Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spring - a time of new life but it seems to be death around here.

Our first spring at Sheihalean is warming up already and we are waiting with great anticipation for harvest to start. Flowers are blooming, baby birds are chirping and the world abounding with new life. Except for a few unfortunates.

First there are the 12 sheep we sent to market, they could well be living it up on someone's farm but it seems more likely they are presenting themselves on many people's tables. We rejoice in the knowledge that we are helping to feed the world.

Moving house, building dog runs and chook yards has put us a little behind schedule and we are yet to shear our remaining sheep. On our last check we found a couple with flystrike so we brought them home, shore and treated them and put them in a small yard to recover. Unfortunately one didn't recover so I turned my attention to the remaining one, hoping she would make a full recovery but for some reason she didn't seem to improve. I know they can get an infection from flystrike but I thought that if this was the case she would have gone the way of her mate. I treated her again, put wound dressing on her and waited.

Nearly a week has passed and she still isn't picking up but today I discovered why, she was pregnant. Nature is very good at taking care of her own and so the little lamb was born way before time to hopefully give her Mum the strength to recover. It was quite gross to discover the aborted fetus but at least now I know what is going on. I should hopefully start to see an improvement fairly quickly.

Our final fatality was a big old bobtail. I wish they would learn not to go in the dog run. I am thinking of putting fine mesh all around it to stop them getting in. Not sure what to do at the gates though.

So let's move on with spring and focus on the new life not the lives that have passed.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Morning From Hell

I really did intend to blog regularly but it seems I am so busy living life I don't find the time to write about it. But after this morning's adventures I am too buggered to do any more living life so writing about seems like the best option for now.

I started my morning a little later than usual but it was a perfect spring day, blue sky, chirping birds, you know the normal country stuff. I headed off towards the dam with my 6 dogs and our 2 visiting dogs. The dogs all know their way around now so as soon as I turn through the gate towards the dam they race off down there and are usually swimming happily by the time I arrive. This morning as I approached the dam I could here lots of barking and see dogs running around the dam like a velodrome. As I got closer I saw a Mum and Dad duck with about 10 babies swimming around in the middle of the dam. The dogs were taking turns to try and get them while the rest where barking encouragement from the bank. All except Dexter the retriever it seems he is only interested in ducks after they have been shot and his prize bone was much more important to him.

Now if I want all my dogs to come with me I yell "Come on Everyone" but with so much excitement happening this didn't work. The only other option was to call them off one at a time. This also proved to be a bit of a problem because the first dog would come but then when I called the second the first would go flying back to the duck hunt. I managed to get about 3 dogs to stay with me so to keep them occupied I said "where's the sheep" and they ran off towards the sheep paddock and away from the dam. It was then fairly easy to get the others to come to me and as they raced off towards their mates at the sheep paddock I apologized to the ducks and strolled off to catch up with the dogs.

As I approached the sheep paddock I realized that Fergus and Stanley had taken me seriously and instead of sitting by the fence watching the sheep like the others they were both in with the sheep. This was all too much for one sheep and he cleared the fence in his attempt to get away. This was a mistake as the other 6 dogs were sitting there waiting (well 5 really Dexter has no interest in live sheep either). Then it was on, the sheep was running, the dogs were running I was running and yelling and throwing things. For some reason no one was listening too me. Fergus and Stanley thought this chase was much more fun and left the sheep paddock to join in. There is a lot of rubbish around our place (clean up is on the to do list) and sheep and dogs were running through rusty tin, wire, and broken glass. By this stage just strange gurgling noises where coming from me as I had visions of a mauled sheep and injured dogs and huge vet bills

Eventually the sheep went down and the dogs formed a perfect circle around it with only Madi and surprisingly enough Stella having ago at it. Now things where a bit quieter I could think straight and went back to the task of calling a couple of dogs off, shutting them up and then going back and getting the next couple. Finally all the dogs were safely away but the sheep just laid there, was it going to be roast lamb for tea. I went to check him out and he was all in one piece and with a bit of coaxing he got back up. I'm sure he has vowed never to jump a fence again.

Disaster averted, emergency over I headed back to the house for a well earned cup of tea. I don't think I will need any more exercise for a week.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fox on the Run

We went for our first big walk yesterday, a lap of the back paddock. It was, like most mornings here, a glorious morning and as we headed up the hill from the house the views became even more stunning. There are always lots of birds calling to us and one in particular that has a very pretty song. I am yet to catch a good look at him so I don't know what type of bird he is, it is not one that we use to get in Chidlow.

Our walk was beautiful and peaceful. We chatted and laughed and the dogs ran and played. At one stage I did a bit of a dog head count and realized 2 were missing. Then we saw them in the distance at the back of the neighbouring paddock, running flat out. There in front of them was a fox running for his life. I didn't think they would be able to catch it but the gap was closing fast. The fox changed tactics and started zig zagging to try and throw them off, it was amazing to watch as the dogs zig zagged along behind the fox. By this stage they were through the next paddock and heading up the rocky hill at the back. This is about when I started to get worried and had visions of the fox and dogs all disappearing into the distance never to be seen again. I started to call just as they went out of sight but within a few seconds the 2 dogs reappeared and ran all the way back to us. I was quite surprised as I thought the thrill of the hunt would be more important to them or maybe I just got lucky and the fox had found a hiding spot.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The First Few Days

We are finally here!!!! My dream come true, old colonial homestead on 207 acres with shearing shed and lots of room for the dogs to run and play. I would love to add some photos but the batteries for the camera are flat and the recharger is still somewhere in a box.

The move went fairly smoothly the only major problem was the fact my very large, very heavy jarrah dining room table wouldn't fit through the door but with lots of maneuvering, grunting and sweating our lovely moving guys managed to get it in.

Since arriving we have done a lot of walking and exploring, there are a lot of rustic relics laying around and also a lot of old bottles, some broken, so we are going to need a clean up fairly soon to protect our doggies. The views are stunning and still take my breath away every morning. The silence is incredible, it is so peaceful and relaxing but I know I need to get back into the house and get things sorted. The kitchen is done and so are the lounge and dining rooms. I am half way through the laundry and really need to unpack the bathroom boxes as we are running out of toilet paper.

Of course there are a few problems with a 110 year old house that will need to be fixed and we have a huge wish list. We discovered that the hot water system is so small you can't even get 2 showers out of it, the bathroom floods when you have a shower and the house water system is pretty dodgy. Cooking on an electric stove is taking some getting used to and the internet coverage is not very good.

But this is our dream and part of that dream is making this place perfect.