JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

I am fifty something and I love my family and the life I live. I'm an optimistic person by nature and I try to find a positive for every negative. I'm not a vegetarian, but the animal I eat is. I enjoy cooking, photography and scrapbooking. Since living here I have become a gardener and take immense joy in the beauty of my garden. My husband and I feel that we are the caretakers of the land rather than land owners. We run a grass fed Droughtmaster Stud on our little piece of Paradise and the cattle are a never ending supply of photo opportunities.

Friday, 28 March 2014

The gardener will not be impressed!

There is nothing like the smell of fresh hay around the garden.  We buy hundreds of bales of sugar cane mulch to build up the soil and to keep the weeds at bay.  It works a treat because wherever the hay has been laid the worms abound.
T, our gardener, spent a good part of this week laying out mulch in readiness for the dry season…….. although looking outside the window today you would think it will never be dry again.  T has planted a row of Ivory Curl trees along both sides of the circular drive….about 40 trees all up and they will be spectacular in a few years time when they start flowering.  This is what they look like.
They way the driveway is situated one of the rows of trees is quite close to a fence line and yesterday afternoon the weaner bulls found the hay around the new trees.  Didn't they have a whale of a time!  Of course they can only reach in so far before the barb wire starts digging in but that does not deter them.  We are at a loss to know why the cattle would want to eat the mulch hay but we suspect it is because of the dryness of the hay. The grass is very lush at present but probably "too" lush.  A few weeks of dry weather will solve the problem.
Here are some photos of the little devils.

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The barbed wire is almost in this fellows eye but it doesn't deter him!

If you can't go over it lets go through it!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Stick Insect and Three Day Sickness

Yesterday I found a stick insect in the work shed.  He was sitting on an old rag so I thought I would pick him up and place him on the tree fern.  Big Mistake!  They have nippers…..big nippers…that latched onto my finger with a vengeance!  For goodness sake, I was only trying to help the fellow!  I did manage to get him onto the tree fern with the aid of a rag and then decided to take a photo of those nippers.  Here is the result…



On a different note, we have had 186mm of rain in the past three days  (over 7 inches) and it is inevitable with that much rain that we will have cattle go down with three-day sickness.  It is usually not life threatening if you just leave the animal alone to recover.  
This morning I had to move cattle from one paddock to another and one of the calves was lying down away from the mob.  I knew as soon as he tried to get up that he had three-day.  They become very stiff in the joints and obviously find it difficult to move.  I decided to leave the calf behind but it had other ideas.  It is sad to watch him.  He wants to be with the other cattle (and mum) and it is only a few hundred metres to the next paddock but so far he has only moved a quarter of the way and he has a big hill to ascend.  I'm just leaving him alone. Mum will eventually come back to look for him and hopefully she will encourage him the rest of the way.

I'm sure he's thinking "Oh boy.  How am I going to get up that hill"

"May as well make a start"


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

White lip green frog.

This little fellow was waiting for us on the back steps after we had been away overnight.  He stayed there all day as we walked up and down the stairs but come nightfall he hopped away and we haven't seen him since!
I'm quite fond of these little fellows even though they leave their excrement everywhere on the verandah.  But that is forgiven as they devour the insects that make their way inside our house even though we are completely screened.
We haven't seen too many of the white lipped frogs this summer and I can't really explain why.  Perhaps there was just too much rain around for them.




Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Nice to see green.

We drove out to the properties at Julia Creek last week.  What a difference a month makes.  Instead of the brown burnt looking country of two months ago we were now driving through green pastures with cattle (albeit not many) happily grazing.  There has been some good rain in the north west of Queensland but everyone is looking to the sky for follow-up.  Unfortunately the rain has been patchy with some places receiving very little.
The average rainfall for our properties is 462mm.  So far this year we have had 164.5mm with the long term average to date being 192.5mm so we still have some catching up to do.
However, we drove around the properties to have a look at the stock and we were very pleased with what we saw.  The cows are starting to pick up condition and the calves are strong.
We have the auction of the properties on the 1st May and we are pleased that we will be able to offer them "grassed".  We are also very pleased that the rivers have run through our properties and all the waterholes are full.  Not that water has ever been an issue for us.  We are very fortunate to have four good flowing artesian bores on the three properties.
Here are some photos I took while we drove around the places.






Sunday, 2 March 2014

An enjoyable social life.


On Friday night we drove down to Cairns (an easy hour drive) for the Dell Shannon/Roy Orbison tribute performance.  What a great night.  I swear it really was Roy Orbison up on that stage….it certainly looked like him and he definitely had the same mannerisms, but sadly we all know that Roy Orbison died in 1988.
Prior to the show we had dinner at the award winning Ochre Restaurant.  We treated ourselves to the three course dinner special and we were not disappointed. I highly recommend this restaurant. The Ochre Restaurant Menu features Australian native ingredients including Davidson Plum, Quondong, Wattle Seed and Lemon Myrtle to name a few.  Hubby and I both recommend the Pork Belly and Scallops!
Tonight we are having dinner at Hogs Breath Cafe to celebrate my brother-in-laws birthday.  We will also catch up with hubby's mum who has travelled up from Magnetic Island.
We have booked into a motel tonight because early tomorrow morning we will make the long journey to Julia Creek.  We will go via Townsville and the trip will take more than 12 hours.
We are going to have a good look around the properties to decide whether they look good enough to take to auction.  The places have officially been "on the market" since October and we have had numerous inspections and enquiries -  even though the places have been in drought.  The properties are in a good area that is reasonably safe when it comes to drought but unfortunately 2013 let us down.  It is, however, very rare for us to have two drought years in a row.
We have had some very useful rain in the past couple of weeks but none of the big falls that have been around.  Our biggest rainfall was 47mm two weeks ago but our son tells us that the stock look good.
I will fly home on Wednesday and hubby will drive home when he has finished all the jobs that son has  lined up….hopefully by the weekend.
The photos I want to share with you today are the weaners that we have been tailing out.  They are now officially "teenagers".





Saturday, 1 March 2014

Postponed Photography Outing

I love living where I live.  I've probably said that a zillion times before and I really do have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure that I am not dreaming.  We live in one of the most beautiful places in  Queensland?…..Australia?……dare I say….. the world?  I am told by the locals that Julatten was voted by National Geographic as the second best place to live in the world……don't know who was first place, but it is a big call.  However, anyone who has visited our place could probably believe it.  We have so many amazing places right at our back door and I don't think in a lifetime we could possibly visit them all!
Today was photography group monthly meeting with a trip to Spring Creek as a planned outing.  Unfortunately the rain came in and washed away our plans but as we sat cosily under one of our members "lean-to" tent we had a good old chin wag over a nice hot cup of tea and talked about the places that we are going to visit in the near future.  Places like Spring Creek Falls, Mowbray Falls and another walk into Mary River Falls.  Places that are within a thirty kilometre radius of where we live!
So, although we didn't get any photographs today we still enjoyed the day immensely.

A dry spot for a cup of tea!

Spring Creek