Around the farm
All of this year I have been incredibly involved in my hobby of learning Mandarin. To be honest, I was quite tired of learning it, so I really wanted to get that bit over with. I wanted to start using it! So I set myself a goal of being able to speak by the end of March. And that’s why I haven’t made any posts. Up until a week and a half ago, that is all I did all day and all night … and I achieved my goal! (http://carmeljames.cajo.com.au/learningChinese/)
But I still have a ways to go because there is goal 2: to learn to speak well
However, before I start on that mammoth task, I am going to have a holiday … in Europe. And I will be documenting it here as we go.
[audio:http://carmeljames.com/myblog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/the-back-paddock.mp3|titles=The back paddock]
Last Saturday morning a few locals got together and tidied up the side of the road outside our place with fire. The grass was very long and thick. It hadn’t been cleared in anyway since it was last burnt 10 years ago. The smoke was quite spectacular, and they did a good job, keeping it under control, and not doing too much damage to the living trees.
On Saturday evening we saw a whole lot of quail walking across a cleared area towards our house yard. It was a shame that they also saw us, and they flew back into the long grass in the paddock. We have never seen quail near the house before. We thought that maybe they had lost their home in the fire.
[audio:http://carmeljames.com/myblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Cleaning-up-with-fire.mp3|titles=Cleaning up with fire]
See the sheep in the background under the tree!
BTW that tree is the shape it is because galahs flew in one year and stripped the bark off it, nearly ring barking it. The tree recovered by growing branches from low on its trunk. I think the birds do this to encourage branches to die which eventually gives them hollows to nest in.
[audio:http://carmeljames.com/myblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/mowing-outside-the-garden.mp3|titles=mowing outside the garden]
Just a few days ago there was a helicopter inspection of all the power lines in the area. Obviously they found something that needed fixing near here. I didn’t notice it before I looked at my photo tonight, but it shows an obvious problem. There is a dangly bit at the top of the pole.
This team of people worked until after dark fixing the pole. This meant that we were without electricity for a few hours. It was good that before they cut off the power one of them stopped by to tell us what they were doing. I was able to fill a thermos with hot water for tea. It only meant that we worked outside until they finished. I’ve mowed lawn in the dark before.
[audio:http://carmeljames.com/myblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/maintenance-on-an-electricity-pole.mp3|titles=maintenance on an electricity pole]
This animated photo is a series of 18 photos that I took with a hand held camera as the irrigation was turned on. The real thing looked a lot better than this because it was a very long pipe and the water pressure varied until it got to full pressure. I still think it looks rather interesting though, so here it is.
This evening it’s very wet because we have just had another big storm. You can see the road is blocked by some fallen branches. It was still raining when I took this photo, but nothing like during the storm. We couldn’t see the other side of the paddock at all because the rain was so dense. There’s a lot of damage in the garden too, big branches down every where. Tomorrow will be another day of cleaning up with the chain saw.
Oh boy, will we have a lot of fire wood for next winter!
[audio:http://carmeljames.com/myblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/another-severe-storm.mp3|titles=another severe storm]