Sunday, 1 March 2015

RIP Irwin as terrorism strikes Clear Mountain

Sad bit first...

After 8 weeks, the neighbours gardner and dog found Irwin while driving down our shared, very long and steep driveway. Actually, the dog noticed him first (or smelled him first). Peter, God bless, went and found him. He had fallen into a deep hole, kinda like a cave about 8 foot deep, and broken his neck during the fall. When I went down and checked on him, he had obviously died instantly, there was no sign of struggling or anything. The ground above the hole was incredible steep and had lots of ruts in it caused by rain over the years, covered by dense grass. It looks like he'd tripped in a rut and fallen to his death. It was incredibly steep above the hole.

We went down there today to try and fence it off and MOTH declare it too unsafe. Guinness had also found him, with a few piles of relatively fresh poo sitting just above where he lay. So, we are confident the risk to the other two is minimal (as long as Guinness is as smart as he makes out).

The support and help from our local community was amazing. Through a couple of Facebook and poster campaigns and signs on local roads, there were quite literally thousands of people looking for him. I received more than 500(!) personal messages, many from strangers, on Facebook when we had found him. In fact even today, I had a man at the hardware store (who I didn't know from a bar of soap) give me his condolences over Irwin. Irwin went missing on 30 November.

RIP Iwrin.

Now, onto the other comings and goings on the mountain. The Terrorist (some call her Bella) has quite simply taken over our lives (cats and dogs included). Who'd thought something so small (1.2kg when we got her, now 3.5kg at 16 weeks) could cause so much havoc! But, we wouldn't have it any other way - she is simply adorable!

Bella helping me garden today - she would dig like a madman and then eat the worms - ew!
Last weekend Bella tried her hand (or should I say jaws) at electrical work (was plugged in)
No trying to kill (sorry - play) with Max the cat
Cleaning Roman's jowels and teeth - again, ew!
House training is 90% there and she is learning some basic commands. Just need to teach her not to touch cane toads or snakes (not sure how to do this but am keen for suggestions). I'm thinking screaming like a banshee might stop her initially and then the fear of hearing another banshee might put her off...


We have also had a new addition to Upsidedownimal Farm. Meet Caruso...

He turned one on 31 January and arrived just days before we found Irwin. Guinness was brave enough to pop into the horse float and travel 2 hours to go meet and bring home Caruso so he wouldn't be too scared alone in the float. They have quickly become BFFs and are inseparable.

Caruso will grow to be much bigger than Guinness so he's very happy to be the boss - for now.

Over the past few months, MOTH has progressed from making chutneys and cider to cheese - yummy cheeses, fresh cheeses and now - smelly cheeses. He has even surrendered the bar fridge from the shed to convert it into a cheese cave (blah blah blah keep cheese at the right temperature) but I know there's Stilton in there so Mum's the word.

Today's freshly made Haloumi and some ready to eat on the plate - it was yummy!
Guess who I got a cuddle from on Australia Day whilst at the neighbours place for a BBQ?

Now called Vege Burger and a little bigger than he used to be
Last weekend we were all battened down for Cyclone Marcia, which ended up being pretty much a non event at our place, except for more than 500mm of rain in two days. Slight landslide (nothing too major and the Great Gabion Wall of C stood up to its reputation).

Rain pouring into the driveway drains
Bella was very keen to help MOTH digging the drains in the lawn (to manage the run off).

The rain was pretty intense and the animals were starting to climb the walls. The donkeys got a little creative with interior decorating their stall...

Lucky for them, the farrier had been only the weekend before so their feet looked fabulous deerrrrlllling...

Guinness has a bit of a crush on Peter the farrier
It's still early days but I think Caruso already likes him too
And yesterday MOTH and I, along with femme mini MOTH (now a learner driver) headed to the vets with all 5 inside animals for their annual vaccinations and checkups. Only took one and a half hours for the consult and it all went off without a hitch. The vet was stoked to see such an integrated "herd" of animals who all get on.

Just remember peeps - what doesn't kills you makes you stronger (except for bears - bears will kill you!)