Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Cattle Drive

This morning, a little unexpectedly, I ended up spending a little time mustering cattle that had found their way into the back paddock. Surrounded on two sides by a creek with waterfalls, and lots of regeneration, I keep the back paddock locked up and try to keep stock out.

A couple of cracks of the whip and they were on the move.

The cracks of the whip echo along the creek, reflecting back in a dull rumble and sharp retort. Moisture on the tips of leaves shiver and coalesce. 

I always start these drives stalking along thinking about steak with mushroom, but I am easily distracted. As the cattle moved ahead, I was left to ramble along the creek listening to the birds and the water, past clumps of wildflowers, an ant nest dug over by an echidna, and the ruins of an old farm house.

Themeda - Kangaroo Grass

And a cairn of rocks, overgrown by native grasses and a tussock of snow grass, perhaps the last resting place of a shepherd from the old days

Less happily, on the way back some invasive weeds.  A group of Serrated Tussock and a couple of clumps of St John's Wort.  The Serrated Tussock has seed heads so has to be carefully cut out immediately and the seeds solarised. The wort can be pulled out by hand, but only if you are male. Hand contact is reputed to have a strange effect on females.

Serrated Tussock - note slight purple haze associated with seed heads

St John Wort

Peter Quinton
December 2014

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