Friday, October 29, 2010

rain... rain... rain.... and snakes

The rain has been fairly incessant, Toni managed to get into the garden for 1/2 a day to do some weeding but a lot of the veggies (eg Potatoes etc) have been destroyed, oh well, such is life on the land.  I had to dig a few water bars on the road to stop the driveway being eroded and have been pulling more lanata, which comes out so easily in the wet soil.  The Dam we use to water the veggies etc is full, bt the irony is the the veggies don't need watering !

The perennial creek running through the property has been flowing strongly
Small creek  on the property, in full flow

and the fern forest in the rain forest, beside the creek

Fern forest

Speaking of life on the land, dealing with snakes is one thing that can be a little disconcerting, so far we have had a large red bellied black snake in the mulch pile, no doubt looking for a warm place to relax but scaring the crap out of Toni when she went to get some mulch of compost for the garden.  A couple days after that  a smaller red bellied black snake going for the baby chickens, I managed to catch him JUST in time and yesterday there was a small carpet python going after the baby chickens again !  We managed to catch it before it had any success, and we relocated it many miles away
Releasing a relocated python

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Farm Dam stocking

We have two dams on the property, one in front oft he house used for water for veggie gardns, taps outside etc and the other "over the ridge and far away" isn; tused.  For soem time we had been thinking about stockign it so I finally got off my butt grabbed a dook from the libary and orderd some Yabbies and Glass Shrimp (for yabbies to eat)

The idea is to let them breed up for a year, and then stock the Dam with some Silver Perch or some Bass next year.  I think it's a good lookin' Dam, as far as Farm Dams go :)

Southern Dam, the one to be stocked

They arrived today, I had to go into town to pick them up.
Yabbies and Glass Shrimp in styrofoam boxes
Packed in two styrofoam boxes.  Here's what a "box of yabbies" looks like

A box of yabbies !

 I put the shrimp, in their bag, into the Dam water to equalise the water temperature a little and then started seeding the Dam in various locations with the yabbies

You will obey your new Yabbie overlords !
 and then did the same thing with the Shrimp.

I was advised to leave them for a year before adding the fish, Perch or Bass or perhaps both.

I still have to put some logs, branches, snags etc in the Dam for them to hide in.  The fish will eat Yabbies and Shrimp.

I will come back in a couple months and try to catch a few, see how things are going !

Friday, October 15, 2010

more nature...

One of the many reason for moving here was to enjoy nature by living in nature.   With spring still in full flight, the flowers are more gorgeous everyday, I recently grabbed the camera and took a few more happy snaps around the property, my photography in no way does justice to the beauty of nature.
Walking Iris


The Callestomns are incredibly vibrant

along with the birds enjoying their nectar
Rainbow Lorikeet

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rain, Lantana and Yabbies

It has been raining off and on for about three weeks now.  We have had to watch our power usage but that's okay, working with nature was one of the reasons we went "off the grid". The rain has done a fair bit of damage to the veggies etc but that's the way of things.  It doesn't seem to have put the chickens off and two more hens have gone broody and now have baby chicks, the females for laying, the males for eatin' !

We have taken the opportunity to pull a whole heap of lantana while the ground in soft, we hope by working at it in sections we will have the block cleared in about 2 years or so.  It's fairly endemic as a weed down here, very widespread.

Here's an old pic of a "lantana mountain" , the first patch we cleared.
Toni atop lantana mountain !
and this is one of the patches we recently attacked (before shot)

Next path of lantana to be attacked !

We have since burnt that pile  We don't use weed killer and simply pull it up, and pile it up.  We then rev-ist the area about 2 weeks later to see what we missed and then again a few months later to pull nay that have struck again.  Those two follow ups are usually very quick.  The downside of this method is it can cause erosion, especially around creek banks if you are not careful.

We have also ordered some glass shrimp and yabbies from Aquablue I just hope I can catch as many as these guys in this pic
Our aim !

We will be putting the yabbies along with glass shrimp for them to eat, we don't want to put them in the Dam we use for water because yabbies can do damage to Dams but the other Dam seems perfect and is not used for anything.  We will be letting them breed up and then adding some Bass and/or Silver Perch to catch and eat... we'll see how it goes and I will report back !

The solar shed was finally finished a couple of weeks ago.  We had been waiting for the doors to be welded up.  Looks very professional now