Its not all excitement but always interesting, even watching Australian The Voice and Masterchef for the first time! We needed to take the battery out of the Grader to put into the truck so we could go and check Junction Well on our own. The former is a huge piece of kit used to skim the surface of the tracks to smooth them after rain and successive tyres have created ruts and gulleys along their length. The state will grade the main track once a year but Jake has to do it the rest of the time as well as all the other tracks on the station. It is almost like painting the Forth Rd Bridge.
We enjoyed our trip out to the well and checked the boundary with the less-than-neighbourly neighbours. Fortunately there was nothing amiss and were able to confirm that the cattle we saw seemed fit and well. We also saw a group or school of kangaroos (not sure of the collective noun for these) at least 8 of them, boinging off across the skyline.
In the afternoon I helped Frankie assemble 2 Ikea chests of drawers for the nursery whilst Roger got to grips with the welder. The following morning we assembled the dresser unit and wardrobe whilst Frankie cleaned out the cars. All the routine stuff still has to be done on an outback station.
By 4pm we realised it was a bank holiday, not that it mattered much, all the days merge into one, none distinctive from another by their title, just the activity. We were sent on a walk and being a beautifully sunny afternoon we didn’t desist. We walked along the creek in the opposite direction to previously. Our plan had been to turn off and head north before switching back to head to the runway from where we could have a super view of the sunset. We trekked off from the creek bed into the undergrowth which we wouldn’t have dared do a week ago, suspecting deadly snakes at every step. Whilst we still need to be vigilant and careful this place isn’t quite as dangerous as we anticipated.
The danger isn’t so much from nature but from ourselves. We managed to walk round in a complete circle despite thinking that we were using the sun for guidance. Fortunately we were still within a stones throw of the homestead so were able to get back on track for the airfield with our trusty canine friend Banjo, who must have wondered where on earth we though we were going. He headed home several times then realised we hadn’t followed so came back to ensure our safety.
The route up the runway was well worth the walk. The land is surprisingly flat around here, I expected higher hills although I’m not sure why. It is really a high plain with gullies cut through from water wear and tear. We watched the sun sink onto the horizon and were very surprised to see an almost ‘contra-sunset’ in the east. I’m sure someone knows what the phenomenon was that we were observing. We set off back as the sun sank below the countryside, not wanting to get caught outside in what becomes pitch dark as we hadn’t taken a torch, again!
The following day we built another raised bed after collecting discarded posts from another dump, this one had previously been a wooden fenced stockyard unlike the current metal ones. The soil is very poor and tends to be almost resistant to water as it runs off unless there is a slow steady seepage so she wants to add some manure (of which there is plenty!) to give it some substance. Lamby has been excluded from all his favourite vegetables and citrus tree leaves. The only unprotected trees have either been stripped to lambs head height or are lemon trees, his least favourite. So he thought he’d move onto the pink flowered plant in the bed we were creating. I’m not sure what it is but the flowers are almost identical to bizzy lizzies and the leaves are obviously tasty! Frankie seemed very pleased with it. Our next task was decorating the main bedroom. We had done too good a job of the guest room and now seem to have a reputation to diminish or we’ll end up doing far too much painting!
We are still intact after nearly 10days here in the outback. The snakes seem to be as rare as we were led to believe and the spiders have only put in occasional appearances. I was unsure of the beastie outside the bedroom today. Initially I thought it was a spider but it didn’t seem quite right as well as lacking a pair of legs. I wasn’t prepared to get close enough to it to give scale but the body is actually about 4cm long! We had to get Frankie for identification who informed us it was a wasp! Nothing is normal out here, apart from the flies and mosquitoes!