Drying Out

I am amazed at how quickly things are drying out on the block.  Dry ground is appearing, the driveway is passable and we are even able to start to run the final fenceline at the front of the block now.  One lake is still pretty full but the other one is definitely drying out.  Yesterday I saw a Black duck with her brood of ducklings swimming around on it, so it will obviously take more time before all that water is gone.  I hope to get a photo of them sometime soon but the ducks all keep their distance pretty carefully.

DucksOnLake

Daylight saving has begun again over here.  It is a funny thing because although I REALLY hated it in WA, I don’t find it a problem at all over here.  Perhaps it is because the children are mostly older and since we homeschool we can be flexible with time, but I think it is more likely to be because we don’t have those oven like weeks of hot temperatures that you get in Perth where early morning is the only time you can sleep.  Also here I have to get up at dawn to let the turkeys out and somehow it feels better to do that when the clock says 6:20am rather than 5:20am.  🙂

Speaking of turkeys our first broody hen has hatched her eggs.  Pancake had 6 poults although one died the first night so she now has 5.  So far she is proving to be a good mum and is free ranging around the block for a few hours a day.  Meanwhile we have another two turkey hens that have gone broody and are due to hatch in about 2 weeks.  When Pancake went broody I managed to get her to move into the turkey house where she was safe at nights, but I have been unable to move the other girls so they are staying out in the bush and taking their chances.  I would have preferred to keep them more restrained but since our planned turkey run is still under construction that is going to have to wait.  So far they are doing okay.  One of them, “Icy”, is pretty tough, I don’t dare go near her myself!

Those of you who are on my Facebook will have seen the turkey photos but I can’t resist sending them to everyone.  You can get a good idea of the size difference between the adult and the newly hatched bird in this shot.

PancakeAndPoult1

The babies are really sweet!

PancakesPoult

Look mum, this egg hasn’t hatched.

ThisEggStillToGoMum

Deep and meaningful conversation.

MumAndBub

Josiah is totally thrilled to have poults again and Pancake is pretty tame so she lets us handle them without getting upset.

JosiahAndPoults

This is the start of our turkey run.  1.8m high posts to enclose an area of 560sqm.  It will have mesh around it with a couple of electric wires to discourage climbers.  It will need internal divisions too when the hens are rearing their young or else they will fight.

TurkeyRunStart

I decided to have a go at making butter this week and was very pleased with the result.  Since we don’t buy that poor beat up homogenised milk, but drink “real” milk instead I was able to skim the cream from the top of our milk.  I confess I did cheat by beating it in our electric mixer instead of churning it properly, but that is only because I don’t have a milk churn to use.  I remember that there used to be a butter churn in the old house we lived in in Kelmscott, but I think it was sold at the same time as the house.  Such a shame that I didn’t realise that I would need it one day, it would have been useful and held sentimental value at the same time since it was used by my forebears.  Anyway I am promising myself that I will have an attempt at making cheese soon.  I have been reading books on the subject.

Butter

Ill health continues to dog the heels of Kim and the older boys but Lydia and I keep the household running.  The Saturday before last I went for the day to a Presbyterian ladies camp.  It was nice to meet a bunch of other ladies and to study and chat together.  I actually found it a bit amusing because they said they had never had anyone from Mole Creek church at the camp before and made me stand up and introduce myself.  Then whenever I spoke to anyone they would say “OOHH, you’re the lady from Mole Creek!”  I don’t think most of them had even realised that there WAS a church in Mole Creek before.  I felt almost famous.

I am afraid that I don’t seem have a lot to show this time.  With all the health issues there has been less work done on the projects than there would have been otherwise.  Still, I guess we have the rest of our lives to get these things done.  Plenty of time – God willing.  Oh, I should also report that Kim has finally come to the end of his gun license process.  A policewoman came to inspect our gun cabinet and he has now received both of his permits to purchase the guns we are getting.  Actually getting the gun cabinet inspected took a little while.  The first time the police were coming it was wet and in the evening and they were coming in a Holden sedan.  We had to warn them that the car was unlikely to make it up the driveway and that if they walked at night it would be 400 slippery meters to the house.  They wisely decided to come at a later time, but then were delayed because of a savage storm that left trees and powerlines down all over the place.  Some people were without power for almost a week after that.  They finally managed to come on a sunny day in a 4WD.  🙂  Anyway we collected one gun on Saturday and should be getting the second on next week.  It will mean that if we have any injured animals or wish to slaughter another pig then we can deal with it ourselves.

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