Nick , Jaffa and I hadn’t taken the time to take our beloved boat Vitabellina out since we’ve been in Queensland. Since Lockie and I took it for a practice run — it was time to enjoy a day out on the water with the whole Family. What fun we had… VERY relaxing, picturesque, and enjoyed! Jaffa surprised us how much he enjoyed the day and being on the boat.
Susan and Vic stayed at Avalon Country Cottages operated by our friend Linda. They were just 20 minutes or so from us and enjoyed their own space, fenced yard, and an endless range of wild birds and other wildlife.
The garden continues to bumble along… MANY bees have been about enjoying the nectar and pollinating plants. This Monarch butterfly couldn’t quite work out the bird netting yet seemed SO close!
Goats being goats sometimes get too carried away with being everywhere EXCEPT where we want them… this electric mesh fence helps remind them they have work to do. It only takes a single zap to keep them respectful (oaky, maybe two for Joe — he thought it was tingly and fun!)
Speaking of tingly and fun — our dearest Sisters from Sydney came up with the whole pack to check out YUNDA. Twelve hours driving over several days saw Vic and Susan with Andy and Cricket make it up. We are honoured to have had them go to such effort to see us. Jaffa was SO lucky having scored many treats and kibbles brought up to spoil him. Seems he smiled for weeks afterwards (yet, so did we! ;<)
The Sunshine Coast has some of the best skies and weather patterns anywhere. Lucky for us — the Winter is among the best all year! This was an eerie lower level brown grey (likely bushfire smoke and just after sunrise) pressured down by the clear and blue sky above… Quite nice!
Though we’ve had minimal rain — the grass has generally stayed lush and quite lovely (for goats). They continue to torment ALL our precious trees by eating the bark off and breaking limbs… BAD goats! Jaffa the deputy goat herder is helping keep them away — Tik is not impressed!
Lockie had visited late last year — before we had water and related facilities. Brave enough to return, he found quite a bit of progress — yet was happy to pitch in and help further. While we prepared materials for the re-birth of Goatel (v2) — the rain and cool weather slowed progress. We readied the Oregon and Tallow timber for the build yet focused more on plants. Lockie was quite helpful in identifying several new trees we’d found. These include: Black Apple (also called Planchonella Australis – a native plum like apple tree). He also clarified that what we’d thought was Black Boys is actually called Bullrush (a smaller version of a grass tree). We managed to plant a few more trees (including two avocados) and move the divider fence near Forest Lodge to expand and protect the tree preserve.
Not to be hungry… we enjoyed many a fine meal including exquisite omelettes, grilled trout dinners, lovely salads with garden produce. Sadly, we’d been unable to decide which goat would taste best grilled. Being SO ornery, I expect they need to be slow cooked in a steam style oven (so we’ll leave cabrito for another day! ;<) Among our most elaborate meals was a very rustic grilled chook (affixed to a custom made steel -er crucifix) which extentuated the smokey fire flavour with hints of rosemary, lemon grass and chile marinade. This was served with damper on a stick, charcoal roasted pumpkin, and a variation of the classic smores which included Nutella, roast pumpkin mash, ginger bisquits, and of course flame grilled marshmallows… it was decadent!
A week ago we retired the Goa-TEL from active duty. It was a Newlands Premier 1976 model caravan which had been on the land since 1984. Sadly, the last dozen or so years had not been kind…
While the goats enjoyed the luxurious accommodation, ample windows, comfortable cushions, and varied height perches — it was getting pretty BAAAADDD… the stench of goats was a bit much so close to Forest Lodge.
Nearly gone — thanks to Clém, our large axe, and a trip to the tip with our ute.
Sometime recently, an opportunistic criminal had taken a torch to the caravan and stolen the axles from under it leaving it quite unstable and weak. We had to cut the remaining frame in half to move it out of the forest to a suitable area for re-building.
Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes… after the first day, Brett had replaced the missing main frame sections, upgraded / repaired the steel frame and made it ready for the subfloor and imminent re-build. Stay tuned!
July has brought near daily rain, morning fog, cooler temperatures, and challenging conditions for Bob the kookaburra — yet gorgeous skies.
Brett made a grilled breakfast for Nick on his 45th birthday.
Nick and Jaffa continue, come rain fog or shine, to trek regularly to the FAV.
Not bad here in the Sunny Coast for the middle of Winter!