Sunday, 4 November 2012

Gosh, it's been a while...

I just realised this morning that I miss my blog.

I've been so busy the past few months (literally fighting fires, etc.) that I haven't taken the time to reflect and share on what's been happening in my world.

Moet is really toughing it out this morning, lying next to me as I write this in bed (it's Sunday)...

And she's not the only one... I caught Baillie this morning sleeping on the daybed on the deck - bad dog! She knew it too and got straight off before a good old fashioned telling off.

I spent most of yesterday working on one of my major projects - the boundary fence between us and the neighbours. The current fence is 50 years old (I know the old bloke who put it in, he's now 90) and it's probably on the steepest part of the mountain. If I had a dollar for every time I slipped and lost my footing yesterday, I'd be rich. Anyway, after pondering on  this for some time (bought about by my fear of snakes mainly) and looking at the outsourcing option (holy cow - I only asked for a quote for a fence), I bit the bullet and decided to do it myself. Having said that, I'm not replacing the fence - it's too expensive. I have installed a star picked double hotwire fence. No mean feat, given I had to carry the 25kg star picket driver up and down the hill with me, let alone continuously lift it above my head to smash in the pickets. Today I will go down it again and trim back the branches and grass so it doesn't short out and then again with the weedkiller, just to make sure nothing grows too close to the fence.

And after all of that effort, the donkeys will have a safer home. (We went on holiday recently and they decided they would too. So they have been in the front paddock for the past few weeks.) Now, with the new fencing, they will not be able to go anywhere. I've missed my long ears being up at the house.

My next project is a new palace for the chooker moles. The current one (made in China, arrived in kitset form with no instructions) is going to fall down in the next storm without a doubt. MOTH says, "Don't worry, we'll recoup" [boom-tish].

But I have grand plans. I've bought an old kids swing set (ebay), which will form the basis for the new A frame palace. I have also bought some lovely old pieces of carved wood (ebay) to add some features and... a chandelier (actually I bought a chandelier frame and them some old crystals off ebay, so I hope they will go together). Then once it's finished, I'm going to plant a passionfruit along side. It'll definitely be rustic.

Well, had better get up and cracking. I have dogs to wash, fencelines to trim and spray...

Monday, 6 August 2012

It's that time of the year again when everything can go woof!

Living on the top of a mountain can have it's advantages and disadvantages.

This morning I saw a joey wallaby with his mum on the side of the driveway as we headed off to work - advantage.

If there were to be a bushfire, our house it's a gonna - disadvantage.

So, last year, in a moment of (as MOTH clearly defines it "WHAT WERE YOU BLOODY THINKING...") - I call it focus - I joined the local rural fire brigade. Not only was I interested in how we might protect our property (which I quickly learnt was defined as "non defendable") but it was also a way that I could contribute to our local community. BTW - we do have a 5 minute evacuation plan which involves grabbing laptops, animals and getting the f**k out of there... oh, and of course, the kids (my bad).

One year on and who'd thought I'd now have a tertiary qualification in operating a chainsaw, am also certified to assist in road traffic accidents, renewed my first aid and am learning to drive a truck!  Oh, and I now am also a qualified rural firefighter.

Anyway... the purpose of my message is to highlight that bushfire season is upon us and it's time for anyone who lives in a bush area (in or out of the city limits) to start preparing for, what is being touted as one of the potentially biggest bushfire seasons in years. You only have to go for a drive and look at what's lying on the ground under the trees to realise the fuel load is scary. So, what to do...

There are plenty of options you can take ahead of a bushfire to minimise the risk to your property. Clean up any dead trees or rubbish, get rid of any leaves in your guttering and on your roof, and, if possible create firebreaks. Another option is one that we adopted last weekend at our own fire station - hazard reduction burning. This is a very controlled, low impact burn that clears away the potential fuel load in a managed way. I've attached some photos to give you an idea on how it all goes down.

As always, if you need a hand, just call your local urban or rural fire brigade - before there's a problem - they'll appreciate the call and will more than likely be able to help.

And if you really don't know where to start - contact me and I'll make sure someone contacts you from your local brigade.

Here's hoping everyone stays safe this fire season.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Harvesting and pruning

We've had visitors staying with us and Linley agreed to help me prune my roses and surrounding rosemary hedge. I know it's a bit late to prune roses in Brisbane but they have had a fairly traumatic few years and I wanted to leave it as long as I could. As a result of the floods in Brisbane 2011, I had to urgently move my roses before the earthmoving machines moved in to repair the massive landslide directly behind our home. I had to prune them to nothing and move them with little notice. Luckily, I had been composting up a new garden bed and it has ended up being a great location for them. I also planted a functional hedge of rosemary around them as a box hedge to provide some grey contrasting foliage and act as a pesticide resistance for the roses.

So not only did we get in and prune my poor roses to try and help them grow and prosper, but we gave the rosemary a good old haircut. It grows prolifically and the more I hedge it, the more it seems to grow. So, I have heaps of rosemary to give away at work tomorrow (like about 5 buckets of it).

Then it was off the check on my galangal plant and see if I could harvest some of it. The plant (I should have taken a photo before I cut the tops off it) is about 8 foot tall and looks and flowers like a ginger plant. They are closely related but galangal has a different flavour - awesome in asian cooking. After about 20 minutes, we had the prize in our hands... problem was there was so much of it we couldn't lift it. After we'd washed and trimmed off the roots into manageable pieces, I still have HEAPS (about 5 years worth for us). So now I have no idea what to do with several kilos of galangal...

Monday, 16 July 2012

Wrapped up like a...

Donkey in a rug?

It's going to be cold here tonite on the mountain and the boys were waiting for me when I got home for their rugs.

Does my bum look big in this?
Irwin has gone all camera shy (and his bum isn't looking too big - well, that's what I told him)
And just to promote the humiliation that some donkeys have to suffer, I thought I'd share a photo of Irwin (soaking wet) in his HOT PINK rug. He was dry on the inside...

And THAT is why donkey's love their rugs.

BTW - do you think they can see in the dark, given how much they love their carrots...

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Life is tough

This is Moet. She was a rescued kitten from Her life here is tough... real tough. She has accommodated us for  year now but things are changing - she has a new profile.

She has become a very rare Clear Mountain White Lion. At sunset she stalks the humans and jumps out - scaring the shit out of us!

Big and tough - HA!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

I'm sooo brave

Today I moved the electric fence for the donkeys so that they could have some more fresh grass. Tall grass... some as tall as me (I'm tall for a chick)... and all by myself. It was completely snake country and I was sooo brave. I know it's winter but I also know they are about. I saw one last weekend (a flat version) on the driveway. Even if I had seen one or - even worse - been attacked by one, the ground was so steep that I wouldn't have been able to have run anyway.

But I have a secret plan against Sid (and all of his legless mates)... chooker moles!

This is Lulubell and Black Chook (not to be confused with the other black chook called Louise Lambshanks). They are trained killers... never underestimate the pack hunting capabilities of a pack of chooker moles...

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Fruits of my labour

OK, so it's the neighbours fruit (thanks Bitch and Mel)...

Bitch and Mel are our neighbours and they have a small orchard of prolificly producing citrus trees - limes, lemons, grapefruit, oranges and cumquats.

I got the call last weekend to come down and help myself. So today, off I went. The donkey's won't mind that I used their feed buckets to fill with citrus and Bitch and Mel just wanted some of it used before the cockatoos come in and strip the trees bare, which is what happened last year. There are literally kilos and kilos of fruit on the trees - awesome.

So, having learnt my lesson last year that one cannot drink several litres of home pressed grapefruit juice in a day without consequences, I held back this time. I think I picked about 15 - 20kg of assorted fruit.

Back to the kitchen and my budding photographer assistant has prepared a step by step collage of my afternoon.

Today I managed to pump out some lemon curd, cumquat jam and have prepared to soak overnight some cumquat marmalade, which will go into the jars tomorrow.

Bad news is I've run out of jars. Thank goodness for ebay - more jars ordered and will be posted first thing Monday.

Next weekend I have planned some 5 fruit marmalade and some - back by popular demand - Margarita marmalade (not for the kiddies).

Now I just need to work out what I'm going to do with about 5kg of limes... any suggestions?

Footnote: Gin and tonic is much much better with fresh lemon juice in it - aaahh

Monday, 25 June 2012

MOTH gets some culture

It was MOTH's birthday the other week. I was at a loss on what to get him. He is incredibly talented musician and has way more musical toys that he could possibly ever use. I love nothing more than listening to his latest recordings... we have our own exclusive Cafe del Mar sounds in our own home! I'll try and post some one day. He even recorded something amazing the other day using his iPad!

Anyway... back to some culture...

So, I went looking for some culture for MOTH for his birthday present. The present ended up included a Cider brewing kit (his preference to beer), a cheese making kit and a Swiss Brown mushroom kit. So now we have cheese in the kitchen, curing cheese in the pantry, the cider kit (still in its boxes) in the laundry and some fungal magic funking it out in a cupboard in the garage!

Am expecting mushies on toast for the weekend...

Must say though that initial cheeses are also very tasty and (with the help of some home grown herbs) are lovely on hot toast or crackers - yum.

Is almost as cool as my Christmas present (a new trailer)...

Monday, 11 June 2012

Another weekend in paradise

These guys were keeping watch of everything happening in our orchard this morning. They were there for ages.

You can definitely tell that winter is here, it's been down to single figures at night. MOTH and I moved the remainder of the firewood stack onto a covered trailer so that it will dry out. Can't light a fire with wet wood. There is absolutely no way I would moved that pile in spring or summer time - snake haven. Now with the wood stack gone from the entrance gate to our house, I took the opportunity to plan three olive trees in a line. They hedge really well and don't mind the full sun. In a few years time, we should have olives to marinate - yum.

Also bought a Kumquat tree this morning and another Kaffar Lime. The other one isn't doing very well and looks like it's on its last legs. I planted the Kumquat in a small circular garden bed surrounded by rocks at the bottom of the stairs outside. I'll style it into a topiary tree as it grows. I surrounded it with a group of deep red geraniums - looks just like a gardening show has popped over for a quick makeover session. I suppose that's the difference between instant, showy gardens and ones like mine - where it simply takes ages to grow. (Am showing my lack of patience with winter and plants slowing their growth. I can't even plant anything in the vege patch cause it will only drown or die.)

Am now trapped inside by more rain and wondering how I'm going to deal with an afternoon in da' house...

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Housebound and going crazy

It's raining.

This is the view from the deck over the valley. Behind that ridge you can just see is a view of Redcliffe et al. and across the bay to Moreton Island. Not today [sigh].

The animals who know where their bread is buttered have all found somewhere in the house to snuggle down.

Baillie won't be needing her sunscreen today on our very expensive leather poofie...

Moet just launches into a pose every time someone comes near her with a camera (I swear she was asleep on the bed when I went to take the photo).

Roman has managed to get prime position next to the fire. Pity it's not on but there is no dry firewood today.

TC (tabby cat) is all fluffed up on a chair next to me.

I don't deal very well with being stuck inside, so I had a plan devised before I got out of bed - I would bake.

I've just pulled the last of the biscuits out of the oven and, well, today's baking wasn't without one disaster. Our oven has the quietest timer in the world and I can never hear it. So one batch of biscuits came out charcoal. But besides my momentary lack of attentiveness, all in all, a successful day.

I made some Chocolate chip and lavender biscuits. I love the flavour of lavender and, whilst I admit I did use pure essence this time, I would much prefer to use the flowers themselves. Just need to find somewhere that sells edible lavender.

The other biscuits I made are Orange and Rosemary biscuits. These are more like wafers and are amazingly awesome with cheese on them, especially blue cheese.  I got the recipe from a family member when on holiday in NZ a few years ago - thanks Linley. This, I will share:

Orange & Rosemary Biscuits

8cm spray fresh rosemary (I use way more than that, usually 5 - 8 times more)
125g butter
200g castor sugar
1 large egg (is there any other kind when you have you own chooker moles?)
1 large orange finely grated zest
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Finely chop rosemary (leaves only).
Lightly cream butter and sugar.
Beat egg in a large bowl and add butter mixture and whisk lightly.
Stir in rosemary and grated zest.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder into mixture.
Stir with a wooden spoon until you have a soft dough mixture.
Flour hands and board and cut mixture into two. Make each piece of dough into a sausage shape, about 25cm long. The diameter should be a bit bigger than a 50 cent piece.
Roll up in cling wrap and chill in fridge until hard. Once hard, remove cling wrap and cut into tiny slices (the thinner the better, I usually make mine around 2 - 3mm) and place on a baking tray.
Bake at 180 for 6 - 9 minutes until pale gold in colour. WARNING: Do not forget about them like I did, they burn super quick.
You can also put you sausage shaped dough in the freezer and slice it frozen for a quick, tasty home made addition to your cheese platter.

Fresh out of the oven
Not perfect but I know they will taste awesome!


Monday, 28 May 2012

Cute ass in the long grass

Well, I never thought this would happen but while I was out on Saturday morning MOTH (man of the house for those new to my blog) decided that he would cut a path for a new fence so that the donkeys could chew through some more hillside grass behind our house. It took him 3 hours to cut a track so that the electric fence won't short out when we installed it (Sunday morning's job).

Sunday morning: coffee and fencing. Away we went, I went right, MOTH went left. By the time I met him at the top of the hill he was wound up in electric fence tape and swearing his head off (lucky we don't have close neighbours). The two wound rolls of tape I'd give him were both thrown on the ground...


Fence went up and got turned on, donkeys were very suspicious that their fence had "disappeared" from where they knew it to be and took quite a bit of coaxing into the long grass. Ironic, I know.

Irwin, who is a big donkey could hardly be seen... in fact he looked a bit like a kangaroo!

... a very happy kangaroo...

But Guinness just stuck to the easy stuff...

Smart little donkey, the black one ;o)

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Bet you've never seen a lawnmower like this...

It's been a while since it's rained up here on the mountain and, with the nights getting cooler, the grass hasn't been growing as quickly as it usually does. Guinness is very vocal about there not being enough grass in his paddock. And you don't want to have a vocal donkey around the house.

So I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone... lawn mowing donkeys!

I'll leave them on the lower lawn this afternoon and maybe, if they're good, they can do the back lawn tomorrow.

And... any byproducts can go straight into the compost heap!

I do believe Guinness is smiling in this photo.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

It's raining, it's pouring...

I'd take a photo from the deck of the valley but it looks like white noise...

It's been raining for 24 hours now and we've had more than 130mm of constant rain and there is no sign of it letting up. This has the potential to be very bad. Around here the creeks come up quickly, roads close without warning, dams overflow and landslides  are far too common. We are still doing repair work from the January 2011 storms on our property.

Anyway... I've just come in from rugging two very wet donkeys and giving them some chaff to warm their bellies. They will dry out pretty quickly and be toasty under their coats. Then there's the two wet dogues that are currently lying on the living room rug on their dogs beds. That is, if you define a custom made leather poofee as a dog bed. And somewhere out in the misty rain is/was 7 chooker moles who, last time seen, looked like some sort of tiny alien dinosaurs.

I even got an emergency callout this afternoon to attend a car accident on Clear Mountain Road (am a local rural fire brigade member). I was in town so was more than an hour away. Luckily I got a STOP message ten minutes later so I can only assume it wasn't as bad as originally thought. Am glad someone got to go home to their family today.

PLEASE STOP RAINING... I just want to mow the lawn...

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Break and enter

I came home from work on Tuesday to find that there had been a break and enter... the donkeys had broken into the chook shed and stolen the chooker moles laying mash! They'd even taken the container outside and taken it apart. Not a single grain was left (am assuming the chooker moles helped to remove any evidence).

Working out exactly who was the culprit wasn't very hard as Irwin is too wide to fit through the door of the chook shed. But he had obviously been an accessory to the fact, if not a recipient of stolen goods.

Laying mash (and any chook food for that matter) is very very bad for horses and donkeys. It can kill them. But Guinness and Irwin obviously didn't read the label on the bag. They probably only got a litre or two of the grain and it obviously not enough for them to work out it gave them a belly ache.

So, how did I know exactly what happened? Well, the next morning the culprits came back and we found casing the joint for a repeated offence. Luckily for the chooker moles I have put some mechanisms in place (a brick and a pigtail picket) to ensure that no donkey can open the door to the chook shed again. The door has to stay open during the day so that the chooker moles can get in and out to lay their eggs.

Today I shall move the electric fence so that the donkeys can't get to the chook shed - just to be sure. I don't want an unnecessary vet bill. Lord knows I get enough of them already!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Getting exotic on Clear Mountain

This weekend is the weekend of introducing exotics to the garden. (It takes my mind off chocolate)

So, for a little variety and challenge, I recently purchased a vanilla plant. It went in the ground last weekend and we have set it up on a trellis.

Vanilla is actually an orchid and a vine and likes to grow (so I've been told) about 25 feet (this one is about 2 feet long) before it will flower - which it does within only a few days. Then you have to manually pollinate the flowers with a cotton bud in order to assist Mother Nature in growing vanilla pods. This also doesn't happen for the first few years. So, this is why vanilla is so damn expensive.

Anyway, my friend David and I are having a little challenge to see who gets the first pods. He is thinking about planting his on/near a frangipani tree. I bought the two plants on ebay from FNQ if anyone is interested in having a crack themselves.

David also got me a miniature banana tree a few months ago. As you can see, it has gone nuts and is now about nearly 2 metres tall. It will produce normal bananas (not sure if it is Cavendish or Lady Finger) but the tree itself will only get this tall. 

So, am expecting flowers and baby bananas any day now.

And the latest addition to the mountain is a coffee tree (thanks Josie). I have high expectations for this little sapling. We use a shitload of fresh coffee!

We also plant a lot of things that are generally considered waste like pineapple tops (yes, they do grow eventually). We currently have three in the ground waiting for a burst of development.

I have also successfully grown an avocado tree from a seed. It got to about a metre high before I accidentally sprayed it with Roundup. [Key learnings: #1 don't go so close to small trees with the spray and #2 I can always grow another one]. They do grow really large so don't plant it too close to anything.

Local word is that Camfin Valley, that we overlook, was used during WWII for the American soldiers and their horses. As folklaw goes there was an old Chinese market gardener who would provide fresh produce to them, although no one really knew where he had his gardens. Rumour is that his old gardens were on our land. In one of the 3 gullys there is an amazing 3 metre high rock waterfall that looks like it is   man made, it is so perfect. It is really hard to get to but worth the walk down there if it is flowing. It only flows when there is signifiant rain (often). To the south of it is where our orchard and an untamed area lies. The soil here is amazing... makes you wonder, huh.

As happy as a donkey in...

I’ve learnt a lot about donkeys since I took on two rescues a few years ago. They are highly emotional and intelligent creatures, of whom you need to earn their trust. Not such an easy job when their previous lives had obviously been so traumatic. But little by little, they come around. It’s an incredibly rewarding process.

Donkeys are very tidy creatures, they toilet in the same area (separate spots for #1’s and #2’s) and love nothing more than a good old dust bath, again in the same chosen spot. Ours have adopted the sandy area over the top of our biocycle as their dirt bath area.

I’ve taken the following photos of Irwin totally enjoying his bath last weekend. Sorry, they are so hard to see but it was taken from a way away so as not to disturb him.

I do believe he is smiling…

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Fruits of the wild

Last year I was excited to discover that we had wild guava trees growing on our property. Recently I also found a wild persimmon tree as well. And whilst I haven't worked out what to do with the persimmon yet, we have been making guava and almond chutney with the wild guava. Last year was our first attempt and it was awesome.

So, I was delighted to see that all of the rain we have had this year has resulted in a bumper crop.

I worked out yesterday that since 1 January we have had more than 800mm of rain. No wonder the bank behind the house continues to flow (sometimes gush) with water. The soil around here is completely sodden at the moment. But everything is growing and growing and growing (especially the grass)!

Anyway, back to the guava chutney. MOTH and I went and picked about 3kg of fruit today. After peeling and deseeding it, we ended up with 1.5kg of fruit meat. That will make about 5 large bottles of chutney.

Chopped up wild guava ready for MOTH to make chutney
The finished product is perfect with a sharp cheddar and, of course, a chilled glass of Pinot Noir. Whilst 5 bottles will last us nearly a year, I'm still thinking about picking some more fruit to make some more. It's been such a hit with visitors, I might make some up for Christmas pressies or something. (I found another large group of trees the other day that were laden with fruit and there are a heap of trees at Eaton's Crossing of Cedar Creek as well. But given MOTH actually makes the chutney (I'm in charge of prepping the fruit), I will need to check with him first. He is a first rate cook. And as they say, why have a dog and bark yourself?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Out of little things big things grow - Part II

Thought I'd better pop up a progress report on the seedlings.

Heirloom seedlings at two weeks
They have been growing well, well most of them have. It's a bit hard to ensure that some get enough and some not too much water when you have multiple plant types in the same seedling tray. So, I think I will lose a few.

At three weeks they're starting to thicken up
The lettuce is ready for the garden now (middle tray at the back). I know they look really small but if you leave them any longer they get all spindly and tend to stay that way. Nothing worse than flimsy lettuce!

And the tray at the back is going gangbusters. If I could only remember what it is (it was the only tray I didn't label)... I think it's coriander so will plant it out today as well as see what happens. I must have liked it to have planted so much of it!

Then later today I'm going to start on the tomato plants. I have several varieties that I plant but usually stick to the medium sized ones as the bigger ones tend to split when they are ripening. We grow a lot of tomatoes and they taste soooo much better than any shop variety - especially with chooker mole eggies!

I have also bought a vanilla plant this week online and am going to have a crack at growing vanilla. It's an orchid and grows like a vine. Apparently you have to let it grow about 25 feet before it will flower. Then you have to pollinate it and taaa daaa - vanilla pods! MOTH will love this for his cooking. Hmmm, fresh eggs AND home grown vanilla. I can feel a cake or two coming on.

Anyway, had better get cracking. It's the first weekend in weeks that it hasn't rained so I'm off to poison some grass and weeds. 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Sleep ins are over rated

So it's the eve of our first weekend with no kids, no soccer, no rugby, no appointments, and all I can think of is a sleep in on Saturday morning. We caught up with some friends after work at the local pub (Samford) and had a great steak before we headed home. Fed the animals, watched a bit of TV and went to bed. Aaahhhh, my favourite place in the world - under my big fluffy doona (OK, it was too hot for the doona but you get the picture). Then, a few hours later to add to the ambiance, the rain starts on the tin roof... ahhhhh, look out sleep in here I come.

Fast forward to 7.30am and I peep with one eye to my watch. MOTH must have seen me do it and asked the time. I muttered 7.30 and refused to wake up. He gets up, I doze back to sleep. "There's a donkey on the lawn". (Yeah and I'm swimming in the pool we don't own in my dream). "Guinness is running across the lawn, he's coming up the driveway". Shit, I'm awake and I'm standing up already and putting my glasses on. Thongs on and I head out to WTF is going on. Guinness meets me at the front door, literally. He is freaked out and has red mud all over his nose. But he won't let me touch him, no matter what I do (soothing voice, etc.) but he doesn't want me out of his sight. He is stressed. (This is NOT how I had imagined my sleep in.)

Half an hour, an apple and some chaff and molasses, he's back behind the white tape.

A quick inspection of the fence suggests he was chased out by something through the tape but didn't break it. There were a heap of little donkey hoof marks on the outside of the fence where he has run around randomly and skidded to a holt several times. I have no idea what happened to him but he was freaked out.

He has calmed down now and is in the stockyards with Irwin. MOTH has made me a coffee and I'm now sitting in bed on my laptop. Oh well sleep in, there's always tomorrow...

PS Happy St Pats Day everyone!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Want to start your day on a high? Hug a Donkey

Recently Guinness and Irwin have started hanging around the chook palace every morning when I head out around dawn to let the girls out. They have a 5 acre hillside paddock to graze and can often be not seen for days at a time. I initially thought they were interested in the chooker moles but, it would seem, it’s my enlightening conversation and a hug that attracts them. They have more food than they could possibly ever eat – no matter how hard they try – but they seem to be only interested in a loving hug. BTW ever seen an oval donkey – I’ll try and get a front on photo one day… hilarious FAT OVAL DONKEYS!

Does my bum look big in this? (Irwin)
They just want me to scratch their necks and there’s nothing nicer than being able to unconditionally hug the neck of a trusting donkey that has previously been so traumatised by human contact that it has taken literally years to get to this stage. How more satisfying can a hug be? (In the words of the princess on MKR…) “Yeaaahhhh”.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Full moon and wild dogs

We live along a mountain range that basically goes from Mt Cootha in Brisbane, right up to the Blackall Ranges in the Sunshine Coast and, word is, the wild dogs travel through this area, about 250 dogs in packs of 10 - 20.

My "boyfriends" (according to MOTH) who are brothers aged 89 and 93 have lived on Clear Mountain their whole lives, have a lot of incredibly accurate stories. They still have wild dogs on their place every year (they breed Herefords, aka food source) and those who "help out" regularly around the place shoot the buggers. Their place is less than 1km from our place.

Last week the local fortnightly paper on Friday there was a story warning about a pack of wild dogs in the area.

Last night around 2.40am I heard a noise near the house that I thought was a feral cat. "Great, cat fight", was my first thought. TC (Tough C**t aka Tabby Cat for the kiddies) leapt from the bed and I thought I'd wait for the scrap before donning my superhero cape and rescuing the day (VERY early day). Nothing happened... the Dogues continued to snore louder than MOTH (he was next to me, they were outside on the deck), the donkeys were nowhere to be heard, the chooker moles were tucked away safe in the palace and Moet, of course, was spread across the end of the best as only a princes pussy could be.

Next minute (just before I fell back into a deep sleep) BANG! Dogues were running down the side of the house before they had woken up. Next minute, out the front of the house where the cars are parked near the big gabion wall of C, hell is breaking out. Out I run... (MOTH does not hear a sound - apparently - and continued through it all). Baillie and Roman are going off like pork chops. And there it is, a big fawn brindle wild dog, up on the cleared land, behind the house... not spooked by the torch, my screaming, or the dogs going off. It just stood there. Near my feet was a well mangled marrow bone, far more consumed than my hounds could ever devour. I set them off after it, they responded with zest - the it looked like a couple of trucks chasing a sports car... anyway... Off into the bush they went following the wild dog (of whom they seemed familiar), then I remembered the article in the Village Pump - that's what they do to lure domestics (check) dogs into the bush to the back to kill them. "Bailllieeeeee, Rooomaaaannnnnnn COME!" and OMG - for once in their lives - they did. Very happy with their accomplishment, albeit symbolic. Anyway, they peeed and pooed on everything nearby to confirm their turf and were happy to come back to bed, gate closed behind them. Until... about 2 hours later (shitheads) they started up barking again. I had heard the donkeys snorting and stomping in their stockyard below our bedroom, leading up to this but they can fend for themselves so disregarded it. The wild dog was obviously still around. By 5am I'd had enough of the whining and barking (MOTH was still asleep) and just let them out... sleep depravation is a nasty thing and I have to say, I've had a shit of a week so far.

Woke up at 6am, dogues snoring (again), no wild dogs in site, my dogs have marked (nuggets included) the greater perimeter of the house area and BUGGER, it was time to go to work.

Made it through the day, and tonite the dogues are grounded tonite!

Local word is the packs of wild dogs spend about 10 - 14 days in one spot them move up and down the mountain ranges. So, these guys are only a few more days here (hopefull).

I love a full moon...