cherishing biodiversity

Animal Wifery

Animal Wifery

We've had 3 ½ inches of rain in May (hooray!) and the property is looking better than it has in months.  Admittedly, it looks better from a distance than at worm's-eye level, where there is too much bare ground showing.  However, the lovely spring green look is most welcome, along with the beginnings of run-off.

Six Impossible Things

Six Impossible Things

As often happens to me, I mis-remembered this quotation. I thought it was about doing six impossible things before breakfast, thereby revealing my lamentable tendency to jump into things with all four feet without due consideration of the consequences. Believing six impossible things is a lot harder, I think.

Flies and Spiders

Flies and Spiders

Devoted Tolkien fans will recognise “Flies and Spiders” as the title of the chapter of The Hobbit wherein Bilbo and the dwarfs enter the dismal forest Mirkwood on their way to reclaim their hoard of gold from the dragon Smaug. In Mirkwood, the flies are a nuisance, but the spiders are a fatal menace. This season in Tasmania, the roles are reversed.

Epiphany

Epiphany

Not the religious sort, more the “uh, duh” sort. Wikipedia describes this kind of epiphany as “an enlightening realisation that allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective”. Sounds better than “uh, duh”, huh? It started a few months ago, though I didn’t recognise it for the turning point it has turned out to be.

Trip Report: Bendigo, Design Spun and Hinewai

Trip Report: Bendigo, Design Spun and Hinewai

Life on the farm was pretty intense all winter, and particularly so after my trip in July. As I finally sit down to write this, shearing has come and gone and four tiny cygnets are swimming with their parents on a much-depleted Swan Lake. I’ll give you the shearing and end-of-winter shepherding report in the next Yarn, hopefully fairly soon. Meanwhile, here is the belated trip report.

The Power of the Matriarch

The Power of the Matriarch

Had I any idea of the pivotal role she would play in my life, I would have given my lead ewe a better name. Boadicea, for instance. Or maybe Elizabeth. Or even Frances Darlene after my difficult and undeniably contrary mother. But at the time I saved her from the usual fate of 5 year-olds on most sheep properties, I only knew that she was a pretty good leader, at least at times. So she became simply “Old Leader”.

Cosmic Intercepts

Cosmic Intercepts

Have you noticed how sometimes the universe and your subconscious conspire to bring your attention back repeatedly to something you don’t particularly want to examine?  Recently I’ve had that experience with regard to herbicides.  While I’ve succeeded in keeping pesticides, chemical fertilisers and fungicides out of my management practices, spot spraying the major woody weeds (gorse, briar rose and horehound) has seemed like the only solution.