. The citrus trees are now starting to ripen, but mostly the birds leave them alone, thank goodness.

28s manicuring the lawn

The new lithium batteries have provided us with a more efficient power supply, so all the paddock fences now have a hot wire around them. The first to test it out was a visiting kangaroo. I have also accidentally tested the current, not once, but twice!

Six of the redundant battery cases have been put to good use. They have been painted on the outside and are now on the veranda, potted up with roses from a local rose nursery. I have missed having roses, as until now I have not had somewhere to plant them.

We have been tree planting again. We have put in some North American deciduous flowering species and a couple of maples on the north side of the dam, so that in a few years, when they have grown, we should have some spring flowers and autumn colour to enhance the view. They have rabbit guards as well as sheep guards around them, so we are giving them every chance to grow well. The Swamp Sheoak trees and the Weeping Willow that we planted last year, are all growing well.

Wood gathering has been an important autumn activity and we have a good assortment of firewood to keep the room heater alight all winter, so keeping us warm, drying the washing on wet days and to use as a stove top. Needless to say, in front of the heater is one of Ella’s favourite spots.