|The Cut, Bunbury Western Australia|
I returned home from my two weeks in Perth with my family sick. 'Crook as a dog' as they say. Coughing me lungs up and a few other organs too. The weather over there was lovely - 17C-20C. Summer for me really! My mum insists Perth is getting cooler. But nothing could induce me to move back, not when I've lived here in cool, green, luscious Tasmania.
Lambs - a simple part of nature, right?
I must admit I have been secretly dreading lambing season because we Townie farmers have no idea what the hell we're doing. I said to Hubby the other day, 'So have you been reading up on what to do?' and his response was pretty much, 'Why? There's not much to know.' but of course, there is. The ewes that were on the property when we bought it five months ago (I know! 5 whole months already!) were possibly mated in December when the old ram, Cecil, got to them 'accidentally.' We have been fencing areas nearer the house, making sure the paddocks had plenty of feed and cover, but hadn't quite managed to get it finished. Then a few things in a row happened...
Sunday's massive storm
Our neighbour Jane later said it was the worst she'd ever seen. I was miserable all morning, glued to Netflix with sound dampening headphones on trying to blot out the howling gale and rain. You couldn't walk outside. You felt like some dodgy black and white movie character leaning into the wind, struggling to place one foot in front of the other.
By early afternoon the polytunnel was shredded. Hubby went off to check on the pregnant ewes, concerned they didn't have enough cover. I was imagining grey fluff balls with little stick legs bouncing along the ground like tumbleweeds, but they were ok. Meanwhile our fabulous neighbours, Kidlet and myself took down the plastic covering the polytunnel and stored the contents in our carport. The frame is bent to hell and unfixable.
Of course the power went off, as two massive trees came down and took out power lines and blocked off the road north of us. Because we are a fairly isolated tiny community, we're not top priority and had to just wait our turn. Fortunately we had plenty of food, but no power means no water because we pump ours from the spring 30m below ground. We have a small generator, but it guzzles petrol so you can't have it on for long. Just enough to keep the contents of the fridge and freezer going and mobile phones and laptops charged. Candle light was kinda fun Sunday night.
Monday - Hubby does his back in
Thankfully friends and neighbours have always been around to help. We're blessed! But sometimes you just bend to pick up something light and WHAM! So Monday we spent at the hospital. Still no power when we got home. Candle light was beginning to be annoying.
Tuesday morning's grisly find
So it wasn't until Tuesday morning that we were able to check on the ewes again. And unfortunately one of them had given birth and the lamb had died. I was shocked to hear Kidlet had seen the poor wee thing with it's eyes pecked out while our resident Wedge Tailed eagles soared overhead. However she was very philosophical about it, assuring her dad it was just life on the farm etc.
Power was restored by late afternoon, thank goodness.
|break from fencing - Caesar salad and fried egg.|
So yesterday we had to swing into action and finish fencing the horse paddock, where the best feed is and which has access to the shearing shed annex, which means the new mums have shelter for their wee bairn. I know precious little about fencing and Hubby was in five types of agony so I called upon our neighbour 'Cooch,' who doesn't know a lot about fencing either, but we managed ok! Still wasn't finished until this afternoon, but now the ladies are installed in their new digs and loving it. And no more dropsies yet.
Kidlet has been checking them all hours, just in case we miss something. The ewe who lost her lamb is however very generously endowed with milk and looking very uncomfortable, waddling about. Hubby thought he'd have to catch her and milk her! I suggested he drop into the vet clinic and see if they had something we could give her to dry up the milk. Turns out we don't have to do anything. The milk goes on its own, but it is a little uncomfortable for her for a few days. The vet nurse must have snorted with laughter after Hubby left.
We've had three lovely calm days since the storm, like an innocent-faced child after she's stolen a lolly. I managed to get some gardening done today and baked bread and some almond cookies, which i took round to Cooch's place as a thank you.
It's always a mixed bag here at Crumbleton Manor!