Rain, Glorious Rain!

...or alternatively, Be Careful What You Wish For!  Five inches in three days of steady, and at times heavy, rain has transformed the property, and raised a whole new set of challenges.  Not least of these is that there is now a small river between me and my sheep.  They're fine, on high ground in the Racecourse Grazing Area, and I can get to them by walking down my road and hopping over the boundary fence once I've crossed the little bridge over the outlet to Curly Sedge Creek.  However, there is no way in the world that I will get the flock back across the river that Curly Sedge Creek has become until the waters recede.  So my shepherding options today are limited.

My plan is to take them to the Stud Paddock--the triangular one at the NE end of the Racecourse, and where there is a bit more diversity than in the remainder of the Grazing Area.  I'll still have to get them to wade through some puddles, which could be interesting.  Merinos really don't like wet feet.

END OF THE DAY NOTES:  I wandered around today with a silly grin on my face, and a full heart.  It's as though a fairy godmother waved her magic wand and gave me a whole new farm.  Streams are flowing, water holes are overflowing, the ground squishes when I walk on it--it hasn't been like this for several years.  Before moving sheep, I took a little journey up to see my waterfall, and found a big wedge-tailed eagle watching over it from a dead tree.  He let me get nearly directly under him before he took off (V1).  Then I clambered down into the bottom of the gully to document the reality of my little waterfall (V2, V3).  The frogs and the birds were competing to see who could make the loudest noise, the sun was shining and the sky was brilliantly blue.  I could easily have stayed all day.  The sheep called, though, being more than a little tired of being stuck in the same paddock for several days (their choice--the gates were open).  So we trundled back down the hill and waded across Curly Sedge Creek (already down in volume significantly from the photo above).  The sheep followed willingly enough to the gate that let us over the back (east) side of the Racecourse, to a paddock they hadn't yet grazed.  They took off like anything into the NE breeze, and had a flying graze through it.  From there we took the two gates into the Stud Paddock (V4, P2), and they had a perfectly lovely graze in the far corner, which is quite dense, being the "bottom" of the paddock and hence under-utilised (V5,P3,P4,P5).  When I left them, they were making their way back up the hill to the top of the Stud Paddock.  Later in the day, they came out of the Stud Paddock altogether, and grazed the Strip.  Late in the afternoon, they disappeared over to the east side of the hill, so I'm not sure where they went from there.  And to cap off my wonderful day, I snuck over and took a video of my swans paddling happily about on an overflowing Swan Lake (V6).

June 8, 2016
June 8, 2016

What a way to start the day! I can hear my waterfall in the gully below. Heading there now.

A video posted by White Gum Wool (@whitegumwool) on

Video V1 above.

Yes!

A video posted by White Gum Wool (@whitegumwool) on

Video V2 above.

If you listen closely, you'll hear the frog.

A video posted by White Gum Wool (@whitegumwool) on

Video V3 above.

P1: Pickup. Definitely wet sheep!

P1: Pickup. Definitely wet sheep!

One big puddle navigated. Now for the next one.

A video posted by White Gum Wool (@whitegumwool) on

Video V4 above.

P2: See? I told you merinos don't like wet feet!

P2: See? I told you merinos don't like wet feet!

P3: Spread out and grazing well in the NE corner of the Stud Paddock. That's a native bush in the foreground--some of the natives providing more diversity here than the rest of the Racecourse.

P3: Spread out and grazing well in the NE corner of the Stud Paddock. That's a native bush in the foreground--some of the natives providing more diversity here than the rest of the Racecourse.

Video V5 above.

P4: Our morning's work is done. No shepherding tomorrow--it's the vet's annual checkup visit for the dogs. Thank goodness Margaret does house calls! We'll be back shepherding on Saturday, weather permitting.

P4: Our morning's work is done. No shepherding tomorrow--it's the vet's annual checkup visit for the dogs. Thank goodness Margaret does house calls! We'll be back shepherding on Saturday, weather permitting.

P5: Couldn't resist one last shot. It's so warm, two layers and my everlasting cowl had to be shed before having my tea! Too nice to go back inside.

P5: Couldn't resist one last shot. It's so warm, two layers and my everlasting cowl had to be shed before having my tea! Too nice to go back inside.

Oh, and one more: the swans cruising Swan Lake. Fingers crossed they'll decide to nest!

A video posted by White Gum Wool (@whitegumwool) on

Video V6 above.

Here are some comparison shots before and after our big storms:

The sheep bogged in Swan Lake, late April.

The sheep bogged in Swan Lake, late April.

Not exactly the same angle, but you get the general idea! Taken Monday.

Not exactly the same angle, but you get the general idea! Taken Monday.

Swan Lake from my back door, using the telephoto lens, yesterday. The inlet stream is now overflowing into the Road Paddock, and you can see a small stream coming out of the bottom of the dam wall--I think it's a rabbit burrow. I'm a tiny bit worried about the integrity of the dam.

Swan Lake from my back door, using the telephoto lens, yesterday. The inlet stream is now overflowing into the Road Paddock, and you can see a small stream coming out of the bottom of the dam wall--I think it's a rabbit burrow. I'm a tiny bit worried about the integrity of the dam.

Looking toward the highway last Saturday....

Looking toward the highway last Saturday....

...and a similar perspective as backdrop to some very soggy sheep on Monday.

...and a similar perspective as backdrop to some very soggy sheep on Monday.