Published: December 22nd 2009December 22nd 2009
I sort of wake and roll over. The first pinky tinge is gathering strength on the hill horizon.
Not long after I moved in to the caravan I was well over the narrow bunkish bed and built a frame, got a bed base from the Salvos and a Q-size mattress. It all fitted in with about a poofteenth to spare, believe me, this bed will not be getting out, and now I have built some cupboards and it is totally locked down. And the bed is right at window level.
So, it means the bed is actually an infinity bed, or a horizon bed, you know? You look out to the edge and its just the wide open valley and the pink dawned hills to the east.
3 metres from the window my family of Eastern Grey kangaroos is feeding. Big Daddy, best part of 2m tall and tough, Mum is a bit smaller and their joey only young. They all take a few bites of grass and then stand up straight. Heads and ears rotating like those missile-aiming radars you see in the movies. As the light grows they move off silently down into the treeline. Maybe
a photo next time.
The other night I had an attack of wombats. As friends were leaving, late dusk, a huge old wombat attacked us. Grunting and snorting he made little advance charges at us. Eventually he turned and ran, I’d never seen a wombat move so quickly. Around here they have pest status because of their destructive behaviour, digging out big holes that undermine creek banks and create traps for cattle.
Each dusk they appear from nowhere and move down the slope. One crawled out from under the van one night nearly scared me to death. Then, when I tried to help him on his way he turned on me, spitting and snarling. So I helped him on his way with a shovel to the snout and he waddled off.
Anyway, the sun takes a while to actually break the seal but once it does it’s off like a beer drinker to the lemon tree……by 8am it’s in the thirties.
The birds have been warming up and now they take over. More than I can identify yet but I am building a bird feeder and bath, then they’ll be close enough to ID. I hope!
Down in the gully the wildlife is always active. I usually disturb a wallaby or 2 at the waterholes and now I have seen one of the lyrebirds in the flesh.
I had heard an extraordinary bird noise on several occasions and suspected a lyrebird but I had never actually seen him. Here he was, making such a bizarre series of noises, like a pump starting, mechanical clanking, splashing of water, just mind boggling.
I’ve had a couple of pretty testing storms so I’m now confident of the roof staying on. Well it will stay connected to the deck and the van.
Last Wednesday it started out hot and by noon the Northerly started blowing. It was like a blowtorch across the block. 44 degrees and the trees were being thrashed by 100 kph winds. The roof was straining, the whole caravan was rocking. Then it calmed down about 5pm, finally some peace. Then it turned as the southerly started up and blew back at me almost as strong. The temp dropped to 24 in an hour and the smell of smoke from bushfires down south was strong in the air. I woke about midnight to the sound
of gentle rain, couldn’t believe it. 5 or 6mm and for the first time I could hear water running into the big tank. Probably the best part of 200 litres!!
I don’t think I’ll ever understand cow behaviour. Over the road from the Angledale house, a mob of cows is in the paddock. Most of them have calved in the past few months so there are a couple of dozen calves ranging in age from a few days to a few months, even some twins. They romp around like kids at kindergarten while the cows loll about chewing their cuds, lying together under the shade of the big pine trees, casually keeping their eyes on the kids…just like the Mums at the swimming pool in summer.
Yesterday the calves went racing down to the bottom of the paddock and started mucking about, mock head-butting, pawing the earth, chasing to establish a pecking order…meanwhile the cows slowly followed down to watch them.
At the weekend we had more rain. I’d gone up to the block to sow some more seed and by the time I got back to the house it was raining steadily. The cows were
labouring back up the hill. I don’t know why, as there was no more shelter there than down the bottom. They were mooing mournfully and the calves were, for once, quite obediently following their mums closely.
Yesterday I noticed one of our house bulls was missing, called out on the job no doubt, his buddy was a bit disconsolate and has been proto-mooing, a low burble quite out of keeping with his huge potent bulk. He can smell the fecund cows in the paddock opposite and strains against the fence in lust. The bull that’s in with the cows charges up to his fence and starts pawing the ground like a real bull fighting bull…it’s on.
Well, where did that come from?…actually a few weeks ago.
So, I haven’t written much at all, much to the delight of some of you!
The house plans are slowly getting done, probably start something in Feb/March when the worst of the heat and fire danger has passed.
The caravan is decked and roofed, the composting dunny seems to be functioning, the 12v solar shower is good until 6 when the heat starts to go out of the waterbag, the
plants around the batter slopes are holding on, the beer is brewing, the power is on, the TV and internet work and it is soo peaceful and relaxing.
I’m over all the xmas bullshit but it is a fantastic opportunity to catch up with family and friends so I won’t say No !!
So, I do hope you all have a lovely time over this festive period and I look forward to your visit!!
There are more photos below