Saturday, May 2, 2015

Farming and Calfs

We where supposed to get up early in the morning to go fishing in Port Fairy with a few of James mates. Unfortunately due to staying up the night before and a lot of unfortunate events (I had to drive to the other side of the farmland to get to a tractor to get some chain links, in the morning fog across paddocks) we left one hour late. By that time his friends where already in the harbour, so we set of towards Portland instead, as James knows the area better. Catherine was following along and we passed a lot of small fires, the result of burning some leftover forests. All in a controlled state, as bush fires are still a serious threat here. We where smoked out, none the less.
After reaching the harbour we let the boat in to the water and got everything ready to leave. Left the harbour on calm waters with a load of other hobby fishermen already out. We went about 15 kilometres away from Portland and started to drift towards the harbour town. Roods where out and a few fish where caught strait away. I got some venomous type of stinger fish, a few small “snapers” and a squid (which got away). None of it was fit or legal to eat, so I would have normally gone hungry. James caught a variety and lots of fish, most likely due to years of experience. His catch for the day was a legal snaper, which have to be larger than 30 centimetres to keep. His was 32. Catherine caught a squid which will be turned into Calamari rings. It shot out a spurt of ink before surfacing and made a bid for freedom by shouting halfway out of the bucket it was put in.
After some time we where joined by an Albatross, a medium sized bird when it is in the water. Once airborne the wingspan is just massive. It ate two of the fish we caught and threw back in again. The fish didn't swim down fast enough. We ended up having four around our boat and they would sometimes even go after the bait. After a relaxing day it was back to the farm and to get the pump fixed up again so we could have running water. After that some leftovers for dinner and then an early night to get ready for work the next day.
Woke up at a more reasonable time, eight in the morning, to get to work. Had some breakfast and then went of to feed the cattle with hay bails same as a few days prior. As James wanted to get a Paddock ploughed for grain to be sown, Catherine and me were in charge of getting the bails to the paddocks. A tractor driver was needed to load up the utes with the bails, so I got a crash course (not literally) in driving a tractor. James and Catherine disappeared of with the first two loads so I was left with a tractor and nothing to do. I tried to hand feed some nearby and after some time they (or more like one specific heifer) decided I wasn't trying to butcher them and took some. As soon as they noticed my hand was there and no hay they where gone very fast. After some time Catherine came back and took me to the other ute and we got to delivering the paddocks in earnest. I got to deliver the Paddock the furthest away from the rest and got a brilliant off-road experience in a beautiful landscape (see pictures). A neighbouring farmer had already delivered his load of hay to a paddock next to James and all of his cattle was pressing against the fence to get to the wrong hay. They got one from me soon after and whilst the cows ate the calf's played around in the hay or tried themselves at eating it. We herded in a renegade heifer which took some quick action driving as it didn't want to get in the paddock. Once we had nearly finished of we headed back for some lunch, for which I picked James up in the paddock he was ploughing. He had gone on one of his quads, but a rain cloud was moving in so I got him in a ute. After getting him we had a home made omelet, with eggs from the farm, mushrooms from the fields and chives, parsley and garlic from the garden. Good thing about Victoria is you can grow nearly everything yourself.
After that I headed out for the last bail for some expecting cows near the farm and had a photo tour of the area with my camera. I tried getting the chainsaw to work later on to cut up some more wood, but for some reason it wouldn't start. Weird, as it had been to the mechanic the day before. Instead, I built up a warm shelter for April (the rejected calf) instead, but due to not finding all the proper tools it will have to be done more professional tomorrow).

A fun day delivering food to all the cattle, whilst having some off-road fun and more scenery.  

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