Sunday, 28 September 2014

A quiet weekend on the mountain

After a major shock to the system of having gone back to work after some months off for varying reasons, I made it through the working week to Friday afternoon.

My focus for the weekend was going to be my poor garden and animals, following several unwelcome visits from neighbours young dog who terrorises my chickens and cats and then proceeded to rip up my sprinkler systems and trash my vege garden, which was full of heritage seedlings that I had been lovingly nurturing into plants. All I will say here is Grrr! (but I've said quite a lot of other words - trust me.) So while my neighbour is on an international trip, I'm starting from scratch with a number of seedlings, hoping I'm not too late in the season to get them to grow. He, however will be paying for a man to come and fix the sprinkler system.


First things first, some fire brigade training on Saturday morning with a couple of neighbouring brigades. This was a great way to check out the setup of each others appliances, meet the crews and learn a few new things.

The donkeys had some special attention this weekend. Poor Guinness recently succumbed to an absess infection at the base of his ear from a tick. Then, when I fed them on Friday I noticed that Irwin had several ticks. So, drastic times call for drastic measures! I developed a 3 stage approach to trying to minimise my poor donkeys from these horrific little creatures (and the other animals by default). The boys walk through long grass and the bush every day, ticks latch on and then they come up to the house and I'm assuming that eventually ticks jump off, potentially into either the path of dogs and cats or... hungry chickens.

So, my cunning plan:
Step 1 - wash donkeys. (Note: Donkeys do not like cold water. This issue can be negated with pony pallets.)

Step 2 - Clip donkeys
Irwin started by just standing there shaking but, by the end, he wanted more and kept coming back while I was trying to clip Guinness. Guinness, however was ticklish around his flank and we had to have stern words about not kicking me. Lucky he's a quick learner.

His coat was nearly 2 inches long!
Step 3 - Tick collars for all

Handsome Irwin
Guinness didn't like it at all (and obviously camera shy).

Here's hoping this helps the poor guys out this summer.

Baillie helped me out today with my gardening chores. This is the only photo I had of her awake! Apparently, it's very hard work helping me in the garden...

I've been sowing heaps of heritage seedlings to try and replace those destroyed. Pumpkins of various sorts, gourd, artichoke, lettuce, bok choi, coriander and some more edible flowers to start.

I'd also planted a few things that, now that they're growing, I'm not sure what these are. Any suggestions on what this might be when it grows up? It's doubling in size every week and is now starting to grow flowers. [Note to self - label things.]

Some of my lavender is flowering - pretty - and I noticed that my wisteria has buds on it for the first time too. I have several colours of lavender but this one is stunning.

Last weekend I split my lemongrass and comfrey and have potted it out in the hope some/most of it will take.

MOTH has been playing super chef this weekend and treating me to all sorts of culinary delights. Last night it was home made ravioli that was obviously made in heaven and sent down especially. This evening it's homemade Arancini balls with a cold sauv blanc with the neighbours and then Pork Belly for dinner. Yum!

Back to to salt mines tomorrow...