Sunday, October 26, 2008

Slithering Tales

I was gardening down in my studio garden this morning and the poodles were playing in the house yard. All of a sudden I saw Lily jump backwards and give her 'snake bark', the sound that always makes my blood run cold.

Having the old poodle Connor with two deadly snake bites during his life, I am very worried about hunter Lily, who often cruises round the yard, nose down, ready to take on anything that might rear its head.

I saw the grey slither as I hobbled up the stairs, calling them all inside. Then I got the 'killing hoe' and went to do battle.

Thankfully it was only a blue tongue lizard, very angry at being flushed out of his morning wanderings. He was full grown; about 15 inches long, and didn't want to be caught, but I carried him out of the yard and let him go amongst the gum trees, very relieved he had legs.

This is a rough photo of my first iris for the year, but I am very pleased to have their handsome colours and shapes in the garden.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Grief for a Tiny Child Lost

My daughter and her partner have been grief stricken after losing her 20 week old foetus/baby.

Apart from being blown away by her maturity, passion and depth of grief, I was impressed by the richness of the process they have chosen to say goodbye to the little one.

They have collected a photo of his tiny hand, a set of hand and foot prints, and the clothes he was dressed in after birth and taken it to our favorite framer to put together in a box frame.

They also sang a song for him to the family on Sunday. His older brother made a clay model of his little brother's initial 'Z' (for Zander). They chose a beautiful place for him in the nearby State Forest and buried his ashes and the 'Z' near the junction of two rivers.

While it still hurts like crazy, they have woven together a rich tapestry of thoughts and memories so his tiny presence will last their lifetime.

I found this lovely poem online that says it all.

"These are my footprints,
so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints
never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint,
for now I have wings.
These tiny footprints were meant
for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints,
in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angel's tears,
of joy and not from pain.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in each butterfly's lazy dance.
I'll let you know I'm with you,
if you just give me the chance.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind,
and call each one that grieves.
Most of all, these tiny footprints,
are found on Mummy and Daddy's hearts.
'Cause even though I'm gone now,
We'll never truly part."


Blog pal ann penned a small Poem for him.......

"Precious Zander
New to earth and
New to sky"

...... I like that.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This Week

My man is away all week working at chasing locusts near Shepparton. The little hoppers are hatching out all over the state, and after a year of little rain and grass everyone is panicking.

Our lambies are doing well.

My daughter lost her baby at 20 weeks ..... live at birth and then not...................

His tiny ashes are being scattered next Sunday. It's amazing how you miss someone you never even met.

My sister Pam died 19 years ago from breast cancer. Another year past.

I got into my beehive yesterday and put another story on top of the other two. I have lost courage in handling them since my accident (and with other things as well), so it took a quantum leap for me to open the box. Last time I went in, I hurried too much and they attacked me big time, leaving hundreds of bee stings pumping venom into my protective clothing. It takes time to get over such fury. A beekeeper told me afterwards to administer the smoke 'with precision', lifting the lid and a couple of puffs inside, then close it down again, and a puff or two at the front door. They all rush down to gobble honey, thinking a bush fire is nearby, and that makes them a bit sluggish. Then you go in................

They were busy with their own lives and scarcely worried about my peering inside. I should have pulled all the frames out and checked for signs of swarming, but I will do that next week. Hopefully lots of room will dissuade them. I have left two empty hives set up nearby, so I am hoping they might choose to just move next door.

I remember seeing a swarm here years ago, with a giant 'beard' of bees hanging on a tree. They are supposed to be at their most benign while swarming, and can easily be dropped into an empty hive box. Maybe it's viewing the drones and queen 'having it off' that calms them.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More Sheep Stories

Little Timmy has gone to stay with a local orphan lamb raiser and Victoria has indicated that she would like to swap him for one of her older lambs. Timmy's dad is a beautiful purebred Cheviot with a gentle nature. Victoria said her Suffolk ram was quite dangerous and has attacked her a few times, so she needed a new one. She's a tiny little thing who could easily be knocked over by a rambunctious boy with murder in his heart.

I am relieved to have him cared for as we don't have shedding and yards built for orphans. Next year we have determined that we will, as I would be pleased to raise a group of cheery little lambies. The grandkids would love the bottle feeding.

Timmy is doing very well, apparently.

Our poor mumma sheep was flyblown the next day after her huge drama. Thankfully she was to be confined for observation all week, so I noticed horrid blowflies buzzing around her rear end. We cleaned her up and clipped off her yucky spots, and she was fine. One stitch came out after two days and the other last night. Sheep have such a powerful flock mentality, she patrolled up and down the driveway fence, moaning and then panicking if they moved out of sight.

All is restored now and she is content.

We ringed four little tails and decided to leave the one boy with his undercarriage until we saw our sheep farmer friend who can do him. His tiny testicles kept retreating up into his body every time we tried to isolate them, and they're so tiny, just pea sized.

While we had the flock yarded last night I noticed our last ewe looked a bit 'mucousy' at the back end, indicating that her lambing was imminent. Sure enough, two hours later, she had one on the ground, so we are now finished for the year. Six live and two not. Not a good average, but the ones we have are healthy happy little things.