One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things - Henry Miller

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Friday on the Farm #3

I am very behind but I have the afternoon free today as I wait for a fruit cake to cook so I'll try to catch up.

Pineapple fruit cake

Friday on the farm??? Well, Friday was spent getting over Thursday!

Thursday morning Hobo1 suggested we drive to our property at Benaraby (an hours drive away) to pick up the calf cradle ready for the branding job on the weekend.  "Just a quick trip down and back," I think were his precise words. 

I hadn't been out of the house since a major operation left me with a tummy that hurt as it jiggled around with every move I made.  A drive in the farm ute didn't sound too inviting.  Still I thought if I packed myself up with a pillow I could take the trip... and I was getting a bit stir crazy!

Following the Straw Dog
So by 8:00am we were on the road with a few bales of hay to throw out to the cows - "straw dogs" we call them.  The cows follow us anywhere for hay and we don't need to use dogs to muster. So a few bales of hay always go with us to keep the cows interested in following the ute.

We hadn't visited this particular paddock since we fixed the fences after the January floods.  This was our first surprise - you couldn't find a track anywhere.  Every weed and vine known to man I am sure, was growing in gay abandon on the  river flat.

(Author note:  I thought I had the afternoon to myself but visitors arrived, favourite visitors, my granddaughter and her three little darlings.  So here I am back again much later in the day.  Where was I up to?  Oh, Yes...)

Little Darling 2 with his Mum
As we wended our way along tracks that were buried under weeds we found the cows or rather they found us.  We fed and counted them, noted new calves and found we were a cow short.  I offered to follow the mob down to the water and see if an extra one was waiting there while Hobo 1 brought the car around to pick me up.

Cows and calves on the water
He seemed to take a long time.  Then I spotted him back where we started and thought I must have misunderstood the arrangements. So I walked back to him.  "Don't hurry," he called.  "We're going no where.  I've put the car into the old well."

Trying to find his way through the forest of weeds, he'd miscalculated and the front wheels of the ute had dropped into an old abandonded well. No way were we going to get out of this predicament without another vehicle to pull us out.

Our son lives on this property and his children drive an old four wheel drive Nissan up to the front gate to catch the school bus.  We decided to walk up and see if the keys were in it.  But that involved a 2 km walk through hills and an overgrown paddock.
Son's garden
Fortunately we  decided to call into the house for a drink and luckily found one of the grandchildren at home on a study break.  He saved us the extra walk by jumping on a pushbike and riding up to the gate  and bringing Nissie back. 

Down at the well we tried to tow the ute out but found it had dropped over a post and was stuck on it.  Another trip up to the house located a chainsaw and with some difficulty balancing over the well, Hobo 1 cut the top off the post.  But now Nissie wouldn't work.  Her battery was flat.  A second balancing act lifted the battery from our ute and it was taken back to Nissie to get her started.  Then her battery was re-fitted and finally we were able to jerk the ute free.

Thank goodness for our grandson.  He saved me a lot of clambering in and out of vehicles.  I only had to direct traffic and  provide a communication link between the drivers.

Our quick trip??? Well it took us eight hours!  But we did get the cradle and were able to set it up on Friday ready for the arrival of the family on Saturday to help with mustering, dipping and the branding of the calves.  But that's a story for another day.
Watching the branding.

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  1. What a day and outing. I hope you resting and recovering well. Visiting from Farm Friend Friday!

  2. That's quite and outing! Lovely photos... thanks for your entry today!

  3. It really does seem like things always come up (or fall in a well) to make a simple task a full day's adventure! Glad everything turned out. Did you ever find the missing cow?