BLUEY: Hi, excuse me poking out my tongue, but it's not an act of rudeness in my world I assure you.
While not showing up on the official livestock records of Green Pastures Farm, I'm a long-time resident, which is a high-level feat when you are equipped with such little feet and the low-level profile of a Blue Tongue Lizard. In short - which is another of my limitations - I'm a skink!
I live, in fact, quite close to house at GPF, and was on my way there from my burrow near the big water tank when Collin snapped me from the veranda as I was climbing over the driveway kerbing. Luckily, Misty was otherwise occupied or I would have had to really make a run for it as dogs tend to like biting off our tails - their idea of fun! But here's a thing: our tails can grow back!
But to the point of my hijacking this blog ... it's odd what you find Collin and Fran inspecting - and photographing - with such evident pleasure. Try this ... yes, that's cow manure!
It turns out, though, that they're not actually looking at the dung so much as the beetles that descend upon it almost as soon as it descends to the ground. Look closely enough and you might see the little holes they make.
Dung beetles, according to Farmer Fran, are natural farmers ... rolling up balls of dung, getting up on their hind legs to push them and then burying them, so fertilising the soil - and saving Collin a whole lot of work! Seems improbable? It's true. Check it out here.
HAZEL: A final thought or two for 2014 ... with the folks up at the house getting ready to watch Sydney's famous fireworks - on TV that is, no longer having the stamina for a fight through an expected million and a half people.
Even then I've heard whispers of doubts they'll be able to stay awake until midnight ... just the two of them this New Year's Eve ... Derby & Joan!
Actually, the year is ending on a high for us grass cutters - and our trio of suckers (no disrespect). We three mums along with the three bachelor boys that keep us company have pretty much got the run of South Slope - one of the largest areas of Green Pastures Farm. Plenty to eat, drinks on tap, and a reasonable amount of shade for the blisteringly sunny days we often suffer this time of year.
As for our three offspring, they're destined for fame if not fortune having been made front page stars of a New Year's Card. Take a look.
The photo was taken by one of a group of visitors to the farm this week, all women - wild women we called them, some even wielding sticks! Again, take a look.
But let's end the year on a positive note.
May 2015 bring you more of whatever makes you happy.
Us too - which, in our case, means mainly food underfoot.
Happy New Year!
BLACKJACK: Hi! I am, as you see, one of the black sheep of the family - not the only one as you may realise ... and quite new here, having literally been 'sent down' from a local college just a couple of weeks ago.
Now settling into GPF with a few ex-college mates from the Ag Course, since arriving we've done little but eat! Mind you, we had some fun with Collin & Fran when they first moved us from the yards to what's called the Pet Paddock ... thinking we'd follow them with buckets of something-or-other. Instead, we scattered over South Slope, one of the largest areas of the farm ... and we kept them going in circles until we were ready to be shepherded to our new home. Buckets of fun we say!
We are well positioned in the Pet Paddock to see a lot of what goes on around Green Pastures Farm - like Collin nearly stepping on a spider today - a funnelweb no less ... Google them for a fright in the night. [And he did step on it after the photo!]
And like the cattle in the mist today, making the view even more magical for the Christmas Eve invasion of family.
And their celebrations up at the house ... but you'll have to wait for pictures of that. Right now I need to get my head down with my college mates ... No, not to study, just to get back to eating!
NEWBIE: Hi, me again, the latest addition to Green Pastures Farm ... and, like Maccas says, I'm loving it!
My calf cousins and I have been 'branching out' today - while our Mums have been dining out on a big broken limb of a eucalpt tree. It came down on South Slope under the weight of rainwater on its leaves, which tells you something about the unsual downpours we've been experiencing over Christmas ... the best part of 40mm on Christmas Day alone!
[That's just over one-and-a-half-inches for you non-metricated folk].
So the dams are full (even spilling a bit), the sheep are washed white ('cept for the black ones, of course), and - as you'll see - we'my cous's and I are enjoying being in the 'branch office!'
That's particularly true for me today because my Mum - Michaela - actually delivered my lunchtime drink right to where we were playing.
Collin just happened to be visiting when Mum called me for lunch ... and it was when I didn't respond to what was, after all, only a murmour, that she came looking for me ... and he had to stand back as she trundled in to our tree house/office with her home delivery of milk that may not have been pasturised but was certainly past my eyes!
After an unusually cool and misty Christmas Eve (lending itself to an open fire at the house, some of us noticed), we've had a return to normal with a warm - 28C - Christmas Day. And with everything newly rinsed, everything's glistening (even if not with snow) and all the birds are back - Fran remarking today on a Whip Bird as well as the King Parrots visiting the house veranda.
Talk about visitors and birds, the house was full to overflowing on Christmas Eve ... I've already mentioned the open fire ... with lots of laugher and merriment.The two youngest guests were seen at one point driving a toy fire engine around the house - complete with lights and siren - beore taking time out to visit the poultry house where they were pleased to find the freshest of eggs! That helped make it an eggselent day!
NEWBIE: Hi There! That's not my real name (I hope), but I haven't been officially given one yet, and - because on day four I am literally growing to like it here - I wanted to join the Green Pastures Farm Story ... and to give you MY side of today's episode of that story before someone else gives you the wrong impression about me!
You see, I was sleeping VERY soundly today in the long grass of South Slope, oblivious to the fact of a search and rescue mission being underway, looking for yours truly - everywhere except, of course, where I was!
It turns out Fran and Collin were about to give up, after I'd been missing for several hours, thinking I must have come to some sort of sticky end, when I raised my head just enough to be spotted ... and hurriedly reunited to a quite concerned mother (although I might say if she hadn't been so intent on eating everything in front of her face, she might not have lost track of me in the first place!)
So soundly did I sleep for so long, that I didn't even notice the bleating that accompanied an invasion of our paddock first thing thismorning. Yes, around 50 sheep climbed through the fence from next door. Collin eventually rounded them up cowboy style on his quad bike and sent them back to whence they came, but not before they had breakfast on the grass intended as lunch for my Mum Michaela and her cronies - that's my Aunties Hazel and Shelly, together with the steers that always seem to follow them around.
I won't count my cousins among the diners because, like me as you see, they still much prefer the mobile milk bar to eating off the floor! Yuk! Better go ... Mum's calling!