Monday, March 4, 2013


A couple of weeks ago my brother Lionel and his wife Adele came to visit us from Qld. When there are blokes around, Frans uses the opportunity to do stuff that requires man power! We have an enormous stand of Cyprus Pine trees beside our chook shed. These form the boundary between us and our neighbours. The problem with these trees is that they are too big. The large limbs come tumbling down quite often. The last branch that came down rested on the 'solitary confinement cage' for at least a month. Frans and Lionel removed it and then decided to reduce future risk and remove another large limb that would possibly fall down sometime in the future.
I will let the pictures tell the story... 
Advice from below.  

Here's an idea... Let's support the tree limb with the ladder...
Oops... That didn't go too well! 
John's ladder... doesn't look too good. And the poor sick chook in the cage probably had a heart attack from the noise as the branch cracked and thumped it's way down! 
Oh dear... 
Frans' note to self: "aluminium ladders aren't that strong"!

But, I have to say, these men don't let one little mishap get them down. Where there are trees to conquer, they will not back down. Challenge number two: Remove a dead limb from the tree in the top paddock before the entire tree falls over.
First you anchor the limb with a rope to the car to guide the falling tree branch AWAY from the electric fence. 
Then you scoot up the ladder (a new replacement after a trip to town!) with a chain saw... carefully I might add! 
You cut the dead branch and it falls just where it was supposed to fall. No damage to the fence. Half an hour later and there's a big new pile of fire wood cut up and ready, after it has dried for a year.

After a big day in the yard, there's nothing like gathering around a fire for a feed of Potjie. (a South African stew cooked in a cast iron pot over a slow fire) We had ox tail mixed with some osso bucco cuts which was delicious. Our own beef of course. Lionel took this pic below just as the shadows were growing longer.
Once the potjie was done and we'd eaten, we sat around the fire and enjoyed the summer evening. 

It has been the hottest and driest summer in 10 years. This is our driveway. We have had 11 mm's since the beginning of December. We watch the weather forecasts and get excited when there seems to be rain about, but so far it just passes us by. Local farmers say that any rain now is not really good. The grass seeds will start sprouting and then burn up in the heat over the next few days. (this week we have predicted temperatures of above 30 for the entire week). The earliest farmers like the Autumn rains is St Patrick's Day. So we only have to wait another two weeks before we can get excited about the rainy season again.

Till next time... have a great week.

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