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

Barn roof back on!

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Jeff came out with Catarina Friday arvo and wanted to come back and help — help he did… we got the barn insulation, roof tin, and ridge cap on (all secure). Within 30-minutes of him leaving, we had the BIGGEST storm we’ve experienced here to date — near 100 mills / 4 inches in 20 minutes and thunder to rattle the bowels of hell! NO leaks — yet the walls are a tad airy and need work.

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Barn roof back on!

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Jeff came out with Catarina Friday arvo and wanted to come back and help — help he did… we got the barn insulation, roof tin, and ridge cap on (all secure). Within 30-minutes of him leaving, we had the BIGGEST storm we’ve experienced here to date — near 100 mills / 4 inches in 20 minutes and thunder to rattle the bowels of hell! NO leaks — yet the walls are a tad airy and need work.

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All things progress…

A day of rest after Arnaud’s departure was in order (only planting a few trees and hanging out with Jaffa). I started back at the barn early and between bouts of rain, managed to get half of the roof fir strips (for the tin to re-attach to) by mid afternoon. I had to get to Frank’s and pick-up the side wall tin and a few pieces of steel fence for the compost pens before 16:00. I managed, with Frank’s helper, Hamish’s help, to get everything loaded and back before dark.

Here I am with the barn fir strips half done (and looking serious! ;<)

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And speaking of progress… the planters, especially the tomatoes, are doing well and enjoying the heat and rain.

Busy day… but finishing at the beach!

After the last few weeks of work – Arnaud and I have accomplished quite a lot. Yesterday getting the barn framing sorted, prepped and some raised… Yet today, we pushed hard and finished.

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It has been a joy to find, that even after a massive tree (over 60cm / 2 feet across) landed on the corner of the barn and it spent near 10-years in waiting… We have restored the barn as it was built — just replacing a single stud, two header plates, and a few repairs. Otherwise, it remained intact. While we saved the original tin framing brackets — we upgraded to the latest in large screws (known as bugle bolts here in Oz) so the barn is stronger and more rigid than ever.

So, after a week of active work — we (of course) went to the beach for some much needed relaxation and fun. Could not have done it without your help Aranud — thank you sincerely.

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Barn floor done and first wall reassembled

After preparing the old timber. removing nails, and replacing weak pieces — we laid them out on the floor to start solving a jigsaw puzzle. The original builders used hand tools to create mortise and tenon joints and we stayed true to their style in recreating a number of the pieces broken or missing. It came together pretty well — yet at 2.9m high on top of a 3.3m foundation — it was pretty squirrel’y getting it all together.

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The floor was a GREAT deal of work — yet came together nicely. I’m told it is Brush Box timber cut from Fraser Island in 1941 and shipped across to build barracks for the US military for WWII.

Each afternoon, our building inspectors come around to check progress…

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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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Settlement and first day as owners…

After many months looking and several false starts — we finally got everything arranged, in place and approved for closing on 179 Andersons Road, Federal Queensland (a.k.a. 2RP179979 )

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More specifics:

Lot area: 195665.97 hectares (48 acres)

LAT / LON -26 degrees 25’ 15.4” S 152 degrees 48’ 38.0” E        -26.420954, 152.810561

Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/qbxTbkNTVD62

There are a few neighbours, most with smaller properties across Andersons Road though none are readily visible once you are past the gate area. The forested area is breezy and shaded so I see why the former owner chose it for his shelters. It has a smaller fenced section separating it from the remainder of the property.

We spent the day cleaning up the debris in the forest around the caravan, carport, barn and getting to know the place better. As the former owner had passed away 10-years ago and absolutely nothing had been done since… it was in a state of decay.

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We stayed from 25 November until early December at Cat and Jeff’s holiday home in Tewantin. It is a 25 minute drive each way so many trips and much time on the road the first few weeks.