New hens and a rooster...

Animal developments - we meet the new hens and rooster who are coming to live at Mooseys. And one of the new merino lambs has a rough start - welcome to Haru, this year's pet lamb.

 Peepng out from a Cream Delight flax.
Miniature Spring Daffodils

Monday 28th August

Yesterday I stayed home alone, ridiculously desperate to keep on painting the fence - as if there would only be one day warm enough! Hmm... But it was just as well - I heard much new-born lamb bleating. Keeping a discrete eye it was obvious that the ewe mother simply wasn't interested. After a couple of hours lamb had to be scooped up, put in our lamb creche, and started on the bottle.

While I was down the road trying to milk a penned mother ewe for colostrum (it isn't as easy as it looks) and getting the creche sorted, Stephen was out meeting our new hens and rooster. We are going to get them next weekend. Suddenly we have heaps more animals!

Our New Pet Lamb

New-born lamb (a girl) is called Haru - Japanese for spring - and today she and I have been bonding. Little and often with the lamb milk, and a few walks around the Frisbee Lawn with Rusty the dog and some very curious cats. Expect some cute photographs very soon.

Most of the day she's been in the creche and I have been on and off painting the fence. And guess what? I think I have finished! I love the terracotta colour - it's very cheerful and warm, a good garden colour. I have followed my own advice - never pick a fence paint the same colour as the mulch!

 Spring yellows.
Daffodils in the Grass

I've gone apres-gardening rather early (I had terracotta streaks in my hair). Oh well - time to write a list, and play some Bach on the piano, before the next lamb feed. Tomorrow my roses behind the septic tank can be tied back in place on the sturdily repaired and most professionally painted fence. There will then be much room for new shrubs - perhaps a fragrant theme? Let me get listing...

List for Tomorrow

  1. Tie down Septic Tank roses.
  2. Shrub plantings for Septic Tank Garden.
  3. Prune Ballerina roses.
  4. Finish Dog-Path Garden tidy-up.

What a modest list!

Tuesday 29th August

Oops. Totally forgot there was a list. I've had a stock-taking day, one where I mooch around a bit, feeling slow and happy, lucky to be able to lead such a peaceful, rewarding life.

Fred - Last Year's Pet Lamb :
Last year Fred the pet lamb came to live here when he was about five weeks old. He was pushy and 'boysy', with a terribly insistent bleat. Fred the wether is now peacefully grazing in the back paddock.

This year's pet lamb Haru is thriving. She has been with me lamb-gardening for most of the morning (I've been scratching and weeding in the Frisbee Garden). Rusty the dog and I have gone around the block on the bicycle, and now I am off to sit in the beautiful sunshine with a cup of tea, my book, and my cats. Perhaps I should call it a talking-with-the-animals day!

Every year, near the start of spring, we have a Daffodil Day for the Cancer Society charity. Now my own daffodils are starting to flower - a few here, a few there, new ones every day. What little beauties! Time to stop and think, then give thanks. And the wonder of a two-day-old lamb - running so fast and bouncing so high, chasing after a blue-gumbooted gardener - so strong a life force. My goodness - I am so lucky!

 Fragrant, but few flowers this year - I need to take some cuttings.
Red Wallflower

Thursday 31st August

I am back for a full day's gardening today. Yesterday we went walking in the foothills, up Mount Alford. I tried to take photographs of the natural rockeries (full of astelias, celmisias, drachophylla, little whipcord hebes, and the scruffiest green flaxes ever seen outside the Moosey garden).

Mount Alford's Plants :
Nature always has the best designed garden rockeries!

Please note the word 'tried'. Somehow the New Zealand native green plants in their rightful place never produce good pictures - not for me, at least. I can do snow-covered mountains, though...

Today I am going to revisit the list rudely ignored two days ago. I will work my way through it, accompanied by Haru the pet lamb and whichever cats have got over lamb's sudden appearance by my side. During the day I will pick bunches of daffodils for the house and take photographs of daffodils for my journal. Thus August, the pre-spring month, will end on a positive note.