Thursday, July 02, 2009

Cabin Life

Kookaburra eating a frog. Monthly and overall winner
This blog introduces you to award winning photographer Wendy Dillon, after her third prize and two highly commended's at last years Biloela show. Wendy then won the monthly prize for best photo in the Kuranda Skyrail competition. This Photo won the overall prize for the competition. She won a Kodak camera and an all in one printer.

The reason for the above brag is because, in this years Biloela show, Wendy entered a series of photos and placed a first, a second and a highly commended. Cows fighting in the yards. 2nd place
To top it off I entered a few photos and I came in with a second and a third. Just as well Wendy got her prizes or I would have got it in the neck, she is really competitive. We won a whole $4.50, not even enough for a pizza to celebrate.
Up close & personal 1st place
Fraser Island sea shell Highly commended Taihape high country 2nd place. (Johnathan)
Just before Xmas Johnathan had the opportunity to do a scrub bush burn off on the back of the property that borders the National Park.
Johnathan and one other, set fire to over 900 acres of scrub, the burn off helps the grass regenerate.
They used a dribble pot and just walked along dribbling the fire behind them as they walked. He says it was exciting but scary stuff.
Arsonist, petrol/diesel dribble pot.
Apparently the fire raced up hill at such a fast pace the speed took him by surprise. The roar, crackle and the heat from the smoke and fire was phenomenal, and he could feel it on his back.
They had a vehicle set up with a rural fire fighting system on the back, just in case anything went wrong. They had to use water on the occasional tree/fence post so that the tree didn’t burn and break the fence. It was largely out 3 days later, with just a few hot spots to be watched. I find “controlled burning” a hard concept to grasp as I think of fire as being fairly free, and being way out back with very little water available to just walk away at dusk in a feeling of comfort and security just doesn’t gel for me. Just as well they had no issues.

A few weeks after the burn off we went out on horseback later to reseed. About 5 acres of prime river bank land. Some of the scrubby bushes left behind charred prickly vines, so we had to push the horses through this crap to seed the ground. Johnathan says the experiences here just keep getting better.

The boss checking Johnathan is doing it correctly.
Fireman, we had a rural fire fighting set up on the back of a tray back.
Anyway we have settled a bit more and finally got the phone on and satellite internet. Just to make things more comfortable for the next 18 months until Cassandra leaves school. Johnathan is so comfortable he suggests we might be a Kroombit for years, even after Cassandra leaves home.
She is currently getting ready for her year 11 exams, only one more week. When they are over she is going to NZ for a 10 days during the July school holidays. It is the beginning of our busy period so she will be glad to be away as my stress levels may go up.
We are then off to Rarotonga to see the Tobecks in late November, with a short stop over in NZ. Yeha!

Given we have settled here for a while the Easter bunny made a house call and dropped off a puppy, no Easter eggs, but a puppy!
Actually she is very cute and has endeared herself to us very quickly. She has us all out walking or riding every day to try and reduce her energy. She has her moments when her life has come close to being very short lived, because she has chewed shoes, and laces, hats and anything else left within range. She also took a nose dive out of the truck window, about a metre off the ground, and hurt her leg and limped for about 3 days. We have learnt to tie her in or wind the window up further. We named her Sassy after the hairy Sasquatch from Gayndah we mentioned in a previous blog.
Shortly after Sassy arrived, we had to billet her out as we had booked 5 days off and went to Fraser Island, a gynornmous sand island (World Heritage) north of Brisbane and 5 hours south of us. Anyway we took an organized tour because Wendy didn’t want to cook or anything. The trip was ok but Johnathan got sick (food poisoning we think, from shellfish off the beach, he pigged out while everyone else only had a couple each). Anyway the reason we are telling you this is because it was so bad, that at one point, on a daytrip Johnathan started to vomit and then he felt he needed to poo. Everyone had gone on ahead so Johnathan dropped his pants and sat his bum over the back of a log and went toilet.
If you still don’t get how sick he was, just remember there are poisonous snakes and spiders here and Johnathan didn’t give a toss, not that he had time to check if there were any over the log anyway. In fact I think there might have been a point where he would have preferred a spider or snake bite over the vomiting and diarrhea. So as you can imagine our break wasn’t so great, second to Johnathan getting sick was that Fraser isn’t so wonderful, it is full of sand!!!

The weather here has turn seasons and it is getting cold at night and in the morning. The woolies have come out and the fires are lit. It was so cold the other morning -2* that we had a frost. In fact it was so cold it was suggested if I wanted to warm up I should go stand in the food chiller as it was significantly warmer than the outside temperature. It is still about 22* most days though so I guess we shouldn’t complain given I have heard the weather in NZ is pretty cold at the moment.
Eli Creek Fraser Island.
Well warm thoughts to you all. Now we have internet we will blog more often. The adventures in Australia continue.

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