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6th - 14th June 2010

Well it's been a big week. We went up on the Saturday morning and Debra stayed Saturday night and left me up there for the week with Daiquiri. The surveyor was coming on Monday to do the contour survey as requested by the architect. Basically he wanted contour readings every 0.5 metres as well as the location of significant things on or around the property.

Bruce Bowden the surveyor, and his son Ryan arrived around 10:00am and had finished the surveying by around 2:30pm. Due to the slope of the block they were able to position their 'base station' at the top of the big dam wall and survey the whole property without moving it.

The big news of the day was a phone call in the morning to say that my tractor was going to be delivered that afternoon. It arrived just as Bruce was leaving. Excitement!

Rick fencing However, as much as I wanted to play with the tractor there was other work to be done. We were wanting to fence the boundary between us and Howard on the west side. This would delineate the property for us and would enable us to remove the intervening fencing and thus give us a better idea of what we had to work with. It would also enable us to start planting trees in areas where we knew we wouldn't be building or changing the landscape.

In an attempt to keep the rabbits and wombats out we we going to use rabbit proof fencing and bury the bottom 200mm in the ground. This of course meant digging a trench at the base of the fence. Around 150 meters in total. I hadn't done fencing with rabbit wire before and it was at least 20 years since I had done any fencing at all so it was a learning experience for me. I had forgotten how much hard work it was.



MownOn Wednesday after fencing full time basically since I had been there I was physically exhausted so I thought a day on the tractor was in order. We were wanting to remove all the remaining elderberries and then mow the area. We we also needed to rip the area where we were planting the apple trees, both up and across the rows. The tractor went very well and handled the slope without a problem. I was a bit worried about the gradient but Howard reckoned it wasn't an issue and by keeping the bucket on the tractor low and using low ratio and 4wd I was able to remove all the elderberries within a few hours and then mow the area.

The soil was quite wet and it had been raining since I had been up there so there was a bit of a mess made when removing the elderberries. Some of them had quite extensive roots systems and took quite a lot of digging out.



Did I mention how cold it was? Geez it was cold. I really don't think I would do another week up there this time of year. Two mornings there was a frost on the ground. One morning I snapped the hose off trying to get some water for Daiquiri and there was ice on the washing up water. I usually got out of bed around 8:15am and got the fire going again. The morning sun doesn't hit the block until around 9:00am this time of year so it was still very fresh. I then took Daiquiri for a walk of around 3 kms and then had breakfast and started work around 9:45am. The sun disappears behind the mountain around 3:30pm so by 4:00pm I've finished work for the day and have tea around 5:30pm and in to bed by 6:00pm. It is basically too cold to sit around the camp fire any later than that.

I'm not sure Daiquire enjoyed the experience as much as I did. On Tuesday she disappeared for 5 hours and when she returned went straight to bed ignoring the chicken carcass I gave her. The next morning she was limping and refused to walk further than the road gate for her morning walk. She spent the rest of the day either in bed or hanging around me. On Friday she disappeared around 10:00am and didn't come back until around 5:30pm just as it was getting dark. She had a big drink and was quite distressed and again went straight to bed. She was very wet and totally exhausted.

Debra came up Friday night and got there around 6:15pm. It was great to have someone to share the bed with - warm at last!

The next morning it was full on in the orchard trying to get that readied for planting. I put the ripper on the tractor and ripped both along and across the rows. For stays at the end of the rows we were using screw in anchors that Howard had put us on to. They took some getting in but were a hell of a lot easier than digging post holes. Then it was a simple matter of stringing some wires and putting the trellis posts in. Have a look at the orchard section for some photos of this.

I was absolutely knackerd by Sunday so we decided to come home that afternoon. There were no arguments from Daiquiri. All in all though it was a great week and I got a fair bit done. One run of fencing is complete, the west boundary needs the rabbit proof wire put on and the top fence hasn't been start yet.

In the orchard, we have put the stays in for all five rows, run the top and bottom wires and strained them, and for one row have inserted the trellis posts at 6 meters intervals and run the other two wires. So, one row is completed.

Rick 14th June





Last Updated on Monday, 14 June 2010 08:47