Australia

Electric Drill Earth Auger:

I have been substantially laid up with this back (slipped disc then back op. – basically since July dammit!). Slowly getting better I hope (?) Meanwhile however my daughter Merrin and I have planted about 300 trees mainly using this method which costs at most a couple of dollars ($A) and at least A$1 when …

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Mount Bartle Frere

We climbed this iconic peak back on 1st September, 2017. This year we are both having trouble for various reasons walking to the front gate – but we will overcome! It is Qld’s highest mountain a little over 1600 metres situated just North of Innisfail approximately an hour South of Cairns. 1622 metres might not …

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Spring at Jeeralang

(Della) ‘Well, the minus 2 temperature did feel a bit intimidating this morning, but looking out the bedroom window to a little spring blossom certainly cheers the heart to start the day! This is just a wild plum that grew up in the hedge outside the window as a result of total inattention during the …

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All Flesh is Grass:

How many deer are out there in the bush? The study below looks at an area in the Upper Yarra (Dam) catchment (you may not – legally – hunt) where the author has performed transects and other measurements to estimate 200 sambar deer per square kilometer in this small area of good feed. That’s two …

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The Tree-Planting Team Today.

‘Over 80 trees planted since Thursday – Great work, guys!’ (Della) Above, my grandson, Milo and my lovely daughter, Merrin, and me! No, at just under three years of age he is not too young to drive! I am very pleased – as my back was so bad a couple of days ago I had …

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Midwinter Fruit

Even here in Southern Vic you can enjoy a variety of seasonal fruits/nuts still even in the coldest weather (which no doubt belies the cost to transport unseasonal fresh produce to us). Here are some examples from our garden today. Of course some things have just finished (medlars, pomegranates) and some are swelling already: eg …

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Harbingers of Spring

Della: ‘So while we have been madly busy with lambing over the last couple of weeks, spring has been making inroads on the garden as well as the paddocks. The almond blossom is well and truly out, so I stole a quick turn around the closest beds after checking on the lambs tonight. So much …

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Trapped by Flood Waters

‘I got away up the bush for a few days recently. Lots of rain came in. The rivers were in flood, went up over 2 metres and home was on the wrong side. Also discovered that the seam sealer tape on ultrasil dry bags deteriorates – my sleeping bag and all my gear was saturated wading …

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Magic Places: Traralgon Railway Reserve

Della: ‘Milo wanted to show me one of his favourite places today: the Traralgon Railway Reserve, where he loves to feed the ducks. The ducks and pseudo-ducks were very happy to see us!’ So many magical places hiding just around the corner! PS: Isn’t it great to have a grandson with the same love of …

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Pack Raft Saves The Day

Della and I had a foreshortened trip on the Wonnangatta River upstream of the Moroka confluence when she developed a bad chest infection on the second night out which turned out to be pneumonia. Fortunately I had brought along the Alpacka ‘Fiord Explorer’ raft, their ‘moose boat’ as they termed it (now the ‘Mule’), so …

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Wildlife Proof Fencing

There are many kinds of theft. For farmers (such as us) one of the worst thefts (after rules against clearing our own native vegetation on our ‘freehold’ property) is government (and others) stealing our livelihood by allowing their livestock to stray onto our land. That is what wildlife and vermin are, ie someone else’s stock. …

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Several Winter’s Fires

I have been busy building a new wood shed and stocking it with rather more than my favourite poet Edward Thomas’ ‘recommended’ ‘Fifty Faggots’. I can get the wood to this one no matter how wet the paddocks are, and simply throw it straight off the tray and into the shed. It has plenty of …

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Our Valley of Plenty

Della: ‘This morning’s light frost and valley fog has left us with a glorious winter day. Climbing our hill just now to get the sheep down for their pre-lambing injections I was struck anew by our wonderful home vista. I don’t climb up to see this every day, but perhaps I should: It has certainly …

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The Other Kingdom

This autumn we were in Scotland when our fields were alive with field mushrooms, alas. Mushroom time is one of my favourites. I always collect heaps of them, fry them up with lots of butter, onions and bacon then smother golden toast or pasta with them. I guess my waistline isn’t  missing them. This evening …

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Rich Beyond Telling

Most evenings if we go for a walk at the back of Yinnar a huge flock of yellow-tailed black cockatoos comes in to roost after spending the day dispersed sowing destruction on innumerable hapless plants all about (as is their wont). I guess there has to be at least a thousand of them. Their raucous …

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Deer O’Clock

Three years ago we started to see the odd deer print on our evening walks. Then one day a fallow stag kindly donated me this nice antler. Back in February when  I was telling you about losing Tiny and the progress we were making with her ‘replacement’ Honey, I posted this snap to illustrate how …

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The Deer Hunter’s Apprentice #2:

To continue. Where is the deer? So, let’s say you have mastered walking quietly, that you can reason out where a deer has walked, and that you can see through the bush, so that if a deer is there it will be visible to you. Still and all, you need to also be looking in …

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Everyone Loves a Good Fire

Certainly Della and the two dogs, Spot and Honey do. It’s been such a dry autumn that burning off has been postponed into early winter to prevent the risk of fire. This pile used to be a large cypress that needed to come down in my daughter’s front yard in Traralgon. Nearly 60 metres in …

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Mattresses I have Known:

 I doubt anything else about camping has changed so much as sleeping. When I was a lad I always just slept on the bare ground. As a bit of a sissy, my only concession to comfort was to dig the traditional hip hole (which was derided by tougher-minded types) then maybe lean my head on …

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Hello Possums

As Dame Edna would say…Just installed some security cameras. This one shows our front gate. Pretty much as soon as it got dark our wild critters got very busy: one fox, two ring tails, two brush tails, two rabbits. Within two hours! Who know what will turn up as time goes on. So Brer Fox hasn’t …

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