New year and new attractions

While Nick and his trusting PA (pet assistant) Jaffa toil away…

Brett and Rambaud helped our Sistas prepare their hen house for new chooks. They seemed quite happy with their snake-proofed chook house which also sports an enlarged roost, viewing window, extra ventilation, auto-waterer and many other chicken comfort features!

While the evening sunsets have been fantastic — the early morning fog has been great too. The grass is drying due to incredibly hot and sunny days yet the abundant morning fog is keeping things fairly green.

The skies seem like platinum and silver with numerous shades of light, colour, and textures interplaying… what a beautiful time of year!

Welcoming Entrance and season.

Regular rain has propelled the grass and maintained a lovely green. Even the Frangipani orchard is greening up and the trees are shooting many new leaves. It promises to be a wonderful season.

frangipani orchard

Looking into the forest we find the floor also alive with activity. Can you spot the butterfly? (some might call it a moth)

leaf litter forest butterfly

First visitors of 2019 and a flower filled season

Ange and her family came through while on a Queensland holiday and we enjoyed lunch together. She and Nick always strick a pose and do a jig!

Wattle blooms

This time of year also sees many Wattles blossom and plenty of pollen in the air. While it’s difficult sometimes for those with hay fever — it really is a wonderful time to enjoy the flowers and fragrances.

bee swarm tree

This being Summer time sees our bees buzzing with activity. Though not quite as floral as Spring, between hot days and many flowers — they are swarming regularly. Luckily, they so far are returning to their hive.

flowhive bee inspection window

Always much to do!

It may be end of year but there is plenty to do! Nick and Jaffa dug the large Johnson Grass from around the frangipani orchard. Okay… Jaffa really was just a watch dog!

When there are breaks between projects — there is always cleaning up after the chooks.

Though there is always much to do when building and operating a working homestead — at the end of each day we take time to enjoy the season — and every day is special in it’s own way… the joy today was a majestic sunset!

sunset colours sky

Coffee anyone?

Our dearest Sista years ago gave us two gorgeous coffee bushes and we’ve enjoyed them as potted plants for several years. Today they found their permanent home close to the garden and water tank in the shade of a nearby tree. The volcanic soil and position are perfect for coffee so we welcome YOU to come try our handiwork (in a few months) as they produce well already.

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Standing dead timber

The heritage barn on our property had been hit on a corner by a large 40cm diameter x 25M tall red gum tree. While the barn is amazingly robust, sadly it was knocked about. Arnaud and I had felled a smaller 30cm x 20M tree and it landed atop the carport. The next, a 50-60cm x 30M red gum landed downhill below the barn. The final tree was right against the carport and between the green lockers and a very tricky tree to fell. Gladly, it too fell just like we wanted it to – just alongside the end of the blue 20’ container and away from harm. Only after these three trees were felled was the barn and forest area safe. We will be proud to use the timber for the gazebo or our home when we get started with its timber framing. They are gorgeous and massive red gum trees which are perfect for construction.

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First substantial rain in our water tank and home alone

Rained off and on last night from around 17:30 onwards. Read 44mm this morning and appeared ~50mm new rain in the tank. While our spring still flows as usual — the grass has gone brown and even many trees are showing stress with curling leaves. This amount of rain, while not extravagant, will revive them.

Nick is still in Sydney and working from the AURA office today. It was Fair Day weekend — so plenty to do and see and always great to catch up with friends. While I enjoy the tranquility, sadly, that leave me to take care of his kids… Little Joe is always fun, as he dances around playfully. Jam is sweet, yet slow to walk along and kind of slow in general. Tik, however, remains the alpha goat. She is showing the most these days and hopefully will birth soon. They are entertaining yet quite a lot of time and work to maintain.

I spent much of the day working on the pens near the greenhouse for chickens and goat containment. I was able to reuse a portion of the old fence wire and chicken wire mesh. The post had to be driven, holes dug, trees fell (we have an abundance of standing dead wood in our forest — so harvesting them makes the forest safer during wind storms and great fence posts!) and finally, tamping the wooden posts into the ground. Its hard work — yet satisfying and certainly helps with fitness!

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Bob the kookaburra perched in a tree nearby for a while to watch over what I was doing. Seems he must have been satisfied as he flew off after a while. I also found a new tree species… this, a massive near 20m/60ft tree with vibrant green leaves (even in the dry) and fruit that reminds me of chestnuts — yet about 10 times the size! Funny to hear them drop to the ground every few minutes — guess they must be ready. Must find out what they actually are before eating…

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The skies were clear much of the day yet as the sun advanced to set for the day, the dark flint colour appeared to the North West and a fantastic pinkish orange glared brightly towards the East. It was a stellar sunset period.

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