Rain, rain, rain…

Near 80% of our annual rainfall usually falls in February or March… this year (as with most weather patterns lately) — there has been a big change. Good rain started a month ago as Summer was ending and hasn’t stopped since… the grass is green, our trees are thriving, mushrooms have come and gone… now, we’re really getting water logged. The soil is covered by standing water (even on our slopes) — water is slowing working its way down Black Mountain to Middle Creek below.

raindrops

Guess its time to get out the gumboots (galoshes) and splash — or better yet — our birthday suit and dance (yet its a tad cold for that!)

We’re a wildlife sanctuary!

A number of people in the area have agreed to join the Wildlife Land Trust in protecting the local flora and fauna. Since we’ve heard koalas in our canyon during mating season and enjoyed countless varieties of birds, wildlife, and flora — we have been accepted as a member sanctuary.

About the Wildlife Land Trust

In 2007 Humane Society International launched the Wildlife Land Trust (WLT) Australia in an effort to preserve and protect our vital native habitats and the animals that depend on them, in a network of sanctuaries both throughout the country and internationally.

Working under the guiding principle of “humane stewardship”, the Wildlife Land Trust protects not only vast and impressive landscapes but also the smaller, humbler places that provide for the needs of all wildlife, rare and common species alike. Our members make up a community of wildlife carers, conservation enthusiasts and environmentally responsible landowners around Australia. We encourage our members to practice sustainable and eco-friendly land management whilst preserving the valuable ecosystems and native species on their land.

Since being initiated by The Humane Society of the United States in 1993, the WLT has grown to protect more than 1.8 million acres of habitat in Australia, Canada, South Africa, USA, Belize, Romania, Jamaica, India and Indonesia. Our goal is to see the protection of one million acres of wildlife habitat across Australia and to expand Wildlife Land Trust sanctuary partnerships throughout Africa, India and south-east Asia.

Feel free to check out our YUNDA listing on the Wildlife Land Trust website.

P.S. don’t worry about snakes… they are few and far between. ;<)

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!

Weekend away to Brisbane

Nick and I seldom leave the property for much time together so a trip to Brisbane for a friend’s birthday party and catching up with a few others as we drove along the gorgeous Sunshine Coast was a great mini-holiday!

Jaffa Andy dogs

Jaffa enjoyed a sleep-over with his best mate Andy at our Sistas’… and our helper Rambaud from France watched over our place…

Brett Rambaud Nick

Nick and I enjoyed markets, musicians, antique trucks, and even some beach time.

antique Ford truck ute

Jazzie Smith musician

Juzzie Smith, a Byron Bay based street performing musician, sings while playing several instruments at a time… quite skilful and his tunes eclectic – highly recommended!  Check out a music video at the end of this post…

Maria Ken pool party feast

We caught up with our friends Ken and Maria and enjoyed a feast prepared by her celebrity chef Mother (thanks again!) After an hour or so we could not help ourselves and enjoyed a splash and play in their pool.

Ken Maria kids pool party

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

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

Holiday visitors

Our dearest Annandale friends (like family) came to Queensland for a wedding and joined us for a few days including Christmas lunch. Our sistas fromBlack Mountain also joined in the merriment.

Jans chook joint sign

Jan was our inspiration for leaving Sydney and finding our very own place to raise chickens. She has long dreamed of doing so herself so I carved this wooden sign for her (which she left for us to look after until she returns). It’s a lovely reminder of the influence and impact of the kindness of cherished friends.

Jose Nick Franks Lookout

Just a few days later we had Mark up from Brisbane with Jose from Columbia. Between beach, sight-seeing, and hiking — we found some time to relax and enjoy a break.

Mark Ashby straddles creek

But only after a hike along the Black Mountain Canyon trail to the creek below. Mark was determined to walkover this pool — and luckily stayed dry (and well stretched! ;<)

Forest and Friends

Our forest area has really come to life with the many Bromeliads we’ve planted and the Glass House (our tiny house) is perfectly placed to enjoy the gardens.

scary garden troll woman

What garden would be complete without a garden troll -er gnome… -er scare crow? This rather scary ceramic statue watched over the forest and in fact seems to keep bush turkey and came toads at alert!

Lasso Brett Franks lookout

We’re always pleased to have friends, family, and guests stay with us… my mate Lasso came up from Byron Bay and enjoyed several hikes, much conversation, and wonderful meals together. From Frank’s Lookout, you can see we’ve enjoyed regular rain and overcast conditions which has allowed things to green and thrive.

Lasso Tinbeerwah lookout

One of my most enjoyable outings is Mount Tinbeerwah Lookout — every visit it’s different and each time it captivating. What a magical place to share with friends!

Brett Tinbeerwah lookout

Cooroora Mountain conquered!

Arnaud and I were determined to climb Cooroora Mountain before he departed… all 439 meters of her!

We got up early, enjoyed a brekkie prepared by Nick and set off. We drove through a new (to us) area of Pomona to the lower “base” car park from where we departed (near 07:00). By 08:10 we were at the summit. The trail was loose at the start, got better, then weaned off to near-nothing but a chain near the top… then nothing but air. We passed probably 70 people going up or down the trek and made it, only two stops for water, and MUCH sweat later!

WHAT A VIEW – all 360 degrees of it! (even stretching to the ocean and beyond). Words cannot express it — yet, neither can the pictures – but here goes…

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