Saturday, 15 February 2014

Our fine-feathered friends!

The chookies have been given some bling!  ID anklets to be precise - sort of a spring-ring that isn't too tight on their legs.  They'll be having a holiday soon and we didn't want to bring home the wrong girls at the end of their stay! 

Seemingly our landlady will spray their tails also, as extra identification - so Judge Judy and Jo will have very fancy (blue) feathers!  The spring-rings came from a local produce store.  They were available in a few different colours and had we known about the spray-painting, we may well have chosen blue rings instead of red.  I don't think the girls are overly worried about colour co-ordination though and it may be they look very funky with their red/blue finery!  I'll do my best to get some photographic evidence!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Watch and Act (then watch the acting-up)!

It's been an exciting day at Hamby Home(in)stead. Far too exciting - hopefully tomorrow will be much quieter.

Yesterday was stinking hot and windy.  The conditions were likened to those that had preceded the Black Saturday fires of 2009. We had been out for the afternoon and saw the smoke and fires when returning home. 

I was woken this morning by my bedroom smoke alarm.  Once up, I checked the CFA updates via FaceBook and then the Victorian Emergency website.  Our area was listed as "watch and act"

School was operating as normal and I stayed for the assembly, particularly to hear details of the emergency evacuation plan.  It all seemed straight-forward, so I headed home (after advising the Principal that Vaughan would be leaving at lunchtime due to a dental appointment).  During the morning I kept checking the location of nearby fires.  Nick had been on night-shift and when he woke, I showed him how close some were.  Erin and I had already been packing bags of clothes and personal items - and we decided to take them in the car with us when leaving for Vaughan's appointment.

After we finished at the dentist, Erin advised that our area had been upgraded to an emergency warning.  We spent some time at our favourite cafĂ© while we pondered the situation. Nick called our landlady (also a CFA representative) who advised it was OK to come home.

I had put a curry into one of my thermal-cookers this morning.  We were enjoying it al fresco when I heard a funny noise.  Moments afterward Erin cried "cow in the house" and we all sprang to our feet to oust the intruder!  I managed a couple of quick shots through the window before the horrible heifer was expelled!  In the excitement of that bovine eviction, Oscar slipped outside and scrambled onto the table, intent on sampling some curry.

Tea's curiousity was piqued by either the table, tablecloth or lion-taled cat and she advanced for a closer look. 

Oscar does not like Tea and has had previous run-ins with her, though generally from behind glass. I missed the crucial moment but our scrawny feline rounded on the stout bovine - while Erin and I looked on, laughing hugely!

We'll be fine-tuning our emergency plan after today's practice run. Other than wallets, no-one thought to pack any important papers or jewellery. Erin did take her Disney posters and I packed freshly-baked focaccia and some apples (and well as a box of negatives - and my camera gear).

On closer examination of the pic of Tea inside the house, she may well have been trying to taste-test the focaccia (or the apples)!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

She's a shocker!

Tea's had quite a week.  We're used to chasing her away from various inappropriate taste-testing.  One of her favourites is the compost heap.  My freebie bins are not cow-proof and my compost-making has stalled as a result. 

Last week Erin rescued a length of irrigation pipe that Tea had partially ingested - the bovine equivalent of a sword-swallower busker! 

The horrible heifer has excelled herself this week.  As well as the usual crop-cropping and more minor misdemeanours, she has achieved notoriety on a much larger scale.  On Monday she breached the clip-lock bin and scoffed the last of the chook food.  It was a grainy variety that the girls didn't much care for but Tea obviously liked it a lot cos she came back on Tuesday morning, keen for another go.  I don't remember what she did on Wednesday.  That may have the day that she ate Erin's bleeding heart tree (a gift from Museum Victoria).  On Thursday, she spooked herself (and Erin) by stepping up and poking her head through the caravan door in an attempt to steal and sample Erin's thongs.

We went out yesterday morning.  As usual Erin latched her caravan door.  When we returned the door was unlatched and it was clear that a 300kg cow had spent some time in the van, breaking a few items and leaving a trail of grass and foot-prints.  Initially Erin couldn't find her prescription medication and there was concern the cow may have eaten it and the nearby scripts but both were later found intact.  Thankfully.

You can see this morning's effort.  Vaughan went outside to ride his bike and asked whether the yellow and red cord was meant to be all chewed at the end.  Er, no.  It's not.  And on closer inspection there are in fact two ends, resulting from the cord being chewed completely through.  Lucky it wasn't plugged in.

Nick's out in the big paddock now.  Our electric fence energiser arrived on Monday.  It needed an initial three days charging and is ready for testing.  We have our fingers crossed that it will be a shocking (hah!) success!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Kernels and the chicken!

We've had some very hot days lately. Between the heat and our heifer, the corn crop is looking rather sad. 

Last night we decided to harvest a few cobs, before the cow did!  As good as our corn cobs looked, Erin and Vaughan weren't keen on the cooked product, so only nibbled at theirs.

Quite possibly the cobs would have benefited from extra growing time but we had a lot of fun admiring our first harvest, regardless of taste.  The chookies received the leftovers this morning.  Erin reported the girls were initially a bit bemused by all the yellow kernels.  Usually the cobs they receive are pretty much empty!