Thursday, 31 May 2018

Can that be right?

Exactly two months between posts and you might well ask, where the heck have you been? In fact I'm asking this to myself right now.
Can that be right? We're teetering on the very edge of May, and about to jump into month number six, and from then on, well.... we both know that it's all a gallop downhill to the end of the year again.
Oh life! So it must be a sign of good things hey? Time flies when you're having fun and all that...!
I certainly can't complain, although the lumpy bits seem to be mountainous when they occur, but isn't it miraculous how, in hindsight, we discover that things happen for a multitude of reasons?
Generally they are a form of "correction" to bring us back into balance.  I vaguely remember hearing that said about the Global financial situation, we needed a recession to "correct" the balance of something that included the words 'fiscal' and  'monetary policies' etc. You can see that I don't know a squit about any of that stuff, but life certainly does throw us some 'corrections', to even out the balance of our conscious presence in this world.

Life has not stood still though, and plenty has been happening about the farm. This constant in my life (one of many) for which I'm ever grateful and appreciate more as time moves forward.
The authenticity of this little piece of our world, keeps me grounded when all hell is breaking loose out there. The discovery and appreciation of what and who, are really necessary to survive.
So, there has been some spring cleaning, and onward we move.

 On a very hot afternoon in April, Lavender had her long awaited calf. As the signs were clear that she was in labour we observed from a short distance to allow her full concentration on her task of pushing out this beautiful healthy heifer. A quick birth with no complications, baby suckled well from the start, a textbook calving.

Baby was up and about within thirty minutes of arriving into the world. Lavender is in good shape and her udder is coping well with the demands of all that milk being produced for her calf. I left her for three days before I brought her into the dairy to take some of her milk for us. She has plenty, although she wasn't letting down for me, so we brought her calf in and allowed her to suckle until the milk let down. Then we guided the calf away and quickly attached the milking cups and milked a few litres. We had to do this little trick for just three days until she realised that we were leaving plenty of milk in her udder for the calf.
I love this way of milk sharing for two reasons.
Firstly and uppermost in our ethical thoughts on raising food for consumption, the calf and mother are allowed to be together as nature intended. Cows love their babies. They mourn the loss of their baby when it is taken from her at two days old. I don't care what anyone says, about how quickly she forgets her calf and all the platitudes and excuses. In an ideal world, this is the only type of milk I want to consume. And I'm able to do this under my control, in my sometimes ideal world. Oh of course I eat cheeses and dairy products made from conventionally farmed dairy cows, but here, because I can, I want my cows to be as happy and as natural as they can possibly be.
The second reason why I love this share system that Lavender and I have going, (our little contract with each other) I can skip milking whenever I feel like not milking, or when I don't need milk that day, or when I/we go on HOLIDAY.!!

We went away on holiday for two weeks!
 Driving across Western NSW  for five days before reaching the beautiful town of Bellengin near the Central Coast of NSW.

 Meg settled into holiday mode rather too well. 

Lots of wonderfully quiet free camping out bush during the drives there and back. Gosh, it's terribly dry out there in NSW.

 A short drive from Bellengin is Coffs Harbour, where we ventured one day during our stay. Not prepared for the hustle and bustle of busy big towns and cities (we were stuck fast in the slow pace of holiday mode), a quick lunch of fish and chips at the wharf, and we were on our way back to peaceful little Bello again.

But before we could take time away from the farm, the important job of burying cow horns filled with cow manure had to be done.

The basic rule is to prepare Prep 500 during the full moon at Easter, but here in South Australia we wait until the first rain has arrived. This year we had a bit of rain a couple of weeks after Easter so we got ours filled and buried during the days around the full moon in April.
They will lay under the ground over winter and we will dig them up after six months.

The 500 pit covered with hessian bags and an old gate to prevent dogs or chooks from scratching them up.

Seeing double? Or double trouble?
We've talked about getting a second Kelpie so when this one appeared on Gumtree we made inquiries. Purchased as a cute puppy, this little girl was not bred for a suburban back yard with small children. So by the time she reached seven months they had no control over her at all. Hopefully they have learned their lesson about acquiring unsuitable pets for the conditions.
We see this all too often but it continues. 
We named her Soda because it rhymed with the last two syllables of her previous name which was far too long and unsuitable as a working dog. 
The first day with her here and we really thought we had made a big mistake! She was uncontrollable! But after hours and hours of training over the first two days, and gaining her trust in us, her behavior has done a complete turnaround. What a great little dog she is, and we look forward to many years ahead with her. What a delight it is to see her so happy here, running free in the paddocks with the other dogs, and generally trying to please us with her beautiful nature.
Casterton Kelpie Muster is coming up during the June long weekend, of course we're going, but with two Kelpies this time. ;-)
Cheers for now, and thanks for visiting.

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