Archive for the ‘Cold’ Category

A Snow Day in Mole Creek

August 3, 2015

It is the first time in the 8 years we’ve been here that we have had any real snow settle on our property.  It is not a common occurrence, although we had been told it did happen on odd occasions.  We were very excited when we got up to take Lydia to work and saw the snow, even though they had been forecasting it we hadn’t quite believed it would happen.  In the end we decided not to take Lydia to work as we really have no experience at snow driving – and it was pretty slippery, muddy and icy underneath all that pretty snow, not to mention it was hard to see where the sides of the roads were (and with some of the roads we drive you really NEED to know where those edges are.  Her supervisor was not surprised when Lydia called to let her know as it was even snowing at her place near the coast.  I think all of Tassie is having a snow day today.  It’s fun for a day, but I’m rather glad it is not going to last.  🙂  We have lots of photos to share!

Snow on the Peugeots before dawn

Snow on the Peugeots before dawn

Snow on the back of the Peugeots

Snow on the back of the Peugeots


Shack in the pre dawn

Then the light started to come as the sun came up, and we went exploring.


Snowing on the shack


Snowing on the cars


The pony was a bit silly about it for a while, but once they got some hay they could eat they settled down.


Horses, not too sure about all this white stuff!

The cow in the snow

The cow in the snow


Cathy and Lydia exploring


Snowing on the western lake

Snowing on the western lake


Snow covered paddocks and hills

Snow covered paddocks and hills


Sam and Josiah exploring

Snowing on the gardens paddock

Snowing on the gardens paddock

The cow eating her hay in the snow

The cow eating her hay in the snow

Snow covered paddocks

Snow covered paddocks

Snow on Philpots

Snow on the neighbours

Turkey in the snow

Turkey in the snow

The cages covered in snow. Mesh sagging under the weight.

The cages covered in snow. Mesh sagging under the weight.


Snow on the laurel leaves

Tree in the snowy paddock

Tree in the snowy paddock

Snow on a tree trunk

Snow on a tree trunk

Snow laden gum tree sapling

Snow laden gum tree sapling

Snow on the manor track

Snow on the manor track


Snowy manor


Snow on the bushland



Driveway through the bush


Caravan looking cold

Snow on the solar panels and satellite dishes

Snow on the solar panels and satellite dishes

Snow on the solar hot water system

Snow on the solar hot water system

Of course chores still needed to be done.  🙂


Milking in the snow

And schoolwork included the making of a snowman – a good 4 ft tall he was, and so easy to roll the snow up.



Then Kim went for a drive down the road, and into town to get a shot of the church too.

Snowy roadsides

Snowy roadsides


View towards home and Mt Roland from the end of Sykes Rd


Looking towards the Gog range from the end of Sykes road


View towards town from the end of Sykes Rd



Mersey River from Union Bridge


Mole Creek Presbyterian Church

Things started to melt in the afternoon although the snow kept falling for most of the day, but it stopped settling on the ground fairly quickly.  There will still be some snow around tomorrow, but no doubt it will melt during the day.


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.



Snow at last

August 20, 2010

Well, there has been plenty of rain over the last few days here in Northern Tassie.  The ground water is rising and our sink hole come lake is filling up.  We even have snow on Mt Roland today, and it has been a blustery and cold day so I feel much more inclined to do some writing on the computer in our nice warm lounge room near our crackling wood fire than I might do if the weather was more conducive to being outside.  Looking back I see that I have not written since the end of June, so surely I must have something to talk about.

I’ll get the boring health information done with first.  Kim has picked up a little, he can manage an hour or two of productive time each day at the moment, which is much better than spending most of his time in bed!  The older boys continue to have health problems, which is rather frustrating for them.  Lydia is doing well, health wise, but has been unable to find any permanent work. We are looking forward to the warmer weather when hopefully she can pick up some hours with the honey farm again.  Not many bees out and about at the moment though!  Josiah’s is well.  His news is that he now has a bike with gears ($10 from the tip shop). He loves it and is easily persuaded to go for a ride down the track or the road.  I am mostly fine, although we all had a stomach wog work it’s way through us just recently which helped me to empathise more with the problems the boys face on a regular basis.

We have finally got all of Kim’s dad’s tools and bits and pieces over here, thanks to lots of help from my own dad.  Thanks Dad!  All the boxes fitted on the back of the old ute and it was fun opening them and exploring what was there.  We have already made good use of a number of the items and wonder how we ever did without some of it.  Everything has taken up temporary residence in my greenhouse since it was the only waterproof space large enough to hold it all.  Hopefully I can have the greenhouse back again one day.  🙂

All our new season’s turkeys have been processed or sold now.  In fact we only have one more in the freezer left to eat.  One lucky gobbler was traded for a leg of lamb to a nice old fellow in town.  That particular turkey can look forward to living out his life wandering over a couple of hundred acres of prime farm land with a half dozen hens.  We have sold all our most recent litter of piglets too.  The last two are being collected tomorrow then taken straight to the abattoir to be prepared for roasting on the spit at a cost of $15 each.  Poor little tykes, but they have enjoyed a good life here, galloping around their paddock every day and rooting up any missed spuds from last season’s potato plot.  The next sow is due to farrow soon.  We have some older pigs that we really must turn into meat soon.  The boys did manage to process a couple of pigs for us back in June but I think we may have to give up on waiting for them to be well enough to do more, and book some into the local abattoir instead.  I want more meat in the freezer instead of in the paddock!

We have also made plans for raised garden beds which incorporates new moveable houses for Lydia’s chooks.  We are nowhere near building them yet, but it is nice to have plans.  🙂  We also have an area now allocated to fruit trees and hope to get a few planted out before the warm weather comes.  Quite accidentally I actually managed to kill a couple of Lyd’s chooks by throwing some left over curing salt into the scrap bucket.  Turns out salt is poisonous to chooks, and we learnt that the hard way!  Still, Lydia does have another 60 to keep her busy.

We were greatly saddened when an elderly gentleman from church passed away last month.  He had been suffering from cancer for the last year so it was not unexpected, and we are glad he is no longer suffering, but we still are so sorry he has gone.  It is a great comfort to know that he was a faithful believer in our Lord Jesus for many many years and we know he is now with his saviour, but we do miss him.  He was so welcoming to our family when we arrived and made us feel so accepted that it is hard to think that he is no longer here.  We cleaned up the church in preparation for the funeral which filled the church to overflowing. We also catered for nibbles etc for after the service, although in typical country style many people brought food to share and we had an abundance.  Our little church seems to be suffering a lot of grief lately with the step daughter of another of our church family passing away last week.  Again it was expected, but it is still hard to say goodbye to loved ones.  That makes 3 deaths this year, and with the 2 families leaving as well we are left feeling a bit “down” at times.  However we know that God has all things in his hands and we trust Him to do what is best.

Early this month we had a lovely visit from 3 young men from WA.  Jud and Mitchell, friends of Caleb and Sam, came to stay for just over a week.  They brought with them a friend of their own named Sujan.  We enjoyed the time they spent with us, sleeping on the floor up in the “manor” and visiting a number of tourist spots.  They were particularly keen to see snow though unfortunately it has not been a very good year for snow here (at least until today!).  However they went up to the Great Lake in the Central Highlands, saw a good frost here one morning, got snowed on lightly at Cradle Mountain, visited St Helens on the east coast and made their way up onto Ben Lomond where they could have a good snowball fight and make a snowman, although there was not enough snow covering to go tobogganing or skiing.  We  also went with them to Tasmazia, a place not too far from here with 8 mazes that we had been looking for an excuse to visit ourselves.  It was nice to have some fresh faces around and to be encouraged by their participation in our tiny church fellowship.  Our boys really enjoyed catching up with their mates too, even though they were still limited by their health.

Our “off grid” plans are proceeding.  We are currently investigating micro hydro systems in addition to solar panels.  In the meantime we have turned our water bed into a gel bed.  The gel is more insulative so instead of having the big heater under the water mattress on all the time, we just have an electric blanket on top when we need it.  That should save us around $400 in electricity a year and means that we will not need to produce as much electricity from our off grid system.  We have also worked out where the batteries and inverter are going, and have build a little deck out the front of the shack for them to stand on.  The extra space of the deck is actually a lovely spot to sit in the sun too.  The slow combustion stove is inside now thanks to our visitors who helped to move it for us, and it is all pretty much put back together and sealed up after lots of work, primarily by Kim.  The next job is to put the flue up outside, then there is the water tank to mount and all the water pipes to run.  Always more to do.  We have also ordered some LED lights to try out and are most excited to see what they are like.

Well, that is about it for now.  Take care all.