Silver Turkey Bush, Kilcowera Station, Outback Queensland.

 

We’ve had a great spring for the perennial wildflowers.  However there are very few annual wildflowers, as we didn’t get any follow up rain after the 55 ml we received in July.  And so far this spring all we have had is dry storms which have started bushfires.  About 30,000 acres of Zenonie has been burnt out.

The top picture shows Silver turkey bush which flowers profusely in late winter, it’s colours range from dark purple through to a nice lilac colour.  It’s very good at staking motorbike tyres!

Cassia or Broom Bush, Kilcowera Station, Outback Queensland.

The Cassias are next and they flower for months, this one we call broom bush or punty bush.

Then the Eremophilas start, the prettiest and showiest of them all is sturtii, common name in our neck of the woods is False Sandalwood.  Also Eremophyla maculata is pretty nice too.

Eremophylla sturtii, Kilcowera Station, Outback Australia.

The colours range from a pale pink through to dark lilac. When they get to the end of their flowering period the ground around is covered in blossom and the bush still has white bracts all over and looks like it has been frosted  This bush is considered to be a woody weed but redeems itself for a month or so each year by the display it puts on.Kilcowera Station, Thagomindah,  Eremophyla sturtii.

Eremophyla maculata, Kilcowera Station, Outback Australia.

Eremophyla maculata is poisonous to stock, but the birds love it!

Then the acacias start flowering and they are always spectacular.

This one is Acacia victoriae.

Acacia victoriae, Kilcowera Station, Thargomindah, Outback Queensland.

And this one we call dead finish, it’s super prickly and Zebra Finches really love building their nests in them for protection from predators.

Acacia tetragonophylla,  Kilcowera Station, Thargomindah,  Outback Queensland.

Other trees and shrubs flowering are the Leopard Trees, Whitewood, Needlewoods and the Bloodwoods should start soon.  All this means lots of food for the bees, insects and birds.  We also have an abundance of Bearded Dragons, Goannas and Emus around.

Lucy in the wildflowers, Kilcowera Station Outback Australia

Lucy in the wildflowers, Kilcowera Station, Outback Australia.

 

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Poddy Calves at Kilcowera

October 3, 2012

Angela with Spiderwoman

Angela with Spiderwoman

An inevitable fact of life on a station is the almost certain appearance of the Poddy Calf ( or poddy lamb!). We seem to get one or two a year.   It was all lots of fun when the girls were little and at home, to care for them – they loved them dearly.

Katherine, Angela and Wednesday

Katherine, Angela and Wednesday

The poor little things somehow lose their mother.  Occasionally she’ll die out in the paddock, sometimes during a muster the cow might leave the calf planted in the scrub and when she is taken back to the paddock she may have forgotten about the calf.  Or Mum might have gone on the truck and the calf wanders into the trough days later looking for her and finds us instead.  If it’s obvious that the calf hasn’t got a mother we’ll nab it, take it home and feed it.

And then there’s mismothering.  Sometimes it’s our fault, sometimes it’s the cows fault.  Most cows are great mothers but you do sometimes get some bad mothers or just a plain loopy cow.

If we are branding the calves they are put into a separate, small yard away from the cows , then branded and let straight back out to the cow who usually claims the calf, as quick as lightning.  Some of them are just about breathing down our neck as we’re putting their eartags in and the brand on their rumps!  After that it’s back out to the paddock where we hold them all together near a watering point, giving the calves and cows ample opportunity to mother up again.

But sometimes it just so happens that one or two don’t mother up and voila, we have a poddy.  They live in the chook yard while they are getting the special milk which we feed them via the big green cow and also calf pellets.  During the drought we also put the poddies in the shearers quarters yard as there was always plenty of grass for them there.

Poddies in the Shearers Quarters yard.

Poddies in the Shearers Quarters yard.

One year a neighbour gave us 8 poddies cause he couldn’t be bothered raising them.  That was about 6 years ago and since then the heifers have produced a calf each year and the steers were sold at about two years.  There was Delilah and Cinderella, so called cause they were so unfortunately ugly, Spindles had legs on her like match sticks, Rhonda named after his sister, Devondale cause it was white,  Kerry O’Brian who was white with a red patch on his cruet and Samson & Butterscotch.  We also went through a time when they were named Tuesday, Wednesday etc.

Eating their pellets.

Eating their pellets.

Years later if they are in the mob of cattle that we have yarded up they will still coming running up to us if we shake a bucket of pellets around.

And this is the current one – Sandra.

Sandra and the big green cow.

Sandra and the big green cow.