Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tales of Dust and Dirt

We spent the weekend at the "weekend cottage" (snort) that is Lyons Creek, mustering, drafting, and branding.

IMG_1686These two ringers were given the task of following cows down a laneway (not unsupervised, we were following in the ute) however Mum and Dad had to step in when a couple of calves decided to run back on the kids.  Funnily enough, mum ended up on the new bike, which had dad a little worried that he would never get it back (he may have a valid concern).

IMG_1696Calves were restored to the mob, and laneway walking continued, down the most infernal narrow laneway ever constructed by man (but as evidenced, we obviously don't hate it enough to rebuild the darned thing and have put up with it ever since we bought the place). Ringer #2 found it more fun to chase on foot and pat the poddies. Luckily no mother cows took offence to this patting.

IMG_1701Ringer #1 wasn't giving up the recently permitted privilege of solo bike riding for love or money, but did take on hitch hikers.

IMG_1702And this one obviously was finding the dust an issue. I should have borrowed them myself.

We finally got every thing yarded and into drafting after lunch. Its hard to show you how FULL the yards were, every yard bar the calf yard and "bush gate" yard was full to the brim (the shed section in the photo below is like Switzerland, neutral, doesn't contain livestock!) and the noise of a yard full of cattle is indescribable. Maybe akin to a large crowd at the football?

IMG_1704We got about 2/3 of the mob drafted and let out before dark and before I called quits, needing to light the fire for hot water, wash off some dust and get some dinner cooked.

This urchin was still revelling in solo bike riding, along with her little offsider there, who was having the BEST weekend. No fear shown, he wandered through the bull pen, licking noses, and going on all sorts of exploring adventures with the kids.

IMG_1712 Drafting recommenced the next morning and after smoko and the arrival of troops, including the 12 year old head stockman from next door, we got stuck into branding. I've shared branding photos heaps before, and suffice to say, nothing changed this time.

I thought I'd be able to sneak home well before dark, we finished branding by lunchtime, but no! With a captive workforce, The Husband wanted to "quickly" lay some poly pipe and hook up some extra troughs for the cows, as all dams in their fresh paddock were dry.

This entailed the need to take Toyota and pipe spinner, tractor AND grader to the site, to lay about 25 metres of pipe. (I really don't know what to say about the amount of equipment required, I really don't).

IMG_1725I think I drew the short straw with the tractor. Not the fastest, or smoothest vehicle ever invented.

IMG_1742  IMG_1751

Enough of that boys and their toys nonsense. Dig trench broom broom etc etc. Drag pipe off spinner, put in trench. Join B to C, take a T section off the middle and join to D. And lastly, join A to B, the bit the kids were hoping would be really wet and messy. This was as messy as it got.



And finally, we were allowed to Go Home. This is pretty much how we all felt.

And the most profound observation of the weekend? My cough-y cold and snotty nose, combined with a super dusty yard = quite unpleasant result.

The end. (you're welcome)


  1. I love it how they add in other 'quick' jobs just while you are there - it happens all the time here too, albeit less dramatic and dusty!

  2. Everyone needs a weekender, somewhere to escape the weekly trials and tribulations, a peaceful place of relaxation and harmony, somewhere to enjoy family togetherness. You're very lucky.
    And what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than laying pipe. After branding. In fact the last time we lay pipe here (always in the height of drought, searing heat and impenetrable dust), I recall thinking, we really should be doing this as a family activity on a Sunday afternoon.
    You live a blessed life Sharon. But you already knew that ;)

  3. It looks dry and dusty but it seems that the kids enjoyed their dust baths. I hope you enjoyed your busy family filled weekend.

  4. Don't the kids just love being in the thick of it...at least for a while anyway. As for laying poly, it is good to know the cows and calves have their bellies full and now its there you will never have to do it again..always a bonus!


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