Ever heard a chook growl

I was flat out like a lizard runnin, yesterday putting the finishing touches on the greenhouse,(that’ll be next blog, maybe?) when I heard a strange sound coming from the terminator Princesses pen. I waited a little & then the kafuffle got a little desperate & odd sounding, even the dog went to check on them. I put tools down & wondered over to find one of the black chicks completely fluffed up & literally growling at something tucked just under a small gap below the chook house frame, while the others were running around wings flapping beaks open screaming like a pack of girls that they are.

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please excuse amateur drawings. haha

I’m thinking a spider or a big worm or huge fly or something along those lines. I thought whatever it is it must seem huge to the youngins. Next thing “wack” the little black hen has it & she’s running & slapping & clawing & pulling at this thing. I had a hard time trying to focus, as I was having to watch where I was stepping as the girls had gone completely nuts. Now some of them were still running around with their wings in the air screaming, whilst others had decided they wanted in the action.IMG_20200407_095405_9

This poor little creature was getting stomped, clawed pulled & stretched in at least 5 different directions. All the while I’m still trying to work out what is flamin well goin on, finally the first black chick had it all to herself, & I was able to corner her & pick her up, only to find this poor pretty little chick beak, shocked absolutely gorgeous baby snake.

Yes that’s right, a baby snake, we haven’t had them around for some time & to the girls it must have looked like a full blown 20ft boa constrictor or somethin. The poor little thing.

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We have some pretty venomous snakes here in Aus & even the tiniest ones can pack a punch, so until I could identify it I wasn’t going to touch it.

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So I’ve got this fluffed up freaked out psychotic crazy eyed chicken in my hand, with a baby traumatised snake in its beak & to tell you the truth at this point the chicken was scaring me a little more than the snake.

I grabbed a bucket (you can never have too many buckets on the farm) & thought!?.I will tip the chic up & she’ll release the snake into the bucket & all good. Ok? mm, she wasn’t letting go & still freakishly fluffy & growling, the growl was hilarious. I’m thinking, ok I cant pull it from her beak, 1) I don’t want to hurt it anymore than it was already hurting, 2) I still haven’t identified it & I aint gettin bit, at this point by either the snake or the chic. Now I’m shaking the chic, tipping it up so its face in the bucket, trying to get it to let go, nope. Meanwhile all the other chooks are still running around the pen flapping & squawking. The poor dog didn’t know whether he was coming or going either.

I didn’t want to hurt the chicken by shaking it to much or cause the snake to flick up & strike either one of us. I’m trying to keep the dog away in case the snake drops out of the chicks mouth or the bucket. The only thing left to do was wipe the chicks beak on the edge of the bucket like a knife on the edge of a jam jar, praying that we wont get bit, other than that I was gonna have to fill the bucket with water & stick the chicks head in the bucket to release,(a trick I learnt volunteering at the reptile park when a non venomous python latched onto a girls arm & wouldn’t release). Thankfully the wiping motion worked & with one last screaming squawky growl the chic released the poor little thing.

Now, to put the psychotic fluff ball of a chick back in her pen, I put in a bit of extra feed for them to help calm their nerves, waited & had a calming chat with them about the importance of not panicking, as it only confuses everyone & puts everyone in danger. Once they settled, I headed up into the house with the bucket that had one very relieved traumatised beautiful coloured reptile inside.

Straight onto the computer to identify whether it was as dangerous as the chicks made out, I couldn’t find a pic of it, I waited a bit to give it time to recover & see if its injuries would cause it any suffering, as I would rather put it out of its misery & wipe away the memory of its traumatic ordeal than release it & have it die a long suffering chick nightmare of a death. It seemed fine was slithering in the bucket well so I took it out the front & released it. “You What”?, yes well out front is away from the house, we have lots of predator birds around,  plus a stomp from the horses would terminate it quickly & I was sure it wasn’t going to high tale it back to terminator Chick terrain any time soon.

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Distinct dark rim around eye with a little coma at the bottom. so pretty
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Yellow faced whip snake. Isn’t it gorgeous. Often mistaken for baby brown snake.

This morning before telling you all this story I looked up again & found it, I identified the darling little thing, it was a ‘yellow faced whip snake’ & as the chicks found it, that was it fully grown. Only slightly poisonous to children & people prone to anaphylactic shock. Not hugely deadly though. I’m so glad I was able to release it & I hope its able to find a good therapist to aid in its recovery.

As for the chicks its back to happy clucks & all that was needed for the dog was a couple of tosses of his favourite ball & all is well  & calm on the farm once more.

The moral of the story is don’t believe everything your chooks tell you & you can never have too many buckets.

 

Terminators

haha, I love word plays, if that’s what you call it. I have my very own terminators, had them for a little while now, instead of being cute & adorable, now they are like totally cute awkward teens.

I at first loaded them into the cat box & took them with me around the property, now they just follow me everywhere I go. It’s too adorable.

Well it all started with all the dry & now the wet, termites have come out in force around the property. I was out the front cleaning out the old trailer for the firewood which is in my last blog. When I came across a tree stump that had a couple of white ants on it & on peeling back the bark I found termite village. In comes the terminators, a young teen bunch of feathered pecking machines “The terminating princess party.”

I popped them all in the cat box, & carried them up to the tree stump & released the fiery feathered lot & terminate they did. The whole stump & another log nearby I overturned, much to their teenage exhilaration.

 

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From squishy
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Not just for the feline.
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Release the like totally cute awkward teens. 
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It took them less than an hour.

I pulled the bark off & used long pieces leaning against the stump, so they could reach the top. We had so much fun, now I just have to let them out, call them & I have to literally watch where I walk as they get so excited & get under my feet.

As a group they are my terminating princess party, I haven’t given them individual names yet. But I’m thinking there will be a Daring Diedre, Jovial Jane & Ruby Rebecca the shiniest of them all, even a Sensational Sue, possibly a kindly Karen or Charismatic Carol, I do love Jolly Jessica & maybe a Merry Meredith, we’ll see which personality matches whom or is it who. All will live in the Cluckingdom Palace with Carlos as their King.

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone meet Winston….

Another project I have wanted to do & thank goodness, I didn’t pack the pieces into the shipping container. Not that I don’t appreciate having the dilemma of so much packed into a shipping container. None the less of course nearly everything I am needing at the moment is packed at the very, very, very, very back of the glorious flamin shipping container. hahahahaha

It is Autumn for us now & so that means preparing for winter. It doesn’t snow here, some mornings it gets into the minuses. I love getting up between 4 & 5am & getting the fire started, the most peaceful soul feeding time of the day.

Now our back verandah is almost at a 2storey height & out front is just a couple of steps up. Such is the slope of our land.

I have moved our old unregistered trailer into place laid a tarp over it, as I have a small amount of firewood for now ready for winter. What I will do is hook the trailer up to the car, toss in the chainsaw & drive around the property cutting & collecting wood. I have done this  a few times over the years. (When the glorious rain has eased & the land dries a little). When the trailer is sufficiently full I park it out back near the verandah, leaving the wood in the trailer. It stays dry, saves double handling by not having to unload & the termites cant eat it before we get to use it.

The way the front of the house is situated, there is no room to leave the trailer out front & the fireplace is in the loungeroom, over looking the back of the property. Now I used to pull the wheel burrow loaded with wood up around the house & bring it in through the kitchen & fill the wood bin up. But no more.

I have put wheels on Clint the wood box, in the house so now we can wheel him to the verandah door for filling. The story to this treasure is, 5 or 6 years ago our Clints warehouse closed down & they were selling all their fixtures, this box, $10 & it is lasting beautifully. I cant bring myself to paint it. I know its just cheap timber thrown together to make a tacky little sales bin but, this is a little piece of something from our town. 

Clint the wood box

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Don’t worry it will be dusted & I will sand & polish up the lid. But ain’t it a butte.

Now to add the glittering finale.

A couple of years ago I purchased an old winch set up, from somewhere(it was so long ago I cant remember from where). I had seen one set up at a beautiful old neighbour friend of ours. I am yet to work out what kind of box I will use, or screw together a couple crates????? The bracket is solid steel & attached to the post with 3 very solid long bolt/ screws, the winch is also screw/bolted in, Winston ain’t going nowhere.

I am so looking forward to not having to pull, push & carry loads of wood through the house. I can put the trailer straight under the verandah right next to winch box, rain hail or shine any of us including Mum, if she wanted can bring in some firewood, or if I need to bring in tools that may be a bit heavy, I can put them in the winch bucket. Sometimes even the scrap bucket gets a bit heavy & smelly, well really it can be used for anything we need. Instead of lugging it up the stairs or around to the front.

                                                   Winston the winch will save the day.

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The box can be pulled over the veranda rail & the winch locked at whatever height is best for unloading. I think this will work best, I’m not sure yet, we’ll see what’s going to work best for all who will make use of  & appreciate, Winston the Winch.

 

Its not sad.

G day me many mates. Looking at & checking & designing, what I would do with one particular property we were hoping to buy, upon the sale of our house. “Oh I wish I could see into the future just a little”, it was torturous.

Well as some of you know we put our house on the market, over 6 mnths ago, life being what it is our little home hasn’t sold. Now I’m a big believer in God having plans for our lives, sometimes its not till years later we find out why He said no or not now.  I said to God in my frustration,” if the particular house we were hoping for isn’t meant to be then please, please take it off the market, it’s torturous”. Oh, how I do wish I could see into the future, just a little. The next day I had forgotten my little whinge to God & I’m browsing through the properties available, seeing what else might be out there. There in big blazon letters, across what I was hoping would be our dream property it said” under offer”, next will be under contract, then sold. Its done. May I just say though that with this blinding in my face clear answer, there were other factors influencing my doubts about selling at this time. This, this was the cruncher the clearer than clear answer I needed. We took our house off the market (for now).

With the shipping container 2thirds full of our belongings & 8 trips to the tip so far most with a loaded horse float, too much for a trailer. My head & my heart are a lot clearer about our home here for now. I do still hope & pray that we will have the dream at sometime in the future. For now its back to this dream of a place. Even with its challenging surroundings.

Its on with business as usual, although….

Tomorrow we have a neighbour friend picking up for us, oh should I say just yet? no not yet! I’ll share it after we get it, although…. on Sunday Wil(my son) & I are going for a little half hr drive to pick up….. No I’ll wait to tell you that as well. I know right, its too suspenseful, a life we lead.

Here’s how it is right now.

I was out in the yard the other day, with all the glorious rain we’ve been getting. Everything has been flourishing, i have moved the chook tractor & reorganised a few things. The babies are at that gawky teenage stage, I was given some great bits & pieces from beautiful family friends of ours. The cage is a perfect size for outdoor feeding, so they have the bottom story of the little hen house, while the big girls & boy have the top story on the opposite side.

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The Cherry Guava tree was absolutely buzzing, I mean literally. The bee life were just gorgeous, I know I have shared this before but they are just so gorgeous, I always stop & have a chat & thank them for all their hard work & if they have any complaints or a particular extra favourite flower just let me know.

2 bees

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Um ok, in the pic below, so this was awkward, a beetle in the midst of an identity crisis.”um, hello im so sorry but I don’t think your meant to be here(bee here get it, lol)sorry”. I gently flicked this one away

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Have a great weekend everyone.

Its that simple!

I haven’t made pasta in quite some time, I found a really quick way on an Italian cooking show. On a clean bench put 2 handfuls of strong flour, 2 handfuls of semolina, give it a little mix up, create a well, then place in 2 eggs & a pinch of salt.

Yep that’s it, don’t be shy or fussy, honestly just grab two handfuls of flour, & two handfuls of semolina, that’s all you need for measuring.

Stir the eggs with a fork, till it collects enough flour from the edges, so it doesn’t run everywhere. Then knead in the rest of the outer edges of the well, till the dough is smooth & springy.

I found slicing it into thin strips, then rolling the strips out easier. If I wasn’t so rushed, I would have organised more room, to spread out the dough & roll it a lot thinner. I have packed the pasta roller into the obis, that is the now almost half packed, shipping container, for moving eventually, I am not unpacking the container to find it. haha.

Now it is not pretty straight pasta, & there is a bit of variation in the thickness, don’t judge, lol.

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My dilemma was where to hang it, of course, I had, you can finish the sentence(packed the pasta tree in the shipping container). So where oh where was I going to hang it, there wasn’t much as the dough wasn’t real thin. Looking, looking, looking, ahha, there right there. It doesn’t get used very often, its the perfect height & its right near me. You will never guess where, really we are only limited by our lack of imagination.

IMG_20200221_172455_9                                                   Yes you are looking at the right thing.

IMG_20200221_170936_6Now with a bit more time & thought, if this wasn’t available, I would have just grabbed a stick from the property & had the same result, but this was available & as there was no one swinging from it, I thought ‘well the pasta may as well have go’. For obvious hygiene purposes I draped a piece of baking paper over it. It worked great.

making pasta_MomentInto the salty boiling water it went. Due to the thickness, being what it was, it did take a little longer to cook. I was worried about it being thick & gluggy but it cooked up perfectly.

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Topped off with Curry garlic prawns another of my very simple recipes.                                                                            Dinner is served.

“Bon Appetit” hang on that’s French, I think, is it?

 

 

 

Oh I wish

I so wish you were all here, come with me for a moment, leave everything & just listen.

Wake up stretch, are you awake? if your feet & joints are anything like mine, place them gently on the floor give your body time to take in the morning. I make my bed task 1 done. Good morning to Princess our old long haired jack russel, arthritic joints & hard of hearing doesn’t seem to stop her rustling, snorting & rummaging up my freshly made bed, its amazing how much damage she can do. Funnily enough my joints seem to limber up with hers.

Smell the coffee as it brews, or watch your tea bag swirl & sink in your cup as you pour in the steaming hot water. Wait, just wait for a minute, maybe 2 for that perfect morning brew. Now sit, close your eyes & listen.

Oh how I wish you could hear.

The cicadas song is distant as the sun hits the garden, this morning it reflects off the raindrops, creating a magical sparkle of twinkling early morning light. Everything is green, so many different greens. I had forgotten what beautiful greens there was, emerald greens, a magical sparkling twinkling land of, wait, listen.

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As I draw my thoughts from the distant sounds I follow the cicadas morning song, I hear an intermittent drip, drip, drip, as the last remaining precious rain water drains off the roof, hitting the barrel now over flowing with precious glimmering liquid.

The horses stand drying & warming, as their bottom lips droop succumbing to the warmth of the early morning sun,  it dries & warms their soft squishy muzzles & now shiny manes & backs. Their bellies full of the good green sweet salad that is our land.

A family of Butcher birds sing out to each other, the most beautiful song, the deep whoop of a pheasant coucal echoes from the undergrowth below the trees.

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As my mind & thoughts move closer to the house, the cicada song follows, & the rooster crows announcing the day.

In fly the lorikeets’ after the sweet nectar that hangs in the raindrops on the grevillea flowers, not such a delicate song but a screech of attitude & fun, they gather for while, then take off in a screeching flurry, (next time your out after the rain shake a flower in your hand releasing natures sweet water, try it).

I am not sure if its cranky, maybe its the gentle morning breeze, swaying the droplets of water from the early mornings storm off the leaves, interrupting its morning sunlit forage. Who knew a little bird could have so much song, with so much volume & attitude(fortitude?). Its a battle of tiny delicate proportions, soon won by the loudest of the smallest most delicate of feathered miracles.

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On the blue crate it won
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Chasing off little Blue Wren(top left) & his Jenny(couldn’t catch her pic)

The air is sweet with the smell of the drought recovering good earth, the hard hot crunch & ensuing dust of the earth is taken place by…I take off my shoes for the first time in years(don’t judge the glare) & feel & squish the soft green rain drenched grass in my toes, my soul is quenched with all its goodness, once again giving me a new sense of energy & hope for the weeks & months ahead.

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Life is good on our little slice of paradise, & it is just that, “our little slice of amazing God given paradise”.

 

Our climate is never boring!

So this is the dam roughly 2 weeks ago, note the fallen branch.

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This is yesterday.

IMG_20200209_103408_7         It filled a little & then over night over 95ml of rain & run off, to this. It has been                               roughly 8yrs since the dam has been anywhere near this full.

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Beyond excited it is overflowing & ebbing slowly down & around the property as I had                                             originally redirected the water flow about 8 yrs ago.

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The garden is holding the water, a lot of water, it is ebbing away beautifully, no loss of top soil, not sure what seedlings will survive with this much water but the seedlings are still there just under water as everything is at the moment.