Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Day Spa one day, sheep yards the next...life is full of contrasts!

I have just returned from helping with the sheep work this morning. 2000 of our lambs are being marked this week and it was my job today to do the needling. This is not a nice job but it prevents the sheep from getting sick. It’s a six in one vaccination. The lambs were all separated from their mothers and the sheep yards were full of bleating lambs. They do all manage to find their mothers again at the end of the day, don’t ask me how, as they all look exactly the same to me.

We tried to move one group of 300 little lambs from a large yard to a small one but they scurry in all directions. Howard is kicked in the mouth and looses count of the sheep. It is a hard job, lifting the heavier lambs and sorting them all out. The men joke with each other to make the day go a bit faster. Our conversation swings from the latest news, to why we are not mulesing the sheep. We all compare stories about the swooping magpies that have started protecting their nest now and the one magpie that is particularly angry on the main road.

While working on the lambs someone mentioned that there could be more snakes than usual around due to the lush ground cover. Fires will also be a danger this summer. You have to take the good with the bad with an abundant season but predators like the foxes building in numbers create big problems for the farmers.  We have already had a fox take some of our chickens on sunset, which is sad. The girls had a lovely white rooster ready to enter in the Bribbaree show, if it wasn’t for that fox the girls were sure the rooster would have won a ribbon.  

It is always tempting to gloss over these things for my blog but the reality is farming is challenging in many ways at times. The next few months will be probably the hardest as we hope for more rain, set up preventative measures for fires and keep the feed up to the stock throughout spring and summer.

My life is definitely full of contrasts. Yesterday I spent the morning teaching yoga in a new local day spa. The soft music, sweet scents, delicate flowers and sweeping yoga moves of yesterday are replaced with dusty yards, the smell of wool, a landscape bursting to life with warmth and budding plants, and hard working men with rough hands and big hearts. I love the contrasts in life and I am getting better at taking the good with the bad in farming. You just have to be able to have a bird’s eye view or a long-term perspective on what you are trying to achieve.

The girls are lucky growing up out here. They do miss a few things going on in town after school sometimes but now that they are more involved in the farm and love working with the horses, they don’t seem to mind. They entered some of the horse events at the Harden show last week and really enjoyed themselves. Just when ‘Babe' the horse thought she could have some time off from Polo Crosse, the local shows begin!

Hang onto your hats…the next few months are going to be interesting on the farm!!

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