Saturday, February 16, 2013

Round 'em up!

It's lamb marking time down here on the farm, always a busy time. I'm the camp cook, on account of the fact that the sheep don't go where I want, I don't like the big bumps when riding flatout across the paddock, I frequently get lost (these paddock are several thousand acres each, and to my city eyes, they all look much the same), oh yeah, and I have two kids to look after. We got smart and brought in a gyrocopter to help this time, and instead of taking 4 days, it only took one. We'll never muster without one again! We have Dorper sheep, and they're cunning wily beasts, great at hiding and taking off on you. Not the cuddly docile woolly sheep you see in a picture book, that's for sure, so the gyro was invaluable in finding the mobs and bringing them together. Much less stress all round!

An aerial view of our place
Hard at work.
The lamb marking team. Hubby must have ducked out of this one. They tag the ears with our property name and number, and put rubber rings on their tails and for the (un)lucky blokes, their ...ahem... nuts get a ring too. I still dry heave when I think of the number of times I've heard that the old-timers used to bite the nuts out, and slice off the tails with a knife. I think that fits into the cruel and unnecessary box. I wonder how true it is? The biting part, anyway.
Waiting their turn
Having a little rest.
There's a whole lot of standing around for the sheep.
Ready to be drafted.
Lamb marking is dusty, thirsty work...
...but this one still looks cool as a cucumber!

I got smarter in the kitchen this time, too. I've always found the cooking to be quite stressful, I mean lets face it, I'm no caterer, and I find cooking for others daunting. But this time, it's been quite chilled - lucky really, as Vicki was quite ill for the first couple of days. The majority of the cooking has been done with one hand, or with her in a sling. By 8am the first day, I had a batch of muffins, chocolate chip cookies and date loaf made up, plus bacon hocks on for pea and ham soup, a 6kg pork roast defrosting (6kg...yeah, I know. Huge!), and chickens and salads organised for lunch. I admit it. I cheated with the chickens. Picked them up from the IGA the day before. Yesterday by lunchtime I had osso bucco in the slow cooker, the pea and ham soup bubbling away on the stove, and a passionfruit cheesecake chilling in the fridge. And today, there are plenty of leftovers from all the meals for lunch. There's even been time for this:
I know. Neat, huh?

1 comment:

  1. I know why you are ken on the gyrocopter - less time with your most difficult worker. Well done on having the cooking so organised. Great pics.