Snow Day

The photo of me standing in the snow in front of the archway in the last post reminded me that back on 10th August 2005 we had this amazing dump of snow around here – South Gippsland and Southern Victoria in general. Much more snow and lower down than we ‘normally get – whatever that may mean.

Back in 1983 there was an even bigger dump. I remember it even snowed at Tarwin Lower where we were then living within 10 metres of sea level –  our driveway here at Jeeralang Junction is exactly 200 metres above sea level, so that we are safe from the Poles melting.

There was substantial snow on the road all the way to Mirboo North back in 1983 where we then worked. It was so heavy it broke the tops of the old cypress trees on our farm here at Jeeeralang Junction and they have been falling down ever since. Of course we were not living here then (1991 on) so we didn’t see it but the dump in 2005 we did see. We kept the kids home from school (as it was very cold and might become even more dangerous) so I took quite a lot of photos of it, after I had been around the lambs on the flats first thing in the morning.

This was the view across the road from our driveway as I drove down.

The Maremma sheep guard dog, Brandy wasn’t fazed by all that white stuff. He grew up on our old Dobbins Hill farm on the top of the Jeeralangs several hundred metres higher up where it often snowed in winter.

Here is the old archway again with my oldest daughter Irralee posing in front of it.

The snow was still falling intermittently throughout the day – here along the front of the house.

Looking down towards the front gate through Della’s extensive gardens.

The snow falling in front of the hills opposite.

Irralee again in front of the other archway. She must have been the first of the children up that day. She seemed very happy to see the snow (or because it was my birthday!)

We used to have a lot of this model Subaru (1981-4) -around a dozen of them! Someone had built a snowman on the bonnet of this one.i used to fit five canoes on one set of those roof racks in summer!

Mid-morning but the snow was still falling heavily. We didn’t know whether Della would be able to get to or back from Mirboo North where she worked at the time – but she did!

Brandy decided discretion was the better part of valor and sheltered under the archway.

Della’s rose garden.

Rams on the hill looking forlorn.

And others just lying around in it.

These two look quite blizzarded in.

At various times during the day I took one family member or another up the road to look at our old Dobbins Hill farm where the snow lay much heavier. This is my son, Bryn at the front gate.

And again.

My daughter Merrin.

The snow was really coming down for her. Even when she was a small child she never needed to wrap up from the cold.

But her husband, Matt did. 

After Della returned from work, she wanted to have a look there too.

And took a photo of me also standing at our old front gate. Some days the snow was thick enough up there to toboggan.

The road back down was looking a bit icy.

Looking down on the home farm from the top road.

And again.

It was snowing heavily as Della and I drove back down.

This old plum tree in the paddock looked quite magical.

There was lots of snow waiting for us in the driveway.

View of the bottom dam in the creek below the house.

And across the creek.

Heading down to the Hazelwood Flats farm the snow was much lighter though there had been more ice and snow when I first arrived there to check the lambs at daybreak. The warm water of the power station pondage just across the road helped melt it into icy puddles quite quickly.

But the surrounding hills had practically enough to ski on.

By the time Della and I got there to re-check the sheep in the afternoon the snow was pretty much all gone.

Just vast icy puddles.

And ewes standing around looking forlorn and bereft.

The worst part about such a cold day was all the stock losses. We actually lost no adult sheep (They were all in good condition – and we had plenty of hay I could put out as well) but one farmer in South Gippsland lost 300 Jersey cows. Another lost 3,000 sheep. My losses for the day were (approx) 200 newborn lambs which I found (mostly) lying dead in 6″ deep icy puddle of water when I was going around the lambs as I did first thing every morning at lambing on our property then on the Hazelwood Flats.

Of course there were others which were near expiring. I did everything I could for them,, but it was not to much effect. The best thing was putting out several dozen big round bales of hay which the sheep could tear at – in the process making warm dry beds for the surviving lambs. It was pretty distressing (on my birthday) I can tell you to be losing around a fifth of my annual income; somewhere above $30,000 (gross) worth!

Something like this:

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