Category Archives: A Rocky Life

Sold – and how do you pack a bowerbird?

G’Day Mob,

So this is it, the very last post from Rocky Springs Rambles.

Thanks for being part of the adventure dear Mob.

You have been with me through drought and rains.

You have seen animals born and animals lost.

You may have smiled or laughed or cried – I know I have.

Only one of you ever offered to take two fox terribles off my hands (though I suspect that was only to replace them with something equally sinister).

You now know what a tractor pull is about – and a hangi.

You have been there when I have visited New Zealand and outback Queensland, talked me out of buying 285,000 acres and not talked me out of buying an opal mine.

We’ve been fencing and droving and mustering cattle. We tried to get fat Manfred up a race. We’ve been kicked in the cattle yards, and left Brian stranded up a tree. We turned Rocky Springs into a brewery one month, and a winery a few months later.

We’ve ridden horses, fallen off horses and said goodbye.

We’ve had too many dogs.

You’ve met the wonderful folk of Coolatai – and their panther.

On our days off we have been fishing, paddled a canoe, jumped fox terribles at the Warialda Show and been to the local races. We might have enjoyed a beer or two at the Wallaroo. And you can’t forget that the Aussies beat the Kiwis in the dog trials. We will not talk about rugby union.

We’ve had plenty of visitors, including, touched as we still are, Chester the Wonder Whippet.

And now it’s over. We have packed and moved out. On my last day I retrieved 121 stainless steel nuts from the bowerbird’s bower. I thought about shoving him in a box as well, but why should I deprive the new owners of his thieving antics.

Farewell Mob – it’s been my pleasure.

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A Dinner Invitation

G’Day Mob,

In keeping with the ocean theme of the last few weeks I thought I would dig out this tale from a couple of years ago, but firstly you need to meet a few more of the Coolatai characters.

144 Coolatai Panther sign

Col you have already come across as he stumbled down the dungeon with us. Then there is Reg who builds small planes (, which we may, or may not, have referred to as flying lawn-mowers in the past.  And then there are Al and Lis, who run one of the finest properties in the district.

Ever since Al found out Brian used to be an abalone diver he has been nagging. What’s an abalone? What do they look like? What do you they taste like? I’ve never tried one. I want to try one, Brian. All this delivered with incessant clapping of the hands and an increasing volume of voice.

So Brian relented.

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Brian’s Chooks

G’Day Mob,

Think of a farm and one of the images that may spring to mind is chickens and fresh eggs.

Not at Rocky Springs.

We have never kept chooks for 4 very good reasons:

  • Snakes
  • Goannas
  • Foxes
  • Fox Terriers

Then Brian had one too many red wines. Continue reading

Head to Water

G’Day Mob,

Is there something in an Aussie’s DNA that sends him in search of water? Is it the pull of the moon, the long days in a dry country, or just the need to celebrate a watery life with friends and family?

133 browne

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The Mob

G’Day Mob,

Currently this is our Mob – or herd:

 131 NAMES

Rocky Springs has, in a good season, carried up to 600 cattle but at the moment this is it. Nine. Plus three calves. The remainder of our mob are either on agistment on local stock routes or down south Mandurama way.

The grass may look green after summer rain but no-one in this part of the country is confident of saying the drought is over. If we continue to get good rain over the next few months we will consider re-stocking Rocky Springs, which obviously is our preferred option, but until then let me introduce you to the Pet Mob.

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Merry Storm Season

G’Day Mob,

Merry Storm Season

128 poinciana

While you may be listening to carols wherever you are in this wonderful world, I am listening to rain on a tin roof – perhaps the greatest of Christmas gifts.

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Note to Self

G’Day Mob,

Today I came across this photo from April this year and I am posting it as much for myself as for you.

DSC_0329 ed

It reminds me that although the paddocks are currently telling me otherwise, I know it will rain again.

Run of Luck

G’Day Mob,

Sometimes you’ve got to wonder what you’ve done to upset the universe. This was our week back in January 2012 ………………. Continue reading

The Promise of Rain

G’Day Mob,

Farmers are a stoic breed, used to the dry spells that characterise their profession and determine their future, and the weather is never far from their minds.

How are you?                          “Yeah, not bad. Could use a drop of rain though.”

What have you been doing?   “Ah, not a lot. Dry innit?

How are the cattle faring?      “Pretty good. Wouldn’t mind some green tucker.”

And what about the grass?     “Dryin’ off. Nothin’ two inches of rain wouldn’t fix.”

They talk little about the drought that most always stalks them.

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