Sunday, December 30, 2012

dashing 'cross the downs

No rest for the wicked in these parts, no lazing around sunny beaches, or even laying around at home. There hasn't been any rain to speak of yet (well at least in our little patch of the world) and it is all business as usual.

IMG_1478We went to my mum's place for a quiet BBQ with the neighbours on Thursday evening, and stayed the night in anticipation of a very early start The Husband and I had planned the next day. And because it was my birthday and we were all clean and showered I made the kids have a photo with mum, wearing what could be best described as post a Christmas day too-much-food tunic and tights ensemble. Comfortable if not flattering.

The early start the next morning involved being slapped on the bum at 4am and told to get out of bed. I dragged my self out and into work clothes and off we went, leaving the kids at Granma's.  You may recall that we took some cows to a lovely downs paddock back in winter. They've really done well there and had started to calve, when unfortunately in November a lightning strike caused a fire in the paddock and burnt about 2/3 of the grass. I know. We can't get away from the stuff.

The owner of the paddock had been keeping an eye on the grass situation and the time had come to move the cows to another paddock (to allow the burnt grass to regenerate without being eaten off by hungry mouths). And being summer, a daylight start was required to get the cows and small calves moving before the heat of the day, and let them rest during the hottest part of the day.

The very full moon was just setting in the west as we arrived at the paddock. I tried in vain to take a photo, but this was the best I could do....

IMG_1486I know. Dismal effort.

IMG_1489The edge of the burnt country...

IMG_1490Getting the cows moving as the sun rises. It was a lovely morning, the air was fresh and as we moved the cows and their babies the smell of warm bodies and fresh milk (breakfast time for babies) rose in the air. I had forgotten how high up the downs ridges were, and we could see for miles and miles, as the rolling grass hills spread out before us.

IMG_1492That little black fellow with the white face was my friend on the tail...his size belying his age, the poor little bloke plodded along, his dutiful mama staying with him.

We tipped the cows out into a laneway at around 7am, and then then headed back to mum's place for a coffee, shower and change before heading to town for a funeral. A quick lunch, running some errands and picking up some milk from the supermarket, before heading home to my place to feed the poor neglected poddy calves waiting there. Aircon on full, we managed a quick nanna nap, before completing the driving-in-circles operation of the day, returning to the cows in the laneway. The cows didn't get the memo about resting at the water trough, so had to be fetched from almost the starting point, then continued on their way to the fresh paddock. It was hot, but as we meandered on our way (one does not rush a cow and baby calf) the storms started to roll in around the downs and our high vantage point gave us a great view. I wish I had taken my camera but was a little concerned it may have gotten wet (didn't happen).

At 6.55pm we shut the gate on the cows, and loaded up the bikes, watching a rather dark looking storm come between us and my parents place. Never letting the threat of a bit of precipitation slow us down, and possibly reliving our misspent youth ;-) we ran into some very wet and muddy road on the way home. The negotiation of which made extra interesting by the fact we were towing a rather large trailer behind us, leaving a bit of a mess in our wake. At one point I thought we may have had to abandon ship and ride our bikes home but the old Toyota persevered and we made it. Home to find not only the kids wide eyed but adults too, about the wild wind storm that had just passed, 90 points in the gauge but not an accurate measurement as the rain had come in sideways, as evidenced by water blown in under the eaves everywhere, and tales of the hay and machinery shed rooves flapping and wobbling about alarmingly.

Given the mess we'd already made of the road, we decided to have a sleepover at Granma's as well, and returned home (sans kids "we're staying at Granma's") without incident the next morning.

And you know what? I have no idea of where I was going with this post, other than a recount of our misadventures. And wondering just when it might feel like holidays here...After it rains?!

And one more sunrise photo, just cause it was pretty, and as my husband says, I don't get up to photograph them very often! (he's so funny. But in this case, right, I don't spring out before daylight unless I REALLY have to!)


IMG_1494 This one, a Dorothea McKellar shot....



  1. Happy Birthday! My Lachlan would have loved to chase the black baldy calf along, he has a soft spot for baldy's much to his Dad's dismay/disgust!!!
    Photos are great.

    1. oh Lachlan and I will get along famously, I to have a soft spot for baldies too, it is with glee that I greet the grandchildren of a baldy faced charolois bull(it was only when wet could we tell he was baldy!) that keep appearing...its a hard gene to breed out!

      Trevor keeps ignoring my hints to buy a nice red, baldy faced braford bull. As also my wish for a minature donkey. I'll have my own herd of brafords AND donkies one day ;-)

  2. Who are you having a go at? Perhaps those of us who've been lazing around sunny beaches?? Very pleased to note someone's working, I'll just pop another button undone and enjoy another piece of rocky road. Never fear I'll be pulling on the workboots tomorrow, enough is enough!

    1. and as you pull on your boots, with luck I'll be kicking mine off and having a day or so of reading and doing very little else. But in good news (see instagram) I have some nice and tidy cupboards!

  3. That last shot is the winner.............I agree photos at that time of the day or magic but then again so is being tucked up in your bed!!! Great pic's Sharon.

  4. That last shot is the winner.............I agree photos at that time of the day or magic but then again so is being tucked up in your bed!!! Great pic's Sharon.

  5. Happy Birthday Sharon. Hope you're getting stuck into some Christmas now.

  6. I love that last photo Sharon, McKellar would have loved it! Happy Birthday and the hope the rains fall for you soon.


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