Daily Prompt – Nosey Delights

From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?

I was lucky enough to grow up in a peaceful, lush and at the time, isolated place called Nowendoc.

Our 900 acres of hilly beef cattle country is bordered to the west by a State Forest. My parents still have a 99 year perpetual lease on 300 acres within the boundaries of the forest where we used to put mature cows to winter. I say used to because they don’t put any stock there now. Too many have gone missing with the only trace being horseshoe marks in soft soil.

When I was a child I was a loner.

At school I spent my lunchtime reading in an out of bounds area which the principal ignored (she got me).

At home I spent my daylight hours on a horse.

I would catch my horse on the weekend in the morning, might come in for lunch, but mostly I’d get home with enough time for my horse to dry off before the cool night arrived.

These are the days that my nosey delights come from.

If I think hard and breath deep, I can smell…

The sweet smell of my horse, slightly sweaty.

The earthy scent of freshly disturbed humus rich soil.

A whiff of musty honey near a native bee nest.

The occasional stench of death.

I think the one I miss the most is the smell of a summer storm rolling in from the west.

I would feel the air pressure change and my excitement would build.

There would be a rumble of thunder you could feel as much as you could hear.

A waft of earthy scent building to the glorious and unique smell of our native eucalypt forest that I’ve never smelt anywhere else.

Slowly, the fresh smell if the rain mingled with the forest, cleaning the air.

These are the smelly memories of my childhood.

My happy place.

Daily Prompt – Now? Later!

We all procrastinate. Website, magazine, knitting project, TV show, something else — what’s your favorite procrastination destination?

My favorite ‘time waster’ is watching my calves.

No, I’m not super vain!

I’m talking about my surrogate children. Its something I’ve written about before.

I often get in trouble for standing at the gate and watching them playing.

After a feed they often feel frisky. They’ll play tag or they’ll follow each other around, tails in the air and a twinkle in their eyes, running as fast as they can!

They’make an obstacle courses.

Through the hole in the fence, around the big tree, back up the hill and jump over the grain trough! If I happen to be in the paddock, it’s a guarantee they’ll include me!

Anything that goes into the paddock is fair game. Especially if it makes a noise when walked over!

One day my human children kicked a soccer ball into their paddock. They didn’t kick it, but there was a lot of inspecting…

“Ooo what is that?”

“Eeek it MOVED!”

“You touch it?”

“No! YOU touch it”

“Aaaahhhhhh! IT MOOOOOVED!”

“RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!”

I wish you could see what I see, hear what I hear.

They are beautiful to watch.

I do procrastinate a lot watching them.

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LOL Moments – Nothing To See Here!

I’m on a mission to show the lighter side of my life. Last week I wrote about Pleasures and where they comes from. This week I thought I’d share some laugh-out-loud moments.

I have an interesting ill health issue with one of my calves.

She refuses to suck the teat on the calf feeder. Or my fingers. This is very unusual. But she is getting better.

Cattle are social animals, so I like to put calves together in my calf shed if I can. I had another calf in with my little sort of sick calf who was healthy and could drink her milk very quick.

One morning, when they were about 5 days old, this healthy calf was being particularly pushy and I knew the other calf would be completely put off and wouldn’t even try to suck. So I put the healthy calf out the gate and into the big wide world before I fed her.

This is a trick I employ regularly. The calf normally explores a little, chases a dog, says hello to everything and does a few excited kicks and jumps. But they stay close because they haven’t been fed.

Not this calf..

She did chase the dogs. And she did get excited. But she didn’t stay close.

She ran, as fast as her legs could carry her, behind the calf shed, through a gate and into the next paddock.

If you’ve ever seen a newish calf run you’ll know it looks very uncoordinated!

This was our first big frost for the year.

The little calf, making the most of her freedom, galloped down the hill skipping and jumping and generally having a great time.

I was watching her antics while trying to get the other calf to drink so I knew where to go and get her to give her her feed.

I’m not sure exactly what happened, but on one of her down hill runs she fell down and slid for about five metres, spinning as she went.

My heart skipped a beat. I thought she’d be hurt for sure!

But calves are tough.

This is my lol moment…

She finally stopped sliding and just layed there for two seconds. Then she jumped straight up on her feet, looked back up the hill to where she started and shook her head.

She then, very carefully, walked back up the hill, through the gate and back around to the front of the calf shed.

I’m convinced, if she could, she would have been whistling!

By this time I was laughing so hard I was crying.

She was fine. She had her drink and bucked around her pen.

But she will forever be known here as our ‘Sk8r’ chic!

Local Pleasures

I live on the beautiful Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia.
It is, in my opinion, one of the most picturesque spots in this country.
It is home to one of Australia’s major river valleys, the Manning.
It have spent all but about 10 years of my life in this valley.
Where I grew up is where it all starts.
The Nowendoc River is the headwaters. Into it runs the Cooplacurrapa. It then runs into the Little Manning, then the Big Manning. It then runs out into the ocean through two entrances, making it the only double delta (like the Nile) in the southern hemisphere. You can read more about it here.
I love the river and am lucky enough to have a friend who lives on the north entrance arm. I went to visit her yesterday.
It has been a while since I last visited either entrance. I’d forgotten the smell! That fantastic salty mangrove aroma you can nearly taste! 
These are the pictures I took. I really need a camera not attached to my phone! But they’re OK.

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I am glad I live so close to so much beauty!

Audible Pleasures

I have written before about how much the creek means to me. If you haven’t read it you can here.

I love to sit and listen while the cows cross the creek.

The sound of the birds, the creek bubbling away and the slosh slosh of the cows wandering across to their feed all help me clear my mind and prepare it for the day ahead.

You can hear even more if the cows aren’t there.  And it depends on your morning!

Just listening helps detox my mind, preparing it for the day ahead.

I appologise for the quality! I only have my phone!

 

 

Unexpected Pleasures

Last night, while talking to a person I am proud to call friend, she told me I’m the most sociable loner she knows. I replied I didn’t have a real friend until I moved to Coopernook. That made her laugh a lot – its a location joke…

But that’s beside the point really!

It made me think about why I’d made it to my 35th birthday without discovering the pleasure of true human connection.

The BPD I’ve spoken of before was one reason.  I had always been a loner! 

About a week after arriving in Coopernook to start our first dairy operation together, the P&C uniform lady rang me.  She’d heard I had a child to start at the small school and wanted to let me know what I needed and what she had as new and second hand uniforms. She seemed rather nice. A little forward, maybe nosey, but nice!

There was no bus for Coopy school so the parents made their way to the front gate every afternoon to pick their children up.  Everyone knew everyone and had their groups.  I sat in the car and read.

Until one day the uniform lady came and tapped on my window and told me she couldn’t watch me sit on my own anymore and no matter what I said about enjoying my reading time she would bug me till I socialised a bit!

As you can well imagine, I had no idea how to handle this!  So I went home and asked my social butterfly husband who suggested it wouldn’t hurt me to actually talk to people.

The rest, as they say, is history!

Her and I will be friends till the day we die, and know we have each others back!

I met four other awesome women in Coopy, and seeing them always makes my heart sing!

So, how does this relate to my current need to show what I love about my dairy life?

The people.

It takes a special kind of person to be a dairy farmer, and it takes a special kind of person to be true friends with a dairy farmer! 

To paraphrase something I read on Facebook, dairy farming – ruining weekends and social plans since forever!

A lot of the people I have come in contact with since we started milking cows around here have become good friends.  Mostly because hubby is like that I guess!

And no matter what our perception of the the publics perception, they do appreciate what happens to create the dairy products they love – if we show them.  My time at Coopernook showed that to me.

And if it hadn’t been for our desire to leave the situation we were in and try to make a dairy life for ourselves, I would be totally unaware how awesome having true friendships really are!

So here’s to the unexpected pleasures that come with milking cows!

Simple Pleasures

After my last post, I’ve decided to highlight the joy I find in a job that can be very hard physically and emotionally.

Today, sunrise.

Without fail, the sun comes up every morning!  And although we desperately need rain, the sunrises on these cool winter mornings lately have been spectacular.

The most intense reds and oranges.

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I am the calf rearer.  This picture was taken from the spot I feed the bigger calves next to the dairy.

And there has been a planet just above the horizon of a morning.  I’m not sure what it is, but when the moon was also there last week it was quite eerie.

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I consider myself fortunate I get to witness the renewal dawn brings almost every day.

Especially these cool mornings, when the sun peaks over the horizon, I close my eyes and feel the warmth grow on my face.

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Once the sun comes over the hill it rises fast, bringing with it a joyful feeling that today will be a great day.

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The odd light frost settles on the flats but quickly melt away.

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The calves like to find a sunny spot after their feed.

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I feel sorry for those who are still in bed at daybreak. They don’t know not what they miss.