Around the yard.

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It has been a week of nature discovery here around the farm house.  Wesley and I found a baby snake at the back step of the house, which is currently unidentified.  If you know anything about Australian snakes please feel free to leave a comment with your guess/species name.

The little jumping spider was also found at the back step this morning.  I was walking outside to hang up laundry when I spotted a little speck.  Moving slowly I peered closely and discovered it was a beautiful basking jumping spider.  Pretty cool colours on it!

The lizard is actually a very small baby dragon lizard.  It was in the grass at the back of the lawn that is growing up the fence.  Thankfully I saw it or I might have accidentally killed it with the scissors I was using to trim the grass by hand.

Butterflies have been flitting around the yard drinking the water that remains on the grass from it’s sprinkler system.

Wesley and I were also exploring the yard and Japanese pepper trees today as they were just alive with the sound of bees darting too and from.

I feel really bad about this hair cut and I’m hoping it grows quick.  Sorry my sweet little boy – if you see this image one day I never intended for it to be this shoddy!

You never know what’s going to pop up around the house – a lot of these things are a first for me.  Wesley is so lucky to get to see all of this right here!

Help Ban Fracking in Western Australia

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 1.03.05 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-19 at 12.56.23 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-19 at 12.58.39 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-19 at 12.59.40 pmScreen Shot 2018-03-19 at 1.01.08 pmIt’s been such a beautiful week.  We are so lucky to live in an area incredibly rich in outdoor activities.  We spent time at the beach, swimming at the pool, enjoying a picnic with a friend and ran amok in the yard as the sun began to set each night.

That being said – beyond our personal activities; today is an important day for the region.  The Inquiry into Fracking has now closed it’s scientific submission period.

I’ve written a personal submission and also helped local group P.O.W.E.R Eneabba with their group submission as well.  Many other concerned citizens across the region have also picked up pens, and participated in Lock the Gate workshops to prepare and submit for themselves.  It’s encouraging to see people have hope and passion to keep on protecting this special place.  A statement in the press claimed there were approximately 8,500 individual submissions received by the panel.

The loosely regulated gas industry has been causing disruption in the community since 2012 and are well poised to roll out the invasive gas wells across the region in as near as 2020.

Things are now coming to a head.

We now wait with baited breath to see what the results will be.

Here’s hoping that there are advocates for farmers, the environment and water rights amongst the policy makers sitting in office.

One way you can still help influence positive change, is to sign this petition/.

It calls on the government to impose a full ban on fracking to protect all citizens in the State of West Australia from the risks of water contamination, disruption to the local commerce, agriculture and ecology.

Can you help?

A few firsts.

Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.24.20 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.22.34 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.22.55 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.20.31 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.20.45 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.21.03 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.22.16 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.22.23 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.23.02 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.23.15 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.23.23 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.23.47 amScreen Shot 2018-03-17 at 7.24.07 amThis past week held a few milestones for me.  Some of of the tasks worked well and some were a bit of a fail.  Either way, in taking these tasks on I’ve learned quite a lot and grown even more confident in what I can accomplish.

  1. Drove on my own for 1000km over the course of 6 days. To Perth and Back and then to Geraldton and Back.  My solo venturing for longer distances is giving me this sense of freedom and adventure that I really love!
  2. I picked up a large table and 6 chairs from Perth with Wesley.  Strapping the set on and driving 6 hours was a huge day but so worth the adventure!  At one point I had zero battery on my phone (no charger despite topping it to 100%) and it felt like I was in mission impossible driving up the highway wondering if I was going to find the house before the battery died.  It made for an exciting last 25 minute stretch of road.
  3. I removed a screen door from the front of the house and then helped Mike me install the new door and lock.
  4. Caught a photo of a baby mulga.
  5. Fertilised the lawn with organic lawn feed – but completely over measured and put the entire bag onto the grass (despite using a scale to weigh out a small portion).  The good news – we hope is that organic fertiliser is a lot less likely to burn your grass/garden as it’s slow release.  Fingers crossed!
  6. Strapped on a screen door and drive 4 hours to bring it home.  When I undid the strapping it had sadly been punctured through the box as I’d strapped it too hard!
  7. We dug in and installed a brand new line of sprinklers which will seal off the grass in our yard to fill in the edging.
  8. Tomorrow Mike is going to attempt to harvest his first ever batch of honey from his 5 hives that have been placed on a farm 20km up the road in a dense patch of Red Gum Trees.

Wesley has had some firsts here too!  His past few weeks the words have been spilling out and he’s starting to connect two words together now.  Here are some of the latest words:

Blue, Blue Fish, Eyes, Nose, Hair, Up, Down, Shiny, Yellow, 1,2,3 Down, Yah, Bye Bye Daddy, Roll, Frog.

We have some ongoing projects at the house at the moment, one of them I work on each week Mike is away – and that involves painting the trim and doors of the interior of the home.  That’s really freshening up the decor, I love seeing it all come together.  The project is taking a while but I am enjoying taking the time to put love into each project.

Till next time!

x

Lake Hāwea Station, New Zealand

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.12.51 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.13.57 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.14.04 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.13.50 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.14.53 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.02 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.16 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.12.38 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.25 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.33 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.10.25 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.10.05 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.10.18 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.40 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.15.50 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.16.11 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.16.37 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.17.23 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.17.40 amScreen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.18.04 amOur time in New Zealand was wonderful.  We dashed around visiting family and friends across the Manawatu the first few days and then Mike and I parted with Wesley (he stayed with his Aunt Stacey and Nanna Ann) as we boarded a flight to Christchurch.

I almost forgot to add here – that I had a terrible flu and was running to the toilet for a few hours before boarding and praying that I wouldn’t vomit on the plane ride.  Surprisingly I managed (with a lot of will power and a lot of deep breathing) to get through the flight and a harrowing 7 hours drive.  Mike was sooo good to me during that time helping make the journey less brutal by driving, feeding me and getting me into bed promptly as we got to our accomodation in Twizel.  I fevered that night but woke much refreshed the following day.

The area we were driving through was new for both of us and thankfully I managed to stay awake and soak up all the views for a few hours.  The first day it was 30 degrees and quite balmy.  The following morning we woke in Twizel to 8 degrees (the high for the day).  We certainly weren’t prepared for that drastic drop in temperatures – it was unusual for the area as the tail end of an ocean storm had crossed the entire country causing flooding in areas and heavy rains or even snow in our case!

Right, the reason we were on the South island sans wee toddler was to celebrate our friends (Tracey & Elliot Signal’s) wedding.  They are a wonderful couple we’ve known since Mike and I first met at Baker Creek Chalets over 8 years ago.

Mike and I spent one week alone together at Lake Hāwea Station (a merino and cattle propertly) in an old cottage, hiking, skippng rocks on the lake, gold panning, eating, reading and resting.

Our gold panning experience here was quite good – the weather was sunny and warm  which made the cooler waters rushing at our ankles feel a bit like a soothing spa treatment.  It was alot of fun, though we didn’t find anything this time.

Just a little note – The Hāwea Hotel Pub is very well placed with views of the lake and has some excellent food on offer to go with the views!

The little cottage has incredible sweeping views of the lake and some mountainous rugged terrain tucked just behind it for hiking.  Moving through the hills it really contrasted the merino farming we are used to seeing Australia.

There are plenty of decent hikes in the area of Wanaka – and on the first day we did Mount Iron which will have you towering above the little town.  Mike lamented to me that Wanaka wasn’t the same quiet little place as it was when he first stayed back 10 years ago.  It’s now a bustling little town with throngs of tourists.

To paint a picture for you – we went to get groceries the first day at the only supermarket and had to pass through roughly 1000 other patrons to get any food.  It was a frenzy!  There was plenty of produce as this grocery store has come to terms with the influx of shoppers but we hardly bought anything and just rushed to get some essentials for breakfast.  It was insane!

The wedding was an intimate setting on a hill with the view of the mountains as a backdrop.  There was also incredible catered food (it wasn’t a sit down meal but more canapés and little boxes of brisket and charred salmon and plenty of lamb chops!).

Tracey and Elliot looked wonderful and really put on a great event for everyone to enjoy.

We spent the last evening in Christchurch in town, where we enjoyed some wood fired pizza from a trendy quarter in the city.  It was really cool to see some of the new architecture (wish I took some photos!) that has been commissioned.

Wesley had an incredible time playing with Tess, the cats and all the new toys at his Nans.  He was whisked around with Stacey to play dates, swims and all kinds of adventures with family.  I was so eager to see him when we got back and he hardly took any notice of us ahah.

Home sweet home.

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.55.38 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.56.15 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.56.50 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.57.03 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.57.24 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.57.36 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.57.45 amScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.58.21 amWe’ve been away from the farm for two weeks in New Zealand.  I’ll post more about that shortly, but for now I’d like to highlight some of the cool moments from the past few days back on the farm.

First Wesley has jumped into his groove and is a happy little chap running around playing with his bike, the chickens and swimming at the pool.

Last night we witnessed an incredibly beautiful lightning storm come through the region.  We woke this morning relieved to see that there were no lingering fires on the horizon.

I also managed to spot this rather impressive jumping spider, a female Sandalodes Superbus (Superb Jumping Spider) on the back gate of the house.

The chickens were very well taken care of during our trip, but sadly we’ve had to kill 5 roosters (saved the meat for the freezer) as they had completely destroyed several of the females.  We’ve got the numbers down so that the girls can recover and the balance of male to female will be appropriate.

We’re stoked to be home to enjoy the quiet space and the ease of life here in the country.  It’s clear to see that Wesley while he enjoyed New Zealand – loves his time here on the farm too.

On our second day home he pulled me close to him and said to me “I luh you” which oh my god I’ll never forget.  It was just so sweet and so beautiful.