Hi everyone! I'm Ollie the six month old Australian cattle dog. I love living here at Fernglade Farm as there is always so much fun stuff going on. Check me out, I look all curious, intelligent, and stuff:
|Ollie the Australian cattle dog looks all curious, intelligent and stuff|
Circumstances haven't always been so rosy for me. Being an intelligent dog with my own opinions means that I enjoy having thoughts on stuff. In the first six months of my life, people were yelling at me, beating me, and locking me in small cages (I'm a big dog, you know). Back then my owners wanted me to chase around cattle all day long. I've got thoughts about cattle you know, and I reckon cattle are stupid. There you go, I've said it. Do cattle eat bones? No, of course they don't eat bones. Cattle dogs eat cattle bones, so I rest my case, and my logic is flawless.
Unfortunately, my free thinking ways didn't impress my former owners as much as it impresses myself. They wanted a cattle dog that chased around stupid cattle all day long, and I had a secret longing for cuddles... One day early in my cattle dog career I was faced with the choice of being shot or put up for adoption at an animal shelter. My former owners were embarrassed about my not so secret desire for cuddles. Cuddles are good aren't they?
Forget about them, boring. One day I was in the animal shelter after having been through a procession of foster homes, and who walks in? I dunno, who did walk in that day? Oh, that's right it was Chris and the Editor, and they were looking to take home a new dog. I put on my nicest smile, and the rotters said something unpleasant like: "He's a bit big don't you reckon, and didn't we want a female dog?" Fortunately for me, the other dog there was even bigger, and also a male, and so I used the full force of my fluffy mind powers and it went something like this:
Ollie Wan Kenobi: [with a small wave of his tail] You don't need a smaller dog.
Stormtroopers Chris and the Editor: We don't need a smaller dog.
Ollie Wan Kenobi: I am the dog you're looking for.
Stormtroopers Chris and the Editor: You are the dog we're looking for.
Ollie Wan Kenobi: You can take me for a walk.
Stormtroopers Chris and the Editor: We can take him for a walk.
Ollie Wan Kenobi: Walkies.
Stormtroopers Chris and the Editor: Walkies... Walkies
Chris and the Editor soon fell under the spell of my fluffy mind powers, but I almost blushed on leaving that adoption centre when the nice person there said that I was very hard work and they offered an extension on the cooling off period. And rather shockingly, a phone number for dog psychiatric / behavioural assistance. An outrageous slur on my good character and distinguished breeding. Whatever!
Fortunately at Fernglade Farm I learned that I only have to occasionally chase off marsupials and deer from the orchard to the property boundary. I have to remember not to annoy Chris and the Editor. And I also kill rats and mice. Easy. And there are no stupid cattle roaming around. Have you ever spoken to cattle? I didn't think so!
Life is good here, except for thunderstorms. At least Scritchy taught me to hide under the bed whenever there is a thunderstorm. I can barely fit under the bed, but I am nothing if not determined.
|Ollie the cattle dog hides under the bed during a recent thunderstorm|
The first time I did something really naughty here - and who doesn't love a bit of naughtiness every now and then? Well, the Editor yelled at me and Chris tapped me gently with a wooden spoon in front of all of the other dogs. I cowered in fear and, well, I wet myself again. I thought for a moment I was back with the scary humans and their boring cattle...
Scritchy is teaching me how to be a proper fluffy. It involves lots of training and she is constantly issuing instructions. I do my best to please Scritchy.
|Scritchy the boss dog teaches young Ollie how to be a proper fluffy|
|I love my Scritchy boss dog, says Ollie|
|Sir Scruffy, Mr Toothy, and Ollie all enjoy a quiet moment after a hard days work around the farm|
PS: I am feeling more confident now and have not wet myself in ages.
Hi everyone! Chris takes back the blogging duties.
I've had an unfortunate case of the flu this week, and it is not any old man flu, but the full on hard core flu. And I have not felt good at all. Despite all that suffering, time waits for no man and a water tank that we had had on order for about a month chose this week to arrive at the local irrigation shop. We picked up the water tank and brought it back here using the bright yellow trailer.
|The new water tank sits outside the living room waiting to be moved to its permanent location|
|My flu addled state did not produce pretty welds, but they sure are functional!|
|The tank site is excavated so that it is more or less flat and level|
|The rock crusher dust is spread so that it is perfectly flat (screed with a level stick)|
|The new water tank is then placed onto the bed of rock crusher dust|
Despite the hot and dry autumn, the plant growth has been phenomenal. If you turn your back on some of the garden paths even for a week or so, a jungle rapidly takes them over! The editor has been busy most weeks using her electric (solar powered!) hedge trimmer to hack back at the jungle. All of the cuttings get thrown into either existing or new garden beds. Some of those cuttings even take and start growing in their new locations.
|The editor has been using her electric (solar powered) hedge trimmer to keep the paths open|
|A fourth and final step was added to a new staircase which we had begun constructing only recently|
|Planned burn in the nearby Wombat State Forest|
|A planned burn just north of Blue Mountain out of Trentham|
|Smoke from a planned burn in the forest south of Daylesford|
Onto the produce! This week we harvested the melons. Unfortunately, I left the cantaloupes on the vine for about two days too long and the pesky Portuguese millipedes rapidly munched their way through the skins. The chickens were not bothered by the millipedes and the ladies enjoyed feasting upon the tasty melons which would otherwise have ended up in the kitchen. This cantaloupe was untouched and it tasted every bit as good as it smelled!
|Home grown cantaloupe is far superior tasting to the store purchased melons|
Water melon have been a great success here this year and I must have about ten huge cannon ball sized and shaped watermelons. They're very tasty too.
|Water melon! Tasty as - and so many melons...|
We've been inundated with various capsicums (peppers) and eggplants from the garden. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colours.
|Capsicum (peppers) and Eggplant come in all shapes and sizes|
With the exception of the citrus, and olives of course, the only other fruit on the trees now are the medlars. They make a pretty good jam / jelly. I won't speak too loudly, but one quince (the first grown here) is continuing to ripen on the tree.
|Medlars are some of the last of the summer fruit|
There are still tonnes of flowers growing about the place - and the insects are happy!
|A little wormwood flower hides underneath a comfrey leaf|
|Echiums are confused by the run of hot weather as some are producing flowers|
|A Californian poppy puts on a nice show|
|These varieties of geraniums always produce the finest flowers|
|Another fine geranium flower|
The temperature outside now at about 7.30pm is 15’C (59’F). So far this year there has been 158.8mm (6.3 inches) which is higher than last week's total of 158.6mm (6.2 inches).