Saturday, 8 July 2017

Some more photos from the Logging

 Click on the picture to see it more clearly.

This is the view from my kitchen window before they take 
the last line of trees along the Sledge Track.


The road works pushed a fair bit of dirt around, including some interesting boulders that I'd dearly love to use in landscaping. Without a crane they are just going to mark a bend on the logging track.


The logs you can see here were removed, the branches and stumps all remain.

 
The logs are brought up by machines called forwarders and piled ready for loading.


Hubby thinks there were about 200 odd truck loads that came out of the plantation.


As they took down that last line of trees the view opened up.



Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Shearing Shed Lives

Click on the photos to enlarge if you'd like to see more detail.

The shearing shed had seen better years. The old clear sections of roof had perished and let the rain in, and the floor was rotting out. Even sections of the wall framing and roof structure were starting to rot. Once the skylights were replaced with new laserlite and the remaining tin screwed back down, we could start on the insides. Leigh Farrell did the heavy lifting on this stage.


The floor was too dangerous to walk on and the support beams were crumbling away.


First job was to remove all the old floor and beams. This was accomplished with the use of a chainsaw ! We cut the floor slats between the beams to about a foot long (and provided Trina with a years worth of seasoned hardwood kindling) and removed all the old wood structure.


A happy find was that under the foot of dirt the shed base had originally been concreted, sloped with a drain. We shoveled out all the "compost" and filled garden beds with it, and cleaned the underfloor right up so the drainage could work.


A second happy find was that the bearers were railway iron. A little rusted but still plenty of the core remaining so that we could just place new beams across them. The rotted roof supports and wall framing were also replaced.


New hardwood slats were then nailed across the beams. The gaps are to allow waste to drop down between them when the sheep are held here for shearing. It can then be hosed out using the drain to take it out the back of the shed.


We were able to use if for shearing in November. There are still a couple of tweaks for optimum usefulness. We need a big sheet of heavy duty lino for the shearer to work on, as wool catches on new hardwood slats when you try to turn them. It will take a few years for them to wear smooth. And we need to set up the new catching pens. It's easier on everyone not to have to chase them round a big area.


During the process the old louvers were taken out because they had a habit of vibrating out of the frames in windy weather and shattering on the ground. Matt Cassidy made new laserlite hopper windows that let in light, keep out the wind and can be opened when needed for ventilation.


He also fixed the little loading door, allowing a ute to be backed up to the shed and sheep loaded directly into the shed if we choose to host other people's sheep for a shearing day. That way off-site sheep never need set hoof on our pastures.




Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Goose Days

It turns out that two of the geese are female. I was told that geese don't have a great hatch rate so I left the majority of the eggs with them. As a result they proved everyone wrong and hatched 19 goslings ! Two died in the first day, the rest have made it to full feathering.

As goslings they were adorable fuzzballs that wee-wee'd their way around the farm under the watchful eyes of their parents.


Geese are grass eaters, like sheep. I feed the flock a couple of cups of soaked grain each evening to help them stay warm in cooler weather. In the meantime the goslings grazed with their parents and grew like the proverbial weeds.


As crossbreds it's impossible to know for sure what the gender of each goose is until they start laying eggs and sitting on the nest. The aim is to have two or three pairs. I'm going to keep the original three adults and another three young ones. We could end up with any combination, but hopefully at least enough of each gender to form a stable flock.


Monday, 29 May 2017

Cowmahal

Here's the progress shots of that building in the paddock.  It's 12m by 8m, and hubby joked that in some countries it would contain three families and a shop.

Roof on. It looks like it slopes this way, but it's actually just below me on the hill. The roll is to the right of the photo, add a gutter and a trough and we have a rainwater supply.


We used new corrugated iron and laserlite for the roof, hopefully it will last me out.

 
The three panels of laserlite across the back will stop the walled in section being a dark cave.


This is how the translucent section looks with the walls on. The big beams at about three feet high are the "bump bars", to stop cattle rear ends denting the walls. Mineral feeders can also be hung from those, and if a section is being used for a stall, water and food tubs as well.


The completed shelter, with walls made from second hand Scottsdale red roof iron. I haven't decided yet whether to paint it the same red just to tidy it up, or country grass green to make it blend in.



Wednesday, 24 May 2017

It's Been a While ...

Where to start ? I think I'll try to get a few posts done over the next week or so to catch up.

First, the next stage of the logging.

The machines started work during a period of high bushfire risk. The logging guys have a threshold of wind/heat/drought index conditions and have to take measurements during the day. If the number hits the threshold they have to stop immediately and have to leave a fire crew on site.

It was still fairly nerve wracking, a fire roaring up through the plantation had the potential to spread onto our very dry pastures. The smoke from nearby fires was so heavy that not only the distant mountains were gone, the other side of the valley was invisible.
 

The first trees to go were on the line of the road they wanted to put in for the log trucks. There are tracks among the trees and there were tracks on the pastures before the trees, but this road had strict criteria for grade and bendiness. It will go down to a flat platform that apparently had a hay shed on it in a previous life. The logs were gathered at that point and loaded onto the trucks.


You can see the sort of debris that is left behind, imagine the whole block this deep in slash.


The start of the road, white road base carted in and formed to level out the drop from the Sledge Track into the paddock.


And suddenly the vistas open up. They worked so fast that by the time I felt they were clear enough of the road edges to go down and take photos (about a week after the road was done, they are waving whole trees around, who wants to get too close !) they had made big inroads into the upper end of the plantation.


There were many weeks of work yet to come, they had just started on one end of the trees, but the potential of the views became clear. It was also the first chance we had to get an idea of the actual lay of the land. Prior to this the trees cloaked all the folds and rolls.