Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A snake, a ram sale and a starry night, never a dull moment on the farm.







There is something delightful about having people stay in our home, who are not familiar with the farm environment. It is the time of the year many local country families host the city teenagers as a big thankyou to the people who support our beautiful boarding school children. Earlier in the holidays my brothers little children enjoyed the kitten, the chickens, the lambs, the turtle and spent all their time outside. This time the 'big kids' noticed the gorgeous sunsets, the long walks, the horses and the quiet. We enjoyed hot breakfasts together and picnics outside, went for a drive around the farm, taking lots of photos and prepared for the Saturday night party.

Fortunately a brown snake decided to turn up after the visitors left. The last of the hay was sold so he probably came out from the shed. We hope he has moved on now so we can prepare for harvest without too many interruptions. Howard and the two men working for us are focused on maintenance this week. All the machinery and harvest equipment needs servicing. We also want to go to the annual ram sale that Trevor and Sarah Ryan have on, down the road at Quandialla.

Kaylie our second eldest daughter and I head to the sale with Howard and have a great discussion along the way about what Howard looks for in a ram. There was a light shower of rain along the 20km drive to the ‘Richmond Merino’ farm. The stud sheep where lined up for viewing in small yards as the farmers inspected the rams and made decisions on which ones to buy. This selection process is as individual as our farms. Some farmers like the finest wool and are willing to pay the premium for this, others are looking for a clear white colour and most where considering the frame of the ram’s body. They opened the wool and looked at its length, colour, texture and density. I knew there was a lot involved but until you start asking questions you have no idea how complicated choosing the rams can be. This decision will impact on the success of our own wool and sheep production so its an important one.

We need another five rams for our breeding program so with the ‘Richmond’ brochure in hand, marked with Howards notes, the bidding began. A cold wind blew through the marquee as we leaned back on the railings. I had my eye on the ram behind us, who seemed ready to throw his horns around at any moment. Kaylie tried to pat one on the nose but he shook his head abruptly. In no time the sale was complete and one by one the utes where backed into the yards so we could take our rams home.  With our paperwork in hand it was a relief to jump in the warm vehicle and head along the lane with the big rams looking at us through the back window. They jumped into their new green paddock happily and went on to meet the other rams. It was a great day out.

That evening we went down to a bonfire with some friends who live nearby. It was so fun to have a catch up by the fire, having a few drinks and watching the concert the children put on for us. We went inside for dinner as the cool evening set in. I stood outside on my own for a moment and looked up at the stars. Probably thanks to our visitors I was taking in more detail than I usually would. The bonfire was still smoking and the sky was covered in stars. It was a still night and I could hear everyone chatting and laughing in the distance. We have a great life, I thought to myself. How lucky we are!    
    

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