October 22, 2018

The Black Kites seem to be pleased that we have started mowing lucerne.


October 20, 2018

The difference that water makes, 
outside the pivot vs inside the pivot, 
non-irrigated vs irrigated, 
dead vs alive.



October 16, 2018

A wet verandah to greet the sunrise… can’t get better than that.


October 15, 2018

This Masked Lapwing’s nest was in the middle of yard where we were stacking hay yesterday… put bales around it for the day so no-one would accidently run over it.


October 12, 2018

Another 8mm for the lucerne seedlings. 

Weekly evaporation at the moment is about 40mm, rainfall 0mm... no wonder this paddock is dry.


October 11, 2018

Sunrise over the oats. 

Yesterday’s photo was a paddock of dryland oats that we were going to cut for hay. With only 10mm rain in the last 2 months they are just hanging on. 

In contrast these oats have been irrigated... which is a very expensive exercise at the moment with a 0% water allocation. 

These oats are special… they are next year’s seed.


October 7, 2018

We missed the rain this week so gave our little lucerne seedlings a much needed 8mm overnight.


Sheep Stations & National Parks

Last weekend we went for a drive west to visit two of our state’s newest National Parks. 

Yanga National Park may be located on the main highway between Sydney & Adelaide but it is really quite isolated.

Yanga Station homestead

Yanga Station was once a 240,000 acre sheep station, first settled by explorer William Wentworth in 1843. It ran 80,000 mostly Merino sheep for wool production. In 1974 30,000 acres was donated to the local council for use as the Yanga Nature Reserve. In 2005 the NSW government purchased the station for its natural, cultural and historic values with the aim to protect the Lowbidgee Floodplain, an important wetland ecosystem & breeding site for water birds during flooding and also an important habitat for wildlife including the endangered Southern Bell Frog.

The Yanga homestead was built in 1862 mainly from Murray pine using ‘drop log’ construction with bark still intact. 

Galvanised roof iron now covers the wooden shingles which can still be seen from below. 

The gardens, which are maintained by volunteers, overlook the Yanga Lake. 

The stables

Yanga Station woolshed

The Yanga woolshed was once the largest and most modern woolshed in the district with 40 stands and could house 3,000 sheep.  

The 100m long woolshed was built in the late 1850’s alongside the Murrumbidgee River and used paddle steamer transport to get the wool to market. 

Murrumbidgee River

  Camping in Yanga National Park.

Shingleback Lizard 

200kms east near Carrathool is Oolambeyan National Park. It was a 55,000 acre sheep farm before it was purchased by the state government in 2001. 

It was deserted when we visited apart from hundreds of kangaroos.

Oolambeyan Station homestead

The old windmill shrieks and groans eerily above the empty homestead, the garden is kept well-trimmed by the wildlife, the prized roses long gone. 

Outlook from homestead

Oolambeyan Station was purchased to protect a significant area of native lowland grassland & the habitat of the endangered Plains-wanderer, a small quail like bird. Ironically the Plains-wanderer requires habitat that has been grazed, so sheep are sometimes agisted onto the national park to ensure the pasture is at the optimum height for the Plains-wanderer. 

When we were there it was a haven for kangaroos, both red & grey kangaroos and ironically again for a national park - the kangaroos are watered via windmills and troughs.


September 30, 2018

A trip to the local show is not complete without admiring 
the variety of beautiful birds in the poultry pavilion.


September 26, 2018

This delightful little bird is a Yellow-rumped Thornbill.  

He/she brings my count of bird species to 50 that I have sighted and photographed in the last 5 years on our farm. That makes me very happy! If you are interested to see the full listing click on the category “Farm Bird Guide”.


September 25, 2018

It has been many years since we have had to flood irrigate to get our lucerne established
but dry times call for drastic measures. 
We are lucky to have this as an option, albeit a very expensive option this year. 

This photo is a good demonstration how our flood irrigation works. 
The paddock is divided into bays. Each bay is level across its width but has a slight fall down the length and has check-banks down each side to contain the flow of water within each bay. We water one bay at a time. The water comes in the top of the bay via an outlet on a channel and runs down the length, spreading across the full width. Before the water reaches the bottom of the bay we close the outlet to stop the flow of water. Ideally the water should just reach the end, but any that goes out the bottom flows into our on-farm drainage recycle system where it is then pumped back into the channel for re-use.  


September 22, 2018

The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer. ~ Will Rogers