Archive for June, 2013


June 25, 2013

Hello again from sunny but COLD Tasmania.

We have been having a bit of a cold snap in Mole Creek, with frosty minimums in the last week all in the negatives.  I know the Canadian members of the family get it much much colder, but we just aren’t set up to cope with the outside becoming a freezer so much in Australia!

Because we have a surplus of trees on our block there are a number of areas that never see the sun in Winter and so those spots just accumulate the frost and it starts to look almost like snow.


Unfortunately the water to the stock runs through one of these areas, we call it Frost Hollow.  I spent one afternoon carefully running hot water over the water pipe there, so that I could get enough water running to fill the stock waters up.


I have been cracking the ice on the animal’s water troughs each morning, and watching them refreeze even thicker over the day.



I pulled some ice off the top of the pig water a few days back and it is still sitting there on the grass.  🙂  If I had running water I think I could have made a small ice rink there.


Eventually when the overnight temperatures got down to -4.9 we lost all semblance of running water to the house too and had to make do with what we had stored in containers.  Such fun!  I can also report that milking is good for warming your hands, though your behind can get pretty cold sitting on an icy bucket.  🙂  There is a real beauty to the frosty mornings though.  The world takes on a blue tinge, the ground crunches under your feet and everything becomes outlined in white.



The hard frosts, when the temp is down to -4 or below, are even more beautiful because the sun has to shine on things for quite a while before the frost melts.



You want to watch your step when you come out of the caravan though, as the frost on the verandah is pretty treacherous.


Turkeys on ice.  🙂  They are all nice and big now, and we will have to start reducing their numbers occasionally soon.


We have been slowly working our way through the young chooks, with the chicken meals being a nice change.  The plan with the chickens is to only keep the older birds, so that we can work towards getting a flock that is resistant to the Avian tuberculosis disease that we have.  Since the disease only shows up in birds over 18 months of age we are waiting until our birds are about 3 or 4 years old, which would indicate that they do not have the disease, before we will keep any more of their offspring to add to the flock.  Sadly our old rooster, who did not have the disease, had an encounter with a quoll when protecting one of his wayward hens one night, so we have had to choose a new young rooster to take his place, and we cannot be as confident of his health since he is young.  Still, we can only try.

The freezer will be full of beef again this weekend.  I will be relieved to have that job done, as once the bottom paddocks flood we run out of room for the steer.  So now we just have the horse and pony, the milking cow, two calves and the three adult pigs.  And of course 15 turkeys, 50 odd chooks, the dog, rabbit and mouse!  …plus innumerable possums and wallabies….

Meanwhile Kim has been getting practice at driving the tractor by moving our hay to higher ground.  We also now have a blade for the tractor on loan which we hope to try out soon.  It should be able to help smooth the driveway and clear some other areas that are getting a bit out of hand. Kim’s health is pretty fragile at the moment though, so he is having to be pretty careful about how much he does.  We have all had a really nasty cold recently, and with Kim’s chronic fatigue it takes him quite a while to recover.  Coughing is the worst as it really wears him out, and that is what he has at the moment.


I has been nice to have Kim’s brother Paul close.  He has moved into his new home in Mole Creek and is gradually accumulating all that he needs to be comfortable there.  Somehow it feels really good to have family nearby.

Well, it is almost time to go and milk now so I better finish up.  The fire is burning nicely beside me now (though we are going through wood at a phenomenal rate, especially this last week) and looking at the thermometer I see it is -1.5 at 9am.  Not so bad today.  🙂   The forecast says that we should not be below zero on Thursday morning, and may even get a little rain which would make for a nice change.

I hope that all is going well for you.