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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Getting ready for the party…

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This coming weekend is the celebration of my SO’s* 50th birthday and he wants to do it on the farm, so we have a huge amount of work to do to be ready to host a party there. Remember, there is no house there – not a finished one, anyway! We’ve been building a cottage there over the last 18 months, but we’ve been doing it as we had the time and the money and the resources to do so. It is FAR from finished, though…

We got someone in to do a lapa for us. They started last week, and fortunately they know their stuff, so they are nearly finished. (A lapa is a thatch roof, normally just on wooden poles, that is used as an outside area of entertainment.) We still have lots of work to do to be able to entertain a lot of people there. But we’ll get there, I’m sure! 🙂

We were there on Saturday, checking out the progress on the lapa, and as I was pottering around, I again noticed the support beams left on the front of the cottage. It sort of seemed ‘right’ to me that they are there – maybe I’ve just grown used to them being there, I don’t know. They have to come down sometime, but probably only once the deck has been built.

At one point I was just outside the cottage, looking away from it, and when I looked up, the sun was directly behind the support beams. To me that cried out for a picture, so I quickly fetched my camera from the car.

The picture didn’t come out quite as I imagined (surprise, surprise!), but somehow I sort of liked the weird angles, and I’m glad that I decided to do it in colour and B&W, as the B&W works well in this instance (I think)

Black & white cross.

I decided that the sun hitting the cross like that was a blessing on our little house and the farm, so I’m positive that we’ll have made enough progress by the weekend to have a wonderful party there, and that we’ll have lots of happy times there in future.

Until we chat again, be blessed! 🙂

* Significant Other

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Pastoral Scene

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I promised a post or two ago that I’ll take some time off and go out and take some pictures.

Well, guess what? I still haven’t done that. No, I’m lying, sort of. I did take a couple of pictures this morning, but I’m still not sure how I feel about them, and if I should share them at all. Oh, and I took some pictures of Adam yesterday having a distant confrontation with the bulls next door, but those were taken from far away (very far away… 😉 ), as he seemed to be in quite a bad temper at the time… So for all intents and purposes, I don’t have new pictures.

I’ve been browsing through the few I’ve got downloaded on my SO’s* laptop (still haven’t bought an external hard drive to download pics from my dead laptop…), and I thought that since I’m feeling lazy and I’m not doing much of anything today, this picture suits my mood.

Cows grazing.

I hope you are all having a very satisfying weekend, and that you are feeling at least some of the mellowness I’m feeling right now. 🙂

* Significant Other

Ashes to ashes…or not!

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Nature is just so amazing.

A couple of months ago, we made fire-breaks at strategic places around the farm. It is something everybody with a farm has to do (by law!) but very few people bother. It often results in huge losses and then they wonder why! It can also lead to someone’s farm burning down because a neighbor felt it was unnecessary to make the effort.

Anyway, I don’t want to get on a soapbox, I just want to show evidence of the amazing recuperative powers of nature.

We made the fire-breaks as winter started, so throughout winter those pieces of land was mostly black, unfortunately, but soon new green shoots started showing all over. Today as I was enjoying being on the farm, I noticed this where we burned the grass:

Grass seeds in late afternoon sun.

And just see how very pretty these little fluffy cat tails are up close:

A fluffy tail.

And this one, where you can still clearly see the black of the fire.

More white fluff! 🙂

I’m so glad that something we’ve basically destroyed, could come back twice as beautiful to show us humans a thing or two! 🙂

UP…and down…

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🙂 🙂

Yay! I’ve reached 3 000 views – at last!!!! So – THANK YOU very much to each and every one of you for taking the time to read one or more of my posts – I absolutely, totally appreciate it!! 🙂

Many of you asked to be kept up to date on the situation with the calves. Sadly, I have to report back that the second baby also died yesterday. On Saturday he still drank some milk, but when we got there yesterday morning, he was just lying there, suffering some kind of pain. We called the vet, but by the time she arrived he had died. She took some samples from him, to see if we can find out why and what… 😦 Although I was terribly sad yesterday, I didn’t want the little mite to suffer, but I would like to know the reason for this weird phenomenon so we can at least try and prevent it in future.

Isn’t life weird, almost always the sweet with the bitter, the happy with the sad…

Other than that, I don’t have too much to say tonight, so I’ll chat again soon. Until then, be blessed. 🙂

Klapperboom in B&W

(I don’t mean to seem dejected or depressed, but I somehow thought a B&W picture will go with this post.)

A Sad Day

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I tried to do a post yesterday, but our internet would not allow me to get past the heading,so I’m continuing where I left off.

When we got to the farm on Sunday morning, we had a wonderful surprise. One of our cows had calved!! 🙂 At last! So there was this brand new, fluffy white little baby. So why am I only now telling you this? Here’s the story.

We were so excited about our new baby, but we tried to keep our distance a bit. We watched mom watching over her new calf, and we saw little calf falling around on his spindly little legs. But, I never saw him drink from his mom. Being new to all of this, I thought that maybe I’m being paranoid, and that it takes a while for the little one to find his way. We went back to the farm in the evening to check on them, and little one was lying in the grass, sleeping. So, all seemed fine.

Next day I kept worrying that I haven’t seen baby drink yet, but he seemed content. He didn’t cry for his mother and he didn’t seem distressed in any way. When I got to the farm on Tuesday morning, I knew something was wrong, so we took mom and baby to the kraal, and milked her and fed baby some milk. We did this a few times, but he didn’t seem too interested. I tried until late Tuesday evening to get him to drink enough, but wasn’t sure how much he was actually swallowing. We didn’t know what to do – leave him with mom, and hoping that he would drink some during the night, or take him home and keep trying to force feed him. In the end we left them in the kraal, so they were in an enclosed area, and mom could look after him.

When we got there yesterday morning, our little calf had died. He was just too weak to make it through the cold night.

I was devastated. Still am.

But at the same time, when we arrived on the farm very early yesterday, another cow had calved! But would you believe it – the same problem! The calf doesn’t know how to drink!! I didn’t know that something like that was possible. Fortunately, being a little wiser, we started milking mom and feeding the baby, but he just does not know how to feed!!! It’s crazy! He knows where the udder and teats are, but he does not know how to get to the milk. We’ve tried forcing mom’s teat into his mouth, hoping he’ll suck, but he just doesn’t know what to do. I’m hoping we’ll be able to save this little one – I’ll keep at it, forcing milk down his throat, and hopefully somewhere along the line, he’ll catch on.

If any of you have any ideas on what we can do, please help!

In the meantime, I’m off to the farm again to try and get more milk into the scrawny little thing.

First baby.

Mother and baby.

I haven’t taken pictures of the new baby yet, I’ll wait until he is able to feed properly.

Bye for now, need to go and feed the baby.

Sun…

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Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset…

Ah…what a beautiful song! Who can remember it, and who knows the musical/movie it comes from?

It is a very old and well know song, but if you don’t know it, and would like to listen to it, here you go!

 

Anyway, I know that I’m being very one-dimensional here, but I can’t help it. I often get to the farm early in the morning, and now that it is winter and the sun sets early, I’m often still there when the sun sets. And it is so often, so beautiful, that I keep taking pictures… It inspires me… So, I for one, will not complain, since I’ve been lacking in inspiration a bit, as I told you before! 🙂

 

When I arrived a the farm yesterday morning, this is what I saw as I was opening the gate…

Beautiful sunrise. 🙂

 

And as I opened and closed, and opened and close gates, the sun rose a teensy bit more, and decided to hide behind the clouds. That turned the light into something totally different.

Tree at sunrise.

 

I am going to try and be a bit pro-active this coming week. I’ll try and take a day or half a day off to go around the area and take some pictures of something other than the sun, with clouds, and beautiful colours… 😉

And if you get bored of the same thing over and over again, you are welcome to yawn in my ear! 🙂

 

I am supposed to be doing books and admin., but I haven’t written or read blogs for a while, so I’m pretending that I don’t have any work to do. I suddenly find myself in a space where I’m running around, and I’m on the go a lot, and I just don’t have the time for essential things like keeping the finances up to date, or filing the invoices that I’ve entered (ugh! who likes to do that anyway!)

Oh! And our last lot of cows and heifers arrived yesterday!!!! We are very excited about that, as it is a dream come true for us. We went to the seller’s farm yesterday morning and selected 21 to add to our others. BUT – that is IT for now. The only other cattle we’re going to get, will be the calves born on our farm. So watch this space, as we are into the serious breeding of calves now!

I sincerely hope that all of you have a wonderful weekend, and until next time – be blessed! 🙂

 

Cat among the pigeons…

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Or more to the point, Adam among the cows!

Yip. We got the results back from the vet today, and all our cows are healthy with no hidden illnesses, so, Adam can do his thing, and make us (hopefully!!!!) lots of healthy little calves.

I wish I took a video of the moment he realized the gate was open and he was free to go through to all the tempting young heifers!! It was hilarious!!! 🙂 He skipped – yes, actually skipped through the gate, bellowing like a maniac, and then he galloped full steam down the road to where the cows and heifers were grazing. Oh, people, you should have seen that!!! 😀

Since I wasn’t ready with the camera to record Adam’s antics, I’ll have to use some totally unrelated pictures for something visual in my post.

On my very hectic Friday last week, I was busy clearing some scrub from around the area where the new water crib was going to go, when I noticed the prettiest little creeper. It had insinuated itself between grass stalks, and around a nasty prickly weed and up a tree trunk. What amazed me, was the daintiness of the plant. It has pretty curly leaves, beautiful bright coloured little fruits, and sweet little flowers – all on one plant!

The wind was blowing the whole afternoon, so I couldn’t use my macros setting. Some of the pictures needed that, as they are not as clear and focused as they should probably be, but I was adamant – I wanted some pictures of this delightful little veld plant.

The first thing I noticed as I was hacking away at the scrubby stuff, was this gorgeous orange fruit.

Orange fruit.

 

I then followed the tendrils and tentacles of the creeper, and I found the rest of the charming plant.

The pretty flowers.

 

Some of the fruits, not ripe yet.

 

Something of everything – flower, green fruit and ripe fruit which has already been eaten by the birds.

 

Well, another full and exciting day on and around the farm, and lots more to do this coming week.

Until next time, be blessed!! 🙂