Bredbo Valley View farm - providing quality education in Permaculture and sustainable living practices.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Snakes in the grass

(BREAKING NEWS) Poor little Penny; The Cook just rang me in the middle of writing this to say that her puppy has been bitten by a snake, poor little thing.

I need more time to take photo’s… That’s why I haven’t updated the Blog. I keep leaving the house with out the camera which certainly doesn’t help.

A lot happened last year, after thinking back the Cook and I are both pretty satisfied with what we’ve achieved. Our first pigs were sent away and processed, we made head way on our conservation projects, the garden is producing well and the fruit trees all had fruit, we received our first wool cheque, sold a solid number of pigs, nobody was bitten by a snake (until today) and the kids did well at school. Unfortunately the Cook didn’t get a renovated kitchen or a tiled bathroom, nor did the floors get re-laid. Oh well, add them to the list for this year.

The snakes are still causing some concern with the family being trapped in the house on Sunday by a decent sized brown. I was out fencing away from the house when the women folk and children rang to tell me about the snake trying to come into the laundry, luckily the dogs alerted them and the Cook gave it a stern talking too. Harry had one slide over his foot in the chook pen days earlier and we’d seen them wriggling around the farm in the preceding days.

Thanks to the Cooks Sister, Iris, for this pic of the Brown Snake - she was standing in teh laundary when she took it.

But, on the upside we don’t have any mice. We’ve got big rats though. The Cooks sister is visiting and the biggest rat I’ve seen for months poked up out of the floor and scurried across the kitchen to squeeze out a hole behind the old tank water tap. As soon as I saw it I almost yelled out “see the size of that flippin rat” but, due to the Cooks sister not being quite as “understanding” as the rest of us I decided to just shut up and say nothing. It was a really big rat, the type you could really admire if it wasn’t living in YOUR floor and I’m sure it flashed me a gold toothed grin.

The Cook took everybody down to the river – where most the snakes are, to pick wild black berries on Sunday. They came back with a couple of buckets full which made lovely black berry streusels. The cook can bake a cake that would make a master chief cry, but her berry cakes, jams and pies are just to die for, unfortunately I don’t get to share in the bounty as much as I would like with two teenage boys in the house. I expect it’ll all be gone by the time I get home.

Of course whilst everybody was down the river I rocked up home with the trailer full of feed and rain about five minutes away. I had unloaded most of it by the time the boys turned up to help. Last time we unloaded feed I was worried about a fire, what a difference a couple of showers of rain makes.

This is Fatso - she say's hi to everybody. We caught her suckling off one of the mums yesterday - no wonder she is so fat. The picture doesn't do her justice.
BTW - Old Nev, we got nearly 10mm of rain an hour after you rang.

I spent a fair bit of Sunday fencing. Have I ever told you how much I love pounding steel pickets into rock? The rotten things a $5 each now, and that’s for the poor quality Chinese ones. I’ve bent a couple into S shapes after hitting rocks. I think my hair is falling out – I keep finding bits on the keyboard, oh well, nothing lasts forever. Anyway, I have almost completed the majority of the picket lines and just need to set some strainers before I can run out the wire. I think the most sworn at piece of farm equipment I have is my wire spinner. I bought a good Waratah one in the beginning thinking I was doing the right thing but the bloody thing is useless some times.

Because I’m out on my own most the time I need it to work properly. But, I spend more time walking back and forward trying to fix problems with it then I do pulling wires. Sunday was no different and I think I turned the sky purple swearing at it and walked a couple more kilometres then necessary. Time to start experimenting with the hack saw and grinder me thinks.

The Cook built a fence of her own with the help of Harry last week. She’s planting a line of trees as shelter for her garden expansion plans – she thought I had no idea about her plans for farm domination, but I can see right through you darling! The upside is there is less lawn to mow in summer. The garden is going well with the corn and zucchinis towering above everything else. Luckily I really like zucchini as long as I don’t have to eat it.

It’s the next day and I’m happy to say that Penny survived the day and has managed to recover from her ordeal. Apparently it was touch and go for a while, the Cook wasn’t very confident at about 2pm that she would get well, but by 7pm she was up and about and by bed time she was going crazy on the cat again – a big thankyou to whom ever looks over little puppies in need.


Em said...

So glad the little girl is ok! Quick question re fencing costs - where in town is the best place to buy a small amount of chook wire? I need to build a chook/duck tractor asap and am trying to work out how much it will cost...I normally go to mitre ten or gas and garden but am guessing they would be more expensive than one of the rural supplies stores?

swallowtail said...

what a saga! and fun to read a new post, with pics no less! I have to admit to holding my breath 'til the end to find that the pup's guardian angel was successful (aahhhh! I can breathe again!). amazing life, is the biggest comment I can muster this evening. personally, if that snake (and its brethren) lived in my back yard I would be having some big problems. WHY don't they eat rats? argh.

Valley View said...

Em, not exactly sure. Metal mart up on the hill above Cooma is a good start then the Cooma Rural Store. Don't go to LandMark. You could also try some of the fencing contractors they may have some odds and ends left over.



Old Nev said...

Get yourself some No.9 Rat Shot for that fox gun old boy.

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

very good blog, congratulations
regard from Reus Catalonia
thank you