Like many other things over the hot dry summer that we have just had, this blog has been sadly neglected. Now that winter is hopefully on its way I do plan on updating this blog more frequently, as well as going back in time and adding some posts and photographs. Lucky for me I do take photos very regularly so can look back on them to find out when certain things happened, but it would be so much easier if I get into the habit of using this blog like a diary (which is of course the reason it was set up in the first place), especially when it comes to thing like knowing what date the chicks hatched and when I planted vegetables so that I can harvest them at the right time!
Tonight we are watching the radar in anticipation of our first decent amount of rain this season - we did get 4mm last week, but that was not enough to wet the pipes and trickle into the tanks, and certainly not enough to wet the parched ground. Both the house and stock tanks are getting low, although we were very lucky to receive some rain in January that topped up the tanks enough to get us through until now without having to buy water and have it carted in. Many farmers in the area have not been so lucky and several people have told us that they have never seen dams so dry and even completely dried up in over thirty years. Its hard to comprehend how the south west region can be experiencing drought, while much of the rest of Australia is underwater!
Although we did see a flurry of activity with tractors and farm equipment being moved last week and lots of paddock burns getting ready for seeding, its dos'nt look like local farmers expect this to be break of season just yet. While I did rake up the fallen scraps from around the hay bales and drag it all down to the paddocks to spread the oat and meadow hay seeds, I'm not willing to risk planting the bags of seed oats that we bought last year until I know we are going to get enough continuing to let it grow.
Yesterday we filled in some fox holes and a deep erosion channel in the track so that the horses can go down to the creek and back paddocks. Although they prefer to stay in the top paddock close to the house, they have grazed it right down and seem to only go into the second paddock for a few hours each night, even though it still has some standing hay. The creek and back paddock have a decent amount, including some green grass that I am sure they will appreciate, so tomorrow I will move them down there so they can eat it down before the rain completely washes the nutrients out of it.
As much as we have missed having them and look forward to getting more in the next few weeks, I am glad that we sold our dorper sheep and didn't have to worry about feeding and watering them through this long hot summer. Hopefully having minimal stock on the property this summer compared to the overstocking that has happened here too frequently in the past has prevented any further degradation and we will start to see improvement in the pasture from now on.