[I have 7 acres of dirt ]

I have 7 acres of dirt

[Sunny wanting to know where the grass has gone ]

Sunny wanting to know where the grass has gone

[My Big dam last week - low]

My Big dam last week - low

[My little dam last week - empty ]

My little dam last week - empty

[Kangaroos having a lick of the ponies salt lick, this weather is hard on the wildlife too. ]

Kangaroos having a lick of the ponies salt lick, this weather is hard on the wildlife too.

[Driving Bobby and Moochie down Amaroo Road ]

Driving Bobby and Moochie down Amaroo Road

[Driving Jerry and Sunny up Amaroo Road an hour later ]

Driving Jerry and Sunny up Amaroo Road an hour later

[Random Rosaries ]

Random Rosaries

November 30, 2014

October has been the driest October in the New England for over 100 years. Tamworth is on severe water restrictions already, no use of hoses at all, you are not allowed to fill up swimming pools, and they are talking about shutting down the council public pool soon, a terrible thought given that it is regularly in the high 30's and low 40's there over summer.

Armidale city is not on water restrictions, but everything is very dry.

And for those who are not on town water rain is critical. A work colleague lives in the village of Kentucky, (about halfway between Armidale and Tamworth) and there is no water at her place so she has been bringing her laundry into Armidale to do at the laundromat as she can't spare the water at home. A couple of weeks ago her water ran out altogether and she has to buy water to refill their tanks.

One of the major topics of conversation at work is how much, if any, rain people got at their various properties.

Invergowrie has also been really dry. I'm doing OK in the house water side of things as Wild Rose Cottage was unoccupied for several months so the house water tank is mostly full, but one of my 2 dams ran dry last week and all the grass on my property has died.

My ponies are very light on. I clipped Jerry 2 weeks ago and was shocked that once that thick layer of fur went I could see his ribs ! Only faintly, like you would see on a big horse in goof working condition, but Jerry is a little pony who lives off the smell of grass. So I have increased the hand feeding, which needed to be done anyway as the ponies are coming back into work, but after years of trying to keep the weight off the ponies it is strange trying to now put the weight on...

I would hate to own, say a thoroughbred, out here , the cost of feed is so high due to the drought, and hay is rationed at the feed stores. I am looking at a long-term fodder solution through putting in a plantation of Tagasaste (tree lucerne), and subdividing the property (when I can scrimp and save for fencing), but it doesn't help me at the moment.

But the good news is that over the last few days we have had some major storms and a bit of decent rain. On Tuesday night we had 25mm .

This morning I took Bobby and Moochie out for a drive, it was hot and the sky was blue and we were all seating from the heat.

Then it was Jerry and Sunny's turn. I was out for about 20 minutes, the clouds rolled in, there was thunder and lightning that scared the ponies (but they settled, good boys) and then it POURED, and HAILED. So we trotted (and galloped when there was a thunder clap) the 20 minutes back home, and in that 20 minutes we had 8mm in the rain gauge. And it's still raining now.

What we really need is a nice soaking gentle rain every night. And then I can worry about the ponies getting too fat and foundering again.

If you've been reading my past blogs you will know that When I bought this place it had rubbish everywhere. Some of the rubbish has been cleared, and a lot of it has yet to be cleared. But in my travels around my little farm I keep on finding the strangest things, especially after rain as the wet soil regurgitates the oddest items.

Because the place was originally a plant nursery I find plastic plant tags everywhere. For some reason there is a large amount of shoes and clothing buried, why ?? The ckooks dug up a Uralla High school uniform a few weeks back, and I keep on finding shoes buried everywhere. The first time I dug up a shoe I freaked out, as Id just bought the place and had disposed of several dead animals, so of course I thought it must be a murder scene, but no, it was just a shoe, and some other rubbish, that had been used to fill a hole. Weird.

I found a tiny little ceramic thing, about the size of a thimble, with lovely flowers painted on it. Mum thinks it may have been the end of some kind of pull cord, but it's cute and unusual.

Yesterday I came home from work and the chickens had dug up two plastic rosaries ! Very cheap plastic rosaries. I went to toss them in the bin, but couldn't. Strange. I'm an atheist, but for some reason the fact that in the past someone was given these rosaries as an expression of their faith moved me. Even if it looks like they got home and were tossed straight into a garden bed. So they get to stay in the cottage with all my other crap, err, I mean curios.

My historian friend Rebecca needs to get a government grant to do a modern history excavation, because this place is 30 odd years of rubbish perfectly preserved.

Posted by Amanda on November 30, 2014 02:21 PM