Saturday 28 July 2012

Taking Away and Rotational Grazing

On Thursday afternoon after being worked in the yards all morning (drafted, dipped, branded, tagged, castrated) the bulls, bullocks, steers, weaners, heifers and cows were 'taken away' to their new home.

'Taking away' is when the cattle that were mustered and then worked in the cattle yards  are taken back out to a paddock.

As is the case here they go to a new paddock as the station practices rotational grazing which means the cattle move paddocks each muster so each paddocks has a chance to grow new grass before it is used again. It depends on the season how long the paddock goes without cattle but it is around 3 - 6months but every couple of years it has a longer break. This practice means the station is holding less than capacity numbers of cattle but there is more feed and better feed so fatter happier cattle. It also lasts longer when there is no rain. Not eating the place out also prevents erosion. The downside in a good season though is with all that grass comes fire like here.

Now the best part, some photos of Boss R, Boss H and Miss E taking cattle away to Paradise Lagoon Paddock on Thursday. They brought the cattle right past the houses to get there.




Lonesome Cowboy

This is Buffit.
Buffit is a stubborn pony that all the kids here have ridden at some stage or another. She seems to sense when it is working time and has managed, for years, to either be in foal or have a foal just in time to miss out on all the fun.

On Friday afternoon she was saddled up again, if she was human there would have been sighs and eye rolls I swear but being a horse she instead decided cantering away was a better option and when that didn't work her stubborn head went down and mouth clamped shut in a hope that all attempts at putting on her bridle would be given up on. It didn't work.

She stood quietly while being brushed down and while her saddle cloth and saddle were put on and adjusted. She stood patiently while kids lathered attention on her and Miss S plaited her mane to 'keep it out of her eyes.' She even stood still while Mr E mounted (was half thrown aboard by his father) and decided to obey some instructions while walking around the horse yards. Then it was time to go.

Buffit and Mr E headed off trailing behind Miss E on Diamond and Boss H and Boss R on their horses. They started to follow the track down to the cattle yards. As they rounded the corner of the horse yards Buffit started to display her well know stubbornness by deciding this wasn't going to be as much fun as she thought and heading in the opposite direction despite all of Mr E's efforts. Boss R eventually had come back and grab her halter to encourage her (lead her) down to the cattle yards. Luckily his horse Sandy is the fairly patient kind that will put up with things like this.

To fast forward a bit I had been watching for the cattle and riders to come past as photo opportunities like there aren't usually so close. After snapping away as they headed to Paradise Lagoon (a paddock here) I dawdled my way back to my quarters taking more photos along the way (wouldn't be me if I didn't). As I wandered I swore I could hear someone crying every now and again. I had noticed Mr E was missing from the riders but thought nothing of it as maybe I had missed seeing him or maybe he had been sent home. Well that crying sounded like him. I headed off down to the cattle yards following the woeful howling and as I came out of the trees there is Mr E sitting on his saddle, bridle and saddle cloth in his arms looking rather dejected, no Buffit in sight. After being asked what was wrong and being told that if he ever got lost all he would have to do is make noise like that and he would be found, he and I headed back to the houses. Mr E dragging along a bridle and saddle cloth and me lugging a saddle.

Buffit it turns out decided she really didn't want to do this working caper and decided to suck her gut in so the saddle went up her neck. Nimble Mr E managed to get off before falling off and as a result Miss Buffit got exactly what she wanted, her saddle and bridle removed and her freedom as she was let out with the cattle. Mr E was then instucted to walk home while the remaining three riders took the cattle away not before being told to 'get behind the cattle,' as his red shirt was baulking them. In amongst the confusion, dust and noise of getting the cattle away from the yards he misheard and thought, in his 6yr old mind, that he was told 'to go and get his saddle' (can you see the similarity of statements?). The dejected looking 'Lonesome Cowboy' I came upon, a few meters from the cattle yard gates, thought he had to drag his saddle home by himself and was crying his heart out because after a couple of meters and trying his best the saddle was too heavy. He so wanted to please and get his saddle home.

The lesson learnt from this event was when close to home come and ask for help.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Terrible Tuesdays

Tuesdays would have to be our busiest day of the week. They are jam packed with on airs and someone is always on the phone, or so it seems. Miss S still thinks Mondays are the worst however I think that has more to do with them just being Monday. 

As they are so overloaded and hectic I thought I would give you the Tuesday run down.

Note that the time increments change according to how busy we are.  My On Air time table in the schoolroom is in 15min increments up until smoko and then changes to half hour.

 Reading Lessons are 15min, Learning Support Lessons are 1/2 hour and On Air with teachers are 1hour. We fit everything around these lessons from papers to meal breaks.

  • Start school: date change, Mr Yr1 does yesterday, today and tomorrow, 
  • Spelling: look, say, cover, write, check and spelling revision activity
  • Maths revision activity
  • Miss Yr 7 On Air lesson with class teacher
  • Mr Yr 4 on air learning support
  • Miss Yr 4 Maths
  • Mr Yr1 Maths
  • Miss Yr 7 On Air lesson with class teacher
  • Mr Yr 4 Maths
  • Miss Yr 4 Maths
  • Mr Yr 1 On Air Reading (until 9:15am)
  • Miss Yr 7 On Air lesson with class teacher
  • Mr Yr 4 Maths
  • Miss Yr 4 Maths
  • Mr Yr 1 Maths

  • Miss Yr 7 Maths
  • Mr Yr 4 Maths
  • Miss Yr4 On Air reading lesson 
  • Mr Yr 1 Maths
  • Miss Yr 7 Maths
  • Mr Yr 4 On Air reading lesson
  • Miss Yr 4 Maths
  • Mr Yr 1 Maths
  • Smoko
  • Multiplication Practice
  • Miss Yr 7 Maths (and if we get lucky some English to)
  • Mr Yr 4 Maths / English
  • Miss Yr 4 Maths / English
  • Mr Yr 1 Maths / English
  •  Miss Yr 7 On Air Japanese
  • Mr Yr 4 English
  • Miss Yr 4 English
  • Mr Yr1 On Air with class teacher
  •  Miss Yr 7 On Air Japanese
  • Mr Yr 4 English
  • Miss Yr 4 English
  • Mr Yr1 On Air with class teacher
  •  Miss Yr 7 English
  • Mr Yr 4 On Air with class teacher
  • Miss Yr 4 On Air with class teacher
  • Mr Yr1 English
  •  Miss Yr 7 Lunch
  • Mr Yr 4 On Air with class teacher
  • Miss Yr 4 On Air with class teacher
  • Mr Yr1 Lunch
  • All on lunch
  •  Miss Yr 7 On Air Maths tutorial for Yr 7
  • Mr Yr 4 Lunch
  • Miss Yr 4 Lunch
  • Mr Yr1 CLC
  •  Miss Yr 7 SOSE / Science depending on what we are up to
  • Mr Yr 4 CLC/ Science
  • Miss Yr 4 CLC/ Science
  • Mr Yr1 CLC and playing
This last session of the day can last varying amounts of time and depends on each child. Mr Yr 1 is usually done around 2pm on Tuesday while Mr and Miss Yr 4 are usually done at around 2:30/ 3pm. Miss Yr 7 tries to be done by 3:30pm. We try do do something fun afterwards, if we have time like art/craft, games or cooking. Sometimes though the kids just want to run around outside or bury themselves in the t.v for a while.

During the day we also fit in 'own reading' and 'own writing' when ever it works in best.

As I said Terrible Tuesday.

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Station Monday

Monday got off to a rocky start which may or may not have come about from a change in routine. Then again it could have just been the MATHS ... as Mr Yr4 said at smoko "I don't like maths it is hard but I am kinda good at English, I like it better." Hmm I think it most definitely is in the attitude but then again maths is pretty tricky as far as they are concerned. Meanwhile Miss Yr 7 is acing algebra with no thanks to me that is for sure and Mr Yr 1 has certainly got direction under his belt. 

Smoko is always the turning point with Maths shelved all are a little more eager in their work well except for all the writing according to Mr Yr 1. He however has been loving looking at the 'Willy' books by Anthony Browne and is eager to see more. The Mr and Miss in Yr4 think that Folk Tales are a breeze and Miss Yr 7 is speeding through Ned Kelly faster than a bullet from a gun.

For those who were keen (which was all) and those finished work at a reasonable time (which was not all) modelling with clay was on offer. We ended up with a dinosaur and an elephant all slimed up and smoothed out by water of cause. They can now be found sun baking, well moon backing given the time of day, on the schoolroom veranda for painting at a later date.

As shadows grew long and sun began to sink Boss R and Boss H rode their tired mounts back past the houses after a day our mustering in the mud. Tack was stowed and horses were rinsed down and let go. Now that brings me to the end of a station Monday.

Monday 23 July 2012

A Moment In Time

These photos from Friday were taken within the same minute to show the happenings in our schoolroom in one moment in time.

Mr T painting

Mr R and Miss R watching a video for English

Mr E looking through "Willy the Champ"

Miss S being very constructive and sharpening her pencil.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Jeans and Things

Well it is official, I think I've gone a little nuts. I must have because I think deciding to take photos of my jeans as I fold the washing must make me certifiable. But then again they were so pretty, all that blue piled up. Did I mention I like blue?

Well that started me off on a photography binge, which is when I spend many, many, many moments just wandering around taking random photos of things that catch my eye, no purpose involved just relaxing and fun.

Then it was sunset and I can't resist taking photos of that.

Oh, and the moon showed its face and boy is it happy to see us.

Note: My uniform of choice at the moment is jeans so I wash a lot of them. They are hardy, WARM and they don't collect prickles in the wash like track pants do.