Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lambing

Giving birth is not always easy. But it's not too bad when there is an expert obstetrician on hand. This maiden ewe was found in the paddock with her lamb protruding but stuck firm.


Luckily help arrived before the lamb died, and surprisingly it looked quite animated after a few minutes.


The mother and lamb were put together in a yard, so I hope they are still looking good tomorrow.


Some are not so lucky...

We have found lambs like this at Wattle Creek. They have perished due to the weather, a traumatic birth, or mis-mothering. Interestingly they are intact. At Warragal Park the carcasses have been cleaned out by foxes, or taken away completely by eagles.

Moving House

The house from Wattle Creek was transported today. It arrived at Warragal Park at about 3:15 this afternoon, just before the girls got home on the school bus. The first half of the house has been manoeuvred into position, and tomorrow it will be taken off the truck and the second half put next to it. The stumps will then need to be replaced and cemented in position.

Then our work will begin! We have to put the trimming bits back on, get the water and electricity hooked up, and make some steps. The gutters need replacing, we'll replace the floor coverings and paint the inside walls.

Eventually we hope to do more extensive upgrading like re-cladding and new windows, but that will have to wait until we have a more expansive bank account...

Soon, we will have a great little guest cottage for visitors, so you are invited.


Hydraulic jacks lift half the house off the stumps.

Cutting the stumps off under the house.

Moving the truck under the jacked-up house.

Capercup South-West Road

Coming along Gibbs Road

Getting through the front gate.

Moving through the front paddock.

and again...

The first half being put in its new location

And what was Hugh doing while all this was going on? He was keeping out of the way (?), playing football of course.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Anaïs and Raquelle

Lambs are not allowed to run free in the house...

Gotcha!

Raquelle needs to wash her face.

At night the pet lamb Raquelle sleeps in a cage made out of the fire guard in front of the fire. But not for much longer if she keeps bleating as loudly as she did last night and early this morning. Odette woke up before sunrise this morning and "accidentally" woke the lamb. Sophie calculated that there was no more than 20 seconds between bleats. Of course someone just needed to get out of bed and give her (Raquelle, not Sophie)a bottle of milk .
Anaïs has been staying with us on the helpXchange program and she is leaving tomorrow.

Grandparents


While Roger and I were away for a week my parents came and stayed at the farm. They looked after the children as well as the farm. We are very grateful that they could come and hold the fort so that we could have a break. Here they are with the kids on Sunday, when they had a picnic out in the paddock.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Transportable House

The transportable house at Wattle Creek

The house on our other farm (Wattle Creek) is a pre-fabricated transportable house, and for years we have been discussing whether or not we would bring it over to Warragal Park and put it near our house for more space - much cheaper than building more rooms on the house. Well it is finally going to happen! We're preparing for a truck to come on Wednesday morning and transport the house from farm to farm.

The steel base of the house

Some repairs will need to be done. (Toilet window)

Today we took down part of the fence around our house so that there will be room to put the transportable house there. We went to Wattle Creek and I packed up some things from the house. Roger removed the bolts from the stumps underneath the house.

Removing the fence.

Bobby explored one of the post holes.

Once we have the transportable house at home it will mean there will be lots of work to do on it. I hope we can get it looking fairly nice so it doesn't distract too much from the main house. Once it is finished it will be a great guest cottage.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cape Le Grand





After the lovely sunny day we had yesterday we were greeted with real south coast weather this morning. We went ahead with our drive out to Cape Le Grand national park, but we didn't have any lovely walks along the beach or time spent sitting on a headland watching whales cruise by. Instead we saw a grey landscape, mainly through the car window. Many of my photos were spoilt by the rain drops on the lens...


Roger was pretty keen to inspect this tractor on the beach at Lucky Bay. It was the tractor used to tow a fishing boat. But he thought it needed a new gasket on the tappet cover... look at the leaking oil!

Holiday for Roger's Birthday





Roger and I are in Esperance, staying at the Island View Apartments opposite the beach.


The south coast in the middle of winter was a risky holiday destination but we had a lovely day yesterday. We had a drive to the beaches to the west of Esperance yesterday, and then looped around past Pink Lake (not pink at this time of year). It was interesting to see the rural housing estates springing up around the place.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

SUR-PRI-ISE!!

No photos, but a quick post to say that we had a fun night last night. We had our dinner and sat down to watch a DVD as we do on "Friday night movie night" at home. We don't have TV, so our weekly viewing is watching a movie on Friday night. This week it was Matilda, based on the story by Roald Dahl. Not long after the movie started, Roger noticed someone was here - he could see car lights out the window. We got up and looked out the front door, as a heap of cars pulled up. People got out shouting "Happy Birthday Roger!"
I think we did a pretty good job of keeping the secret, despite having a six-year-old in the house who asked Daddy that morning "Is it your birthday party tonight?" and a three-year-old who said he would tell Dad it isn't true, and then telling me within Roger's earshot: "We made a cake for Dad's birthday and it is in the bedroom". I quickly started talking loudly and cuddled Hugh to stop him talking.
Thanks to everyone who came and helped to celebrate Roger's 50th birthday. His birthday is actually on the 23rd, but we will be away then (Roger and I are having four nights in Esperance for his birthday present) so we got in nice and early to surprise him.

Friday, July 10, 2009

School Holiday Fun




Yesterday I took the kids to Bunbury for a school holiday outing. First we went rollerblading (Odette and Hugh had roller skates). Then Matthew left us, to go to Exmouth with his step-father.
After lunch at the Natural Temptation cafe I took the kids and Anaïs to the cinema to see the Hannah Montana movie. While they did that I ran around town and did some things like picking up the custom-sized foam mattress for the divan bed in the girls' room. And spending several hundred dollars at the farmers market, and getting my glasses fixed. Unfortunately I also accidentally went into a shoe shop and was coerced into buying an expensive pair of shoes by a skilled salesman (yes, I needed convincing...)
Then we did some more shopping, and had some take-away food for dinner. When we got home everyone was ready for bed, but two girls didn't go to bed straight away because they had a new Sims game to play on the computer.
Hope they're not too grumpy tonight!

Marking Lambs

Lambs...

The lambs that were born early are growing quickly so we had to do some marking on Monday. There were only forty-seven of them, but it was slow going with some novices working on the cradle.
Anais from France has been staying with us through the helpXchange program, and although she has never worked on a farm Roger got her helping to vaccinate lambs and do the earmarks. I don't think she liked the blood very much, but she stuck it out.

Matthew and Jake getting the lambs into the catching pen.

Hugh watching at a safe distance.

Bobby, tied up so he didn't chase lambs.

Roger shows Anais how to vaccinate a lamb.

Anais's delicate hands, cutting an earmark.

Close-up of the earmark.

This lamb has no idea what is coming...

The strangest thing was that we were expecting that the lambs were merino lambs (we have always had merinos), but when we got them into the pen it was obvious that some of them were merino/poll dorset cross lambs (the Goodings who looked after the farm last year have Poll Dorset rams). And it was really hard to tell what they were when they were in the cradle. I still think Roger probably mulesed some cross-bred lambs...

Roger starts to mules a merino lamb. (Don't ask!)