Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A day far to nice to be indoors.............

Yesterday was a lovely day, it really felt as if summer had arrived, there was a bit of a breeze but it didn't spoil that lovely sun. Apart from the obvious health risks of being out in the sun too long, wear sunblock everyone, it really does make you feel good, I love the feel of the sun on my face (but not for too long I don't want to end up looking like a prune!) and that warmth seems to just soak into your body and warms your very soul. I look out on our surroundings and think that it all looks so lovely when the sun is shining. It really is our piece of paradise.

It's not just me that enjoys the sun, the animals do too they lay in it just soaking it up, especially the goats they are after all from South Africa so made for the heat! They get so miserable in the rain.
I was half way through vacuuming and I began wondering why I was inside when I should be out there, so I ditched the cleaner where it stood, the thought of those new babies was just too much to resist. It's so nice to have babies when the weather is so nice, it must help them grow faster.
The calves have found their feet and are enjoying being free from the confines of their mothers womb, and are now dashing around the paddock being chased and bellowed at by their attentive mothers. I did laugh at Cara chasing Ed and bellowing after him, it reminding of shopping trips with a toddler! She pulled him in line eventually but only after he had stretched those colt like legs!

Even Ebony was doing it, Isobel was a little more laid back about it, Ebony is after all her third calf, although when Ebony got too close to Cara and Ed Isobel had a few stern words to say about it!

She soon wore herself out though and lay down in the long grass


After spending some time with the cows I thought it would be unfair to leave the goats out so I had to have a few smooches and cuddles with them too, Echo is particularly smoochy! I really should not pull my chin in when taking photos like this!

Remember what I said about goats enjoying the sun?? Ahem!

In the next paddock there is a small hill and I wandered up to it and lay down in the long grass and watched the sky, it was bliss I can tell you. Of course I wasn't alone, I was followed by the goats who happily went off eating the long grass and where ever I am there's a Max!

As I lay there in the long grass I thought of how wonderful it looked, all long and green and healthy.

Last year was such a terrible year for us. When we moved here just over two years ago, there wasn't much grass, it had been grazed within an inch of it's life and most likely hadn't been fertilised or had seed thrown out for some time. We were lucky in that we had a cross over period where we had this place and our old property, so the animals stayed at the old place so we could get some regrowth. But that never really happened, that summer we had a drought followed by a terribly wet winter. It didn't show immediately but the animals started losing condition and became ill, we had goats miscarry and while we were in the UK one doe died. It was not the welcome home we had hoped for, one dead doe and 2 dead newly born twins. I was devastated and for a fleeting moment considered finding new homes for the goats, this place was killing them.

But now just over a year later, the change in them is nothing short of a miracle. I never realised just how important good quailty pasture is for the health and well-being of livestock, well I suppose I did, I just didn't realise just how quickly an animals health can deteriorate. With regular fertilising and seeding in just one year the place is looking great and so are the animals.

It is amazing that with so little effort that such improvement can be seen, we used a general fertiliser from one of the farm shops. If we were to do it properly we would get soil tests done and use a fertiliser better balanced for the soils needs, but this soil just 'needed' something, anything and so far it seems to be working. We did however think more about the seed we threw out, we opted for a ryegrass, white clover, plaintain and chicory mix. All things no doubt you would be digging out of your lawn but they provide nutrients for livestock.

There are the occasional unwelcome weeds in the pasture, here we have a lot of gorse, but we won't think of that today, that's for another time! We have a few thistles around the place, some are Scotch and some Californian thistles, the Scotch ones are easier to deal with, they are one plant with one root!

The other more problematic thistle is the Californian one that sends out runners and is not so easy to deal with and most people resort to spraying, I'm trying to avoid that as any spray will kill the grass around it.

We haven't gone to the trouble of improving the pasture to then kill some of it with sprays. So I have a 'grubber'!

A very handy tool it is too, you use it to get under the root of the thistle and it pulls it out, hopefully roots and all!
BUT if you're not careful it will put a hole in water pipes that feed your troughs! But the least said about that the better!

10 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a great day. Your place is beautiful!!

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  2. It was a lovely day, and it's like it again today, I've been a bit more productive though I'm glad to say :D I've come in for a bit it's a bit hot out there to be gardening!

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  3. oh it looks wonderful. Your animals look so happy and healthy. I know all about water pipes and digging tools LOL

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  4. Thanks Sue, aye a good excuse to leave those kind of jobs to the men! :D

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  5. I'm so jealous! Lovely scenery, lovely animals and lovely YOU!!

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  6. Aww Denise! I'm blushing! All the way down to my chins!! :D

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  7. Your place is beautiful Sue. Thanks for posting about your feed problem, as you know we got major problems at our place atm,Will investigate planting seeds. Great idea thanks.

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  8. Hi Rina if you want me to tell you how we put the sed out let me know, it was a good way of doing it!

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  9. A lovely post & some great piccies too.

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