SHELLY: Our calving time must be getting close - or Collin has gone a bit stranger than usual.
I say that because he was up on the hill with us today, seemingly peering at our udders!
You'll see a photo of mine, and he may be right that it's suddenly starting to fill - a pointer to an imminent 'drop.'
It's a good time of year to bring calves into the world. The weather is warm-to-hot, and we're getting occasional light showers of rain - hopefully enough to keep the dams topped up and save Collin and Fran the trouble of transporting water. That's a job they hope to overcome with the installation of the new water tank, but that's still awaiting a bit of agricultural plumbing. Mind you, I think that once the new calves have arrived we might all move to a paddock closer to the house.
That might be good for our offspring, but we'll miss being on the hill - and watching Imogen on her new motorbike, bought by boyfriend John, who has also made a bit of a circuit down at Bottom Dam, just over the fence from where we are right now. Meantime, as you can also see, Michaela is looking fat enough to explode! Whether or not she's about to calve, I'm standing well back!
MICHAELA: Well it has to be all up hill from here because Collin has opened up the rest of this hillside paddock for us to roam at will ... and we will!
My sisters and I are still holding on to our calves - and the secret of when they will 'drop' (a technical term surely deserving of some literary attention given no self-respecting female human would refer to the miracle of birth in quite such a dismissive manner!)
Anyway, we're up here on Hammer Hill, with more feed than we can get our tongues around, while we can see our carers in the distance tending their garden which, quite frankly, currently has very little to show for the extraordinary muscular effort so far expended! There's a bit of watering going on, but the recent plantings (or burials!?!?!) are taking their time deciding whether to grow into their new home.
What's more, that Collin spent an hour in the shed this morning "unwrapping" the ride-on mower. Not the whole thing, just the blades after her mowed over a plastic sheet on one of the lawns yesterday. That brought his ride to an abrupt halt, but he was back in the saddle again today having turned threat to opportunity, taking advantage of his having to dismantle the mower's deck to refit the mulching unit. Now we hear he's planning to try it out on one of our paddocks, hoping to encourage even greater pasture growth. Yummm!
NELLY: I'm a bit of a ring-in, not belonging to Green Pastures Farm but living on a nearby horse property. What has brought me into this blog is a visit to my place yesterday by a smartly uniformed Collin, arriving with a colleague in a big red truck labelled "Exeter Rural Fire Brigade."
On one of the hottest days so far this year - over 40C in some places - they were inspecting one of the dams as a possible source of water if we get a bushfire hereabouts. So while they were walking across my paddock I crept up behind them and gave Collin a nudge in the back.
He got a bit of a shock, but recovered quickly enough and tried to get me interested in joining his band of volunteer firefighters! I thought maybe the heat had got to him, but evidently they originally had horses to pull the water tanker. Nowadays, of course, that's the job of the big red truck.
I heard later that Collin was the auctioneer at a fund-raising dinner at Exeter's Studio Restaurant, managing to bank over $2,000 for brigade equipment as well as he and Fran having a good time and some exceptional food! Which reminds me ... it's time to get my head in a nose bag.