Friday, June 27, 2014


A couple of years back, we had some trees felled on our land. Over the past week, the guy who chopped them down came back to chop them up for us. He reckons there is at least eight to ten tonnes of firewood there in the five huge piles on the hill. It was a pretty big job to chainsaw and then split the huge logs. David had already cut up a lot of the branches, but the huge trunks remained.

I still can't understand why the people who built our place did not put in a wood fire, living where we do, on the edge of forest and above the snow line. We added one and it is now one of my favourite things in the house. We are definitely not short of wood. Next, I need to turn these piles into some kind of amazing 'wall of wood' edifice to keep up with the neighbours. It's a popular pastime in Tassie.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meet Sebastian

This is Sebastian Vettel the rooster. Aussie Formula One racing fans will understand why we've named this cock(erel) after the famous Red Bull team driver. I do hope he grows up to be nicer than both his predecessor and his namesake. He's still only young with quite a bit of growing to do. David suggested this name for him. I had some other good suggestions for names from family, friends and Twitter connections (including Godzilla and Tottenham Hot Spurs!) which I'll have to keep up my sleeve for the next one.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Winter solstice

It may have been the shortest day of the year, but wow - what a stunning day it was. We took the dogs to Kingston Beach and in the evening, hit the Dark Mofo winter feast along with way too many other people. I'm looking forward to the daylight hours lengthening again.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The egg famine is over

We've had no home laid eggs for three months, since the hens' annual moult kicked in earlier than usual. Finally last week, one of the hens started laying an egg every couple of days. I know it is one of the two black Australorp girls because the eggs are pale and pointy. The Barnevelders lay rounder dark brown or speckled eggs. Now we just need the others to start up again. I am reliably informed that this should happen after the winter solstice in a couple of days... we'll see if that turns out to be correct. The four hens all look fat and healthy with all their glossy feathers grown back and bright red combs. Then we have four more point-of-lay pullets who are a bit small yet but should also start laying soon, and one more girl who is only 12 weeks old. I'm looking forward to seeing this cute chook shaped egg basket that David bought me over in Cygnet soon filled up with eggs. And all the yummy breakfasts, quiches, ice creams and cakes of course.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Seven Mile Beach

It was one degree Celsius and thick with frost yesterday morning when we got up, and minus one down in the foggy valley. "Let's go to the beach!" we thought. Err, no. Actually we had planned to meet some fellow Bernese Mountain Dog owners at Seven Mile Beach near the airport. I have often looked down on this beautiful beach flying into or out of Hobart. It's a lot nicer close up - soft clean sand strewn with shells - and a top spot for a doggy romp.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Denison Forest Drive

This morning we drove out to Judbury Market (second Sunday of every month) held in and around the community hall in Calvert Park, right on the Huon River. I bought some vegetables from this stall - check out the size of the swedes!

Afterwards, we continued west, past the old Snowy River trout farm and around the Denison Forest Drive circuit.  I had only been out past Judbury once before, to get to the start of the Lake Skinner and Snowy South walk. The forest drive is part of the southern forests and for the most part goes through regrowth forest in various stages following clearfelling some years ago, but we saw a surprising variety of vegetation, for example, patches of sub-alpine plants like pineapple grass as the road climbed towards towards 650 metres altitude. It was quite a long drive but interesting to see what's out there towards the end of the valley. One day I'll do the drive to the Derwent Valley via the Plenty Link Road. There has long been a proposal to upgrade this forestry road to a tourist drive linking the two valleys, with federal funding for a feasibility study. It would definitely be good to have an alternative for heading north and west to going around Mount Wellington and through Hobart. A trip to the Huon could become part of a circuit drive for visitors instead of sending them back the same way. At least that's the idea.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Wintry weekend

First day of winter and the village of Franklin took on a distinctly wintry look and feel. The cloud cleared to a  lovely sunny day, but there was still a damp chill in the air. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees. We took the dogs for a walk along the river. Unfortunately they got in, just seconds after this photo was taken.

In other news, five 18 week old cockerels ended up in my freezer today. Poor boys. One lucky chap was spared. From our second batch of chicks (now 10 weeks old), four out of five are male. We really have not had any luck with the male/female ratio in breeding these chooks. Oh well. I'm looking forward to the five young pullets and the rooster joining the older hens. Oh yeah and some eggs would be nice, girls.