Feathers, Nests and the March Hare
After three years around here, I am starting to see patterns in things. The Mad March Hare is a european creature, but he is very much alive and well down under. I’m not sure if he is the gorgeous blonde rabbit that has taken up residence in the orchard, but his influence is everywhere. A social whirl has cranked up, and the weekends are loaded with events. Clashes of all kinds occur. There is a bustle as we all prepare for winter and enjoy the glorious days, but a tension as we wait for more rain. People seem to smile wider and shout louder.
The grass and cow growers are waiting for “the autumn break” most of all- we have had enough rain to watercolour the paddocks in green, but not enough to bring up real grass. There is a chance that, if we don’t get follow up, the pastures will seed and we’ll lose the autumn growth we need. Even the great dividing river between states and properties is slowing down and shallowing. Our very tolerant neighbours from-the-other-side have been dealing with repeated visits from our cattle. Mr Smithwick rang to inform us that he had pushed a mob back across the river, but by the time we’d got down to collect them, they had disappeared back into NSW.
Talmalmo Station is our nearest neighbour, and in James’s grand parents’ time there were frequent crossings – kids rowing across to school at Burrowye, parents coming and going from parties…These days the only thing that usually travels is sound (as our neighbours have very gently let us know). Every summer I think about kayaking across, and reviving the days that are recorded in our old visitors book. This autumn, the cows have done the inviting for us. When Mr Keith Breaden (Mr Smithwick’s nephew) turned up at the back door the other day, he was press ganged into the front room and served tea. He was dripping wet after riding an ag bike over the river, but we have recently removed granny’s best pink carpet, so entertaining was an option.
James and I often joke about our dire lack of social life, but this March has bought three visitors in two days. Thus emboldened, we are planning to actually engage in some of the events happening in surrounding districts.
Feeding out silage and pellets has just started, and I am overwhelmed by the nesting urge to clean and sort and cook frozen meals and move furniture around and around the house, so the preparation needed to just get off the place is quite a process. But de-cluttering the craft shelves has paid off – when James came in yesterday and announced we were heading to the races in an hour’s time, I had Cottage Industry needle book, feathers and double sided tape all at hand. We dressed, we went, we put money on The Towong Cup and came out even. Or up, if we count the beautiful light rain that was falling as we arrived home.