Monday, July 18, 2011


The kids have been watching the BBC Earth DVDs of series two of "Orangutan Diary" during the school holidays. It is quite similar in format to the "Roo Gully Diaries", which is another of their favourite DVDs. In fact we have been to Roo Gully several times, and taken visitors from overseas to see the kangaroos there. It is at Boyup Brook, which is only about 60kms form our farm. Of course we have plenty of kangaroos on the farm, but they are not hand-reared and friendly like some of the ones at Roo Gully.
The reason that we like to watch DVDs is that we don't have television. We just can't see the benefits of a lot of the stuff that streams into homes on the box. Especially the commercial channels that show a lot of advertisements. Even many of the programs, if not strictly ads, still have product placement which is designed to influence you. And the news programs, well they really thrive on sensationalism. We keep up with the news via the radio and online newspapers, and occasionally a real paper newspaper. The children entertain themselves pretty well with their games and they have had several friends over during the holidays.
Orangutan Diary has really caught the imagination of the children. So much so that when I arrived home this afternoon I thought that a group of orangutans had taken over a marri tree in the yard!

Hugh in the marri tree

Odette swinging from the tree, Amelia looking on

Bonnie peeking out, on a branch with Sophie and Amelia

And Hugh even managed to get Pompon onto a low branch!

FOOTNOTE: I always used to spell it orang-utangs, but the BBC spells it as orangutan, so I suppose that is the official spelling...


Roger has been getting anyone who can (that generally means a teenage son, and any visitors on the helpXchange program) to help him build new fences (and take down the old ones) around the farm. Some are simply replacing broken down fences that have been there since the 1960s. The fence that I photographed on the weekend was being replaced to widen a race way between paddocks on the farm. The existing race was too narrow and made moving large mobs of sheep difficult.
Peter and Abby, from Manchester in England stayed with us for three weeks, and they left today. I drove them to Arthur River to catch the bus to Perth. And that is a 50km drive to the nearest public transport.

 Peter showing some muscle

Abby helping to stand up the mesh

And Roger doing the same

Roger on the old Fiat tractor - used to pull the mesh tight

Hooking the chain from the tractor to the wire mesh

Putting the chain around the tensioner

Two planks bolted together over the wire give the grip to pull the wire up tight
I have some more photos somewhere... I think I have misplaced a memory card form my camera (oops!)