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Spring has sprung

I thought I’d share some photos I’ve taken this week. It’s been a strange mix of weather: warm and humid, inky black skies and heavy drizzle. Normal spring weather. The sounds of spring are about. There is a constant buzzing – flies. There’s the bellow of sheep as we get them into the yards to…

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Crop checks

There’s nothing more exciting for a farm kid than going on a crop inspection with dad, (more commonly known as The Boss). They get to roll in thigh-high grass, run through it with the dogs and peer into long leaves of barley/wheat/oats to see what’s hiding at the very bottom. Of course any information that…

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Colours of the rainbow… um, titles!

  A question I’m often asked is, ‘Why are there always colours in your book titles?’ It’s a question with many answers, but the main one for me is the colours of the land. This photo is a prime example – brilliant white sheep against dark, rich green grass and a fluorescent canola crop in…

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Ole Rexy

Dogs mean everything to me; they always have. I adore their loyalty, unconditional love and the way they look like they’re smiling when they hang over the back of the ute looking into the wind. Today my old dog and ‘first child’, Rex, died and I am crying floods of tears. But I have to…

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Mud, blood and other farming things!

My blog has been a bit quiet on the farming side lately–only because I’ve been so busy in the sheep yards. The approaching spring is a really busy time, particularly for sheep graziers. It means flies. We’ve been running all our sheep through the jetting race, trying to head off any problems. We’ve been crutching…

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The awesome Maggie MacKellar

  Maggie MacKellar has been to hell and back in the last few years. The loss of a husband, while pregnant, then the death of a mother, would be enough to send most of us to the wall. Not Maggie. In fact she is not only my Guest author today, she’s also my Guest for…

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Stow-away!

There was a stow-away on our local school bus this week. This little joey was rescued from the pouch of a dead kangaroo and taken to Jo, a local lady who raises orphans. She also happens to drive our school bus. The kids thought it was so cool having a ‘live joey’ going to school…

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Tilly and Tessa

‘Tilly and Tessa were twins. They looked exactly alike…’ Have you ever heard this kids story? It used to be one of my favourites when I was about three or four. Mum still groans every time I mention the book – she thinks I made her read it thousands of times. I’m sure I wouldn’t…

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Winter has arrived!

I’m sitting in my office this afternoon with Rocket, my Jack Russell dog, at my feet. The wind outside is howling and intermittent rain showers are coming up from the coast. The fire is going and as many clothes as I can hang in front of it are drying. The puddles outside are growing larger…

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Favourite views

These are my favourite views of our farm. It seems to say everything about it – natural (all the bush that has been left as stock shelters), fertile (that dark green is a lovely, healthy looking barley crop), undulating. Then the man made things – good fences and a great road that also acts as…

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Clean bums

I love crutching time. It’s wonderful when the sheep leave the yards with beautiful clean, white rumps and we know that really, there shouldn’t be any problems with flies. There is real satisfaction in finishing a job that needs doing. The top photo is the last of about 1,000 ewes that went through the shed…

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Storm front

Leaden clouds hang in the sky. The anticipation of a downpour is thick in the air. We feel the winds pick up and hear the distant rumble of thunder. A flash of lightening, then the plop of a drop: one, two and then a million! Large, heavy drops which, as they hit the ground, throw…

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My old Rexy

I went to sit with my first ‘child’ today. Although he’s a bit dottery on his paws now, and old and grey around the muzzle with weepy eyes, underneath he’s still my old Rex. He was born one cold blustery winter night under the combine in our machinery shed. Coincidentally it was on my dad’s…

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Oh bugger!

Within my circle of friends, it’s well known that I can sometimes be an idiot.  My best antic is mixing up my words and saying the wrong thing, or acting without thinking. Most of my family and friends smile and say “Oh, Fleur….” when I’ve done something particularly ridiculous, and today I think I might…

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Who has got a ‘Short Cut’ Story?

All country folk have a driving short-cut story don’t they? and usually they don’t end well! Here’s my take on it: Setting: Afternoon barbeque, blokes having a few beers, girls around the table with a wine. Conversation: Bloke 1: ‘Gotta head over to *insert town’s name* tomorrow.’ Bloke 2: ‘Oh yeah? What for?’ Bloke 1:…

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Home is where the heart is

I’ve written before about the depth of my South Australian roots. They are especially entrenched on the station that has been in my family since the 1800s. It’s hard to describe how much the landscape is burned into my soul: the old ruins, the creeks that criss-cross the land, the ‘casha’ or Acacia trees that…

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Rain equals mental health for farmers!

Being a farmer can be trying, especially since our livelihood is so much at the whim of the weather. This season started off beautifully with 30 millimetres of soaking rain over a few days. After such a long dry summer, it was a relief to see some green poking through the ground. It’s often been…

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Once upon a time there was…

Once upon a time there was a vibrant homestead set deep in a gully. The backdrop to this beautiful setting was rolling hills, green pastures, grazing sheep  and kangaroos, and a bubbling little stream. In days past, these buildings would have echoed with the shouts of shearers as their blades snipped across the sheep’s back,…

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Rain! Where for art thou, rain?

We’ve had our opening rains – 30mm over about five or six days. Awesome. You just can’t be unhappy with that. Now I’m going to be a farmer and complain! We need some more. The canola crop is in, we’ve got over 2,000 lambs marked (with another 6,000 to go that I’m not thinking about…

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Exciting happenings!

Going to Perth, for us, is mostly a big adventure. We don’t go often – the eight hour drive puts a ‘quick trip’ out of the question. We left very early last week – 4am. My daughter needed to be in Perth for an appointment at 3:30pm – nothing like a deadline and an unfamiliar…

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Heart stopping fun…

So the boss gave me a slight heart attack on Saturday night! Actually, it was rather a large one. Happily getting tea ready, I was in the kitchen, enjoying a moment of peace, when my daughter came hurtling inside yelling that she needed her camera. Curious, I asked why. ‘Haven’t you seen the fire?’ she…

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