I keep meaning to start my blog, write my farm diary, but never get organised or find the time. I had in my mind that it would be a short, sharp statement each day, recording the rainfall, the weather, the wildlife, so it could be a useful record, helping the farm get bigger and better each year. So many things happened today, that I thought I had just better start.
First off, it was a beautiful sunrise I think this time of year has the best ones and I must remember to take my phone/camera with me at 6.30 when I feed the horses and walk the dog. Still no rain.
Secondly, my dog Shorty came of age. At around 7.30, she leapt off the couch (obviously, not a real farm dog) barking. She had seen a fox going towards the chook pens. I opened the door and she flew out and off the verandah and chased the fox off the property. She had a bit of false start heading in the wrong direction when the fox went through the trees, but came back around and chased it past the dam and along the fire break into the creekline. We had just brought home 2 new chicks and a mama bantam to add to our 3 Isa Brown layers and Shorty had obviously worked out the cheeping fluff balls were vulnerable. When she came back, she did not assume her usual position on the couch next to me, she lay hyper-vigilant on the verandah, ears, eyes and head pivoting, watching over the guinea fowl and the chickens.
Thirdly, I had to kill a mouse, and this was not just any mouse, this was Tripod. Tripod first came into my life, a week ago. He/she had caught a foot in one of the mouse traps. (I use traps in the feedshed rather than bait, as it is usually a quicker death and the carcass is easy to find – a decomposing mouse is not a good thing in the heat of an Australian Summer). Trying to escape the trap, Tripod had got caught in the mesh wrapping of the hay bales and become trapped. I tried to free the little mouse, but could see the foot had died and the leg was mangled, so I got the scissors and chopped his back leg off – not an easy thing for a 30 year vegetarian to do, but it seemed the most humane choice. He ran off and I hoped that he would live long and prosper. He lived another 6 days. He was obviously a tough little fella, as he had been snapped in the mouse trap, but when I released the trap, I saw he was still alive, but paralysed. Feeling sick to my stomach i got the hoof rasp and bashed him over the head. I was disgusted, his eyes popped out of his head and blood burst from his nose, it was a sad end for my three legged mouse. I stroked its tail and tummy and marvelled at how well his leg had healed.
And finally (I think/hope), as I was feeding the horses, I heard lots of shooting. I hoped that it was the foxes, but I knew it was the kangaroos. Last week, I watched the mob of 17 in the top paddock next door, this week I heard them being shot, thinking all the while of fish in a barrel.