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.

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Wedge-tailed Eagle at Kilcowera Station, Outback Queensland.

Wedge-tailed Eagle at Kilcowera Station, Outback Queensland.

Firstly, I’ll just say this is a, scratching my head post, wondering what makes some people tick yarn.  We recently had 2 birdwatchers visit Kilcowera for a 2 night stay.  Two nights only gives you one full day on the place and with over 100,000 acres to drive around and just over 175 birds on our list, there is plenty to see and do.  For dedicated birders a 3 or 4 night stay is advisable and you’ll find birds like these – everywhere!

Cinnamon Quail Thrush at Kilcowera Station, Outback Australia.

Well this pair arrived at 8pm and were courteously taken down to our Shearers Quarters and shown their accommodation.  The next morning they tore off like a pair of skittish emus and drove a further 250 kilometres west of Kilcowera looking for a specific bird! They didn’t find it and arrived back at Kilcowera around 7pm. Head scratch, head scratch.  Their itinery the day they left here was to have a bit of a look around Kilcowera for an hour or so, then do Bindegolly and Bowra before spending the night at St George which is 600 k’s from Kilcowera.

Why did they bother visiting Kilcowera?   This must be twitcher behaviour?  Surely?

Major Mitchells Cockatoo, Kilcowera Station on the Dowling Track.

Aren’t these beautiful images?  Thanks to Nevil Lazarus for them and for visiting Kilcowera and spending quite a few days cruising around.

 

 

Benanga Creek flowing into Lake Wyara , March 2012 at Kilcowera Station.

Benanga Creek flowing into Lake Wyara , March 2012 at Kilcowera Station.

Driving home yesterday the radio presenter was telling her audience that she had had a bad week, a week not to be repeated.  She asked if her listeners would like to call in and share the good or bad stories of their last week.  So I got too thinking about my week and realised that I had had a rather interesting one.  So I will inflict it upon you too!!

I’ll start with Monday.

 It is still very wet around here and Greg has not been able to check on the agistment cattle in the Lake Paddock as he can’t drive out to the east.  Couldn’t even ride a bike out there. The airstrip had dried out sufficiently for me to take off, so I happily went to check things out in the little Skyfox.  Saw lots of cows, 4 bulls fighting and hanging around a trough which had no water in it.  Surely the idiots will poke off and find a drink somewhere!  There is water everywhere but in that trough!  The creeks out there all ran very big and the fences have been washed down again.  But the cows have not gone out that far –  yet, so hopefully they will stay on Kilcowera and not wander onto the National Park or the neighbours place.  Greg will get out there as soon as he can to fix the fences. I could not see any cattle tracks on the wrong side of the fence or cattle for that matter.

 What I did see however was thousands of pelicans on the islands on Lake Wyara, so they are back again, for the third year in a row.  Oh thank God that rotten, horrible drought is over!  I changed the oil in the plane when I landed and helped to feed the mickey bulls who are waiting to be put on a truck for the saleyards.

Tuesday saw me tootling up the road to do my weekly cleaning job for the elderly couple at Wathopa, an 80 kilometre round trip.   I swear I do a better job on cleaning house there than I do here!  That afternoon I was cleaning the quarters trying to get things ready for our visitors.  And repainting signs.

Wednesday – Greg drove me into town over the flooded and washed out Gerrygheroo Creek crossing and I caught a commercial flight to Toowoomba to pick up my abandoned mini bus.  But it wasn’t all smooth sailing as there was a storm over the TWBA airport so we had to land at the Oakey Military Base and be bussed to TWBA.

  Thursday – the fun part, shopping all day!  Buying such things as a new TV as the one that we had can’t go digital.  Oil filters, batteries, groceries, beer, wine, and a haircut were all on the agenda.  And then there is the packing of the bus, after all if you just keep throwing the stuff in you won’t get as much in, as you would if you are meticulous about it.  So I am.  I also went to a tyre place just to check that I had the correct amount of air in the tyres as I have a big load in  the poor little thing.

Friday –   I took the bus to a radio place and had a UHF radio installed in it.  Greg has been going to put one in ever since we have had it (a few years now), I buy the radios off ebay but they seem to get put into some other vehicle or bike.  So it’s done now!

More shopping, then drive to Dalby.  Friday arvo I am buying fruit and veg, and meat (yummy things like pork and chicken and fish and lamb – we get sick of beef!)  Just on dark and I have nearly finished packing the bus up, cold stuff in, with lots of ice blocks and the eskies taped up ready for the drive home tomorrow.   Keep checking the weather, the monsoon trough is heading further south every day and more cloud is coming in from the west, will I make it home before it rains again???

Saturday – Leave Dalby at 5am and drive straight through to St George, a quick stop for breakfast (a pie!) and to deliver our new  brochures to the Visitor information Centre.  More deliveries are made at Bollon, Cunnamulla and Eulo, some rain on the way but no worries and no water over the road to speak of.  The last 100 kilometers on our dirt road was a breeze even though I was seriously tired.  The contractors are back on the job at Gerrygheroo,  I hope they get it fixed this time, they have been working on it for months and then it rains and washes the crossing away again and they go away for two weeks and then it rains again….and the bloody road is closed once more – we don’t get any mail, visitors can’t get here, we can’t truck our cattle and so it goes on……………………..and on.

But all up a good week!

We call this the Red Hole and have a nice drive for visitors to get to it.

Drama in the bird world

January 20, 2012

 

Budgerigars at Kilcowera

Budgerigars at Kilcowera Station

We have had some wonderful photographers here over the years and seen some terrific images taken of the birds, scenery and wildlife.
Nevil Lazarus is one of my favourite visitors, he has been here a few times and loves the outback, often bringing friends with him. Last year he borought out his beer drinking team AKA, the navigator, the cook and the organiser. Leaving him to take his photos. Here are a few of them.

Brown Falcon with his dinner.

I think his prey is a little yellow throated miner, there are plenty of them around here.

Brown Falcon at Kilcowera Station, Outback Queensland.

Settling in with his little meal.

Brown Falcon and Willy Wagtail at Kilcowera Station, Outback Australia.

About to be attacked!

Brown Falcon and Foe!!  At Kilcowera Station, SW Queensland.

WTF!!  Cheeky little sod!  I don’t suppose the falcon was put off his meal by this litle fella.