Archive for December, 2009

Piglets, poppies and photos

December 27, 2009

We had more piglets arrive shortly before Christmas.  Pigachu farrowed through the night, ending up with 6 as one was stillborn.  She had 11 last time so it should be a relaxing time for her in comparison.

Poor Mirax had a rough farrowing three days later.  She had one tiny, not fully formed piglet which must have twisted sideways or gotten itself jammed with one of the other piglets.  The result was that she had one lovely piglet when we checked in the morning but no more arrived for over 2 hours.  Then she had 3 in about 15 minutes along with the tiny dead one.  After that she had 2 beautiful looking girls who were sadly dead and could not be resuscitated, followed by one more live fellow.  So in the end she had 5 left from a potential 8.  She had 8 last time so I guess she is being consistent.

They are all out and about a lot of the time now, 2 weeks later.  They seem to be doing well.

The poppy crops have all been flowering.

They turn a bright white and depending on how dense they are they can almost look like snow.  The next stage is when the flowers finish and the pods ripen.

Someone mentioned that it seemed strange to have such a small area in poppies.  I would guess that this paddock is around 20 acres, although it could be anything from 10 to  50 – I find it hard to tell from a distance.  However poppies are a finicky crop and they have to be closely monitored and watered when necessary, so I imagine the size of the paddocks planted would be reliant on the area the farmer is able to irrigate. No doubt that explains why you don’t see too many poppy fields in WA.

Here you can just see one of our turkeys nicking off and exploring the paddock over the road!  Just a bit TOO free ranging!

And I may as well finish up with a few shots of home.  Our potatoes are coming up nicely.

and Lydia has 11 chicks in the brooder box, however with a much smaller, but more secure, run.

Well that’s enough from me.  We hope you all continue to enjoy the holiday period.

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Christmas Greetings

December 24, 2009

Christmas greetings to you from the Howe family.

Lupo stars in our Christmas photo this year. It wasn’t easy getting the photo as she kept turning her head and then the hat would fall off.

Just in case you have forgotten, this is what we all look like now. This is after Caleb’s hair cut. 🙂

Grass

December 8, 2009

I love this time of year in Tassie.  I look out over the paddocks and see the grass rippling in the wind, like waves on the ocean.  I don’t know why but I just love to see it.  It is not something that you can put into a photo and I don’t have a movie camera so I am afraid I can’t share it with you, but I have some other pictures instead.

I wanted to take some photos that showed how high the grass gets here so Josiah and I went for a walk down our road.  You can just see the fence posts peeping out through the grass in this picture.  That is the western end of the south side of Mount Roland in the background.

This is looking towards the Western Tiers across a slashed paddock.  The green crop you can see near the trees is a paddock of poppies that our neighbour Bernie Howe has planted.  I will take some more shots as the crop progresses to flowers, as poppy crops are beautiful and change so much in colour as they progress.

The grass on the side of the road is pretty lush.

Much of it is above the height of the fence, and of Josiah.

You can play hide and seek in this stuff.

Bernie was making hay in this paddock last week, and I like to see the difference between the “mowed” section and the uncut areas.

And finally a shot of our front fence that is finished at last.  Although there is still a ditch area with a drainage pipe in it under the fence that still needs finishing off.  However the cattle and horse now have access to half of the paddock, much to their delight.

Life seems pretty busy for me lately, and all the extra “silly season” events are adding to the workload.  The boys and Kim remain unwell, but we are managing to still get a few things done.  Josiah turned 9 today and had a small party on Saturday with some friends which made him very happy.