Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Saturday was Miss Hope's birthday... one year old! Doesn't seem that long since I was checking my computer every few seconds for news of the litter's birth and crossing my fingers for a little black tri girl. For that matter, it doesn't seem that long since I was about to burst waiting for her to be brought out at the ASCV show to come home!

It's been such a busy year and I can't imagine life without her - she's my babydoll, La's bestest friend and sister and Nic's sookie-sookie-nutbag. She is one of the sweetest and most joyous dogs I've known. She was such a dear little soul and that's been something that's followed through into her adulthood... above all else, she's a love, sweet as the sky is wide. We were entered in a show at Geelong but with the state of her coat (or utter lack of it, she looks more sable than tri at the moment) as well as general tiredness, needing to get things done around here and finally getting to pick up my cockrel on Sunday in Benalla (a solid three hours each way) I was way too buggered to get up that early! Poor Hopie, might have been nice if we'd won on her birthday! There was a big genetics testing thing too which would have been two birds with one stone but water under the bridge I suppose. Hopefully it just means that by the time her second birthday rolls around, she's filled in, her chest has arrived and she can strut out and do well!

Sunday we FINALLY, FINALLY after how many months got the cockrel! The fellow I bought him from is probably the best breeder of them in the country, he was showing me all his awards and at the Centenary show he took literally every ribbon and prize in the show for hen, pullet, roo, cockrel, pair, colour, breed and show. He's been breeding and showing for fifty years which is pretty amazing in and of itself to say nothing of having hands in creating a number of clubs, books etc. He and his wife were just so gorgeous, you couldn't want to meet nicer people! He took me around and showed me all his birds, showed me more of what to look for in pairing them and selecting which chicks to keep etc. My hen and pullet trace back to him apparently as well so he reckons they should work real well together with this boy. His wife was also the sweetest, warmest person... she's very crafty, does cake decorating, cross stitch, crochet, organic gardening, beautiful flowers in their garden and loves gardening etc. They'd started out in Doncaster and moved out to the country, slowly fixing up their old house. They loved period homes and didn't care for modern ones. It was so funny to find there was so many similarities! I told Nic on the way home it was so gorgeous seeing how much they loved and supported each other. They had nine grandchildren over the previous day, it just sounded so lovely having that big family get together and I told him I hoped it would be like us in the future.

As for the cockrel himself, I'm prejudiced of course and think he's absolutely gorgeous to watch strutting around and showing off! Hopefully now I'll get some chicks... my hen has just come back to lay in the past two days so I've told her to get busy! LOL My friend who bought bantams of the same colour and breed on the day I got my girls already has her first babies out of them!

Front shot - you can't see it very well but the black on his chest gleams an irridescent green

A better example of his colouring, very gorgeous boy!

After picking mister chook up, we went to Euroa and geeked around, stopped at the cafe, the local nursery where we got some more plants (this is a thing we've been doing, bringing back plants from all our weekend get aways and vacations as living momentos) La was really chuffed to be sitting in a regular chair at the cafe and thought it was just WAY too cool!
We also found this pretty little pull-off with a walking path that we went on. Nic snapped htis one of me watching Laurent pick flowers... probably the only photo I have of just myself, without a dog or baby or both in it!

He also snapped these two of La sharing his flowers he'd picked with me, telling me, "pretty purple trees mum!" (Well... close La! Not quite but close!)

It was near to a cemetary, which had the old ornate celtic style crosses. It was very pretty but rather sad as up against the fenceline was a bunch of graves from 1900-1920's belonging to small babies, 10 weeks old, 4.5 months old etc. One where the mum died in birth and the baby at 5 weeks old. It made me think of how lucky I am, I never had to routinely worry about my babies probability of seeing his first birthday you know or how many children I'd loose before they reached five. My biggest worry is if I'm parenting him in a way such as to nurture him to become the fullest expression of himself and self actuate. Such worlds of difference. It must have been so hard for mums back then!

Feeling a bit sad and very lucky, we went to the park and had a bit of a walk there near the river. Such a lovely little park and a nice place to reflect and talk.

The rest of this week, we've just been pruning trees. Yes, I know I've BEEN doing this for weeks now but look at what I'm up against!!!

These trees are taller than the house by a bit and not pruned in gawds knows how long! The only thing that gets left out of this mess are the actual trunks. The rest of those are SUCKERS and dead-wood that need removing!

To give an idea of difference, this is what a rhodenderon looks like AFTER it's cleaned up of endless suckers and deadwood! (Actually the one thin limb starting in the left and crossing over to the upper right still needed removing in this one.)

Heh. Here's another "before" shot! There is so much dead crud in here, stuff that needs thinning etc that the trees aren't actually blooming and they're killing themselves.

And another, this tree is also bigger than the house and longer than the car. It is one massive thicket of suckers! Our ladder reaches about halfway up what is shown in the picture. (Not including canopy which is out of the frame.)

Ditto for this one!

Each of these trees that we've done has been like these ones and each has taken a good 2-3 days of first pruning out the suckers, removing all the debris, the dead/useless branches, trimming out the medium sized branches that are under the canopy and not going to do anything but suck energy from the tree, remove large dead limbs etc. including climbing (in harness!) where the ladder is too short!

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