Monday, September 17, 2012

Library Dividend

Attended the launch of the Library Dividend at State Library of Queensland today. Summary document is attached for those interested. Shows the economic alum of public libraries in Queensland. Proud to say that four of the images used were photographs taken when I have been traveling regionally in Queensland delivering professional development programs to public library colleagues. Check out pages 8,10,12 and the back cover. Can you guess which photos I took?

Rainbow bee eater

If I ever need reminding I just need to look back at the support of friends and loved ones this week while my mosaic bird was on display at Percolator Gallery in Paddington as part of the MAANZ Queensland 2012 Exhibition. So many friends called in to see my entry that I am overwhelmed by their support and love. Some people I saw while I was there, others I missed seeing in person, but I just wanted to say thanks to everyone....your being there for me was very much appreciated. I am still a little in awe of being awarded first place, but very proud and very much encouraged by all of the feedback I have had from so many people. So smiles all around from me.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jessie and Lily

There are two sheep on the farm that were hand raised in previous years.  These girls have become firm favorites as they are more prepared to let you approach them.    Jessie is a Black faced Suffolk, enjoys a chat and will take hay from my hand. Lily is a Merino, Border Leicester cross and the proud  mum of first baby lamb named in honor of a little red headed kid I went yo school with in Grade 3.  Lily's son has little flecks of orange on his legs, most visible when he bends down to suckle.  Because Lily is so calm around people, Roger too is learning to tolerate my being nearby, poking a camera in his direction and making little noises as I encourage him to look my way.  Needless to say, there are a few photos of Lily and Roger in my collection.

Baa baa black sheep

Baa baa black sheep has a lot to answer for.  In my opinion, sheep do not say "baa.". Lambs do not say "baa". Lambs calling for their mum do not say baa, nor do ewes looking for their lambs. So, what do they say? Maaaaaa.  Listen carefully and you might hear  Muuuum were are you? I am hungry/cold/lonely. Muuuuum, where are you? I need a cuddle.

Whopper egg

Waking up in the country is such a different experience to waking in the city.  There are bunnies outside the window, and sheep at the back door.  Chickens provide breakfast and the day passes in a blur as you tackle the jobs that  are ever present.....that said, how can feeding the sheep, taking hay to the cattle, collecting wood for the fire and collecting the eggs seem like a chore? Since mucking out the Chook Hilton, the girls have been doing us proud.  With 13 chickens, we are regularly collecting 8 - 12 eggs a day.  Second day of my visit I collected 8 eggs.  There were 7 normal eggs and one giant sized one.  Being intrigued at how a normal sized chicken could produce such a huge egg got me wondering so out came the scales and off I went.  Most eggs weighed in at 62-64 grams.  One weighed in at 67, but once I scraped off the chicken poo, yes these girls are genuine free range girls, it returned to an average weight of 64 grams.  As for my monster egg?  It weighed in at 105grams.  Truly a whopper - and yes, when I used it the next day I was proud to see a double yoker!

Spring is everywhere

Spring in Tasmania is a beautiful time of year.  Daffodils are pushing up through the paddocks, flowers are forming and trees are covered in blossom. For a city girl, there is nothing more joyful than seeing the sheep starting to have their lambs.  The paddocks are dotted with little specks of white and black, as new lambs nestle into mum for some protection from the early spring winds.  It amazes me that lambs become  independent so  quickly.   As soon as they arrive, mum cleans them up, then tripping over their long legs, totter along beside her, trying to suckle.  Incredible though it sounds they head but her nipples, to get the supply of milk going, then settle in for a quick feed. Time is of the essence as mum moves on regularly.  Often she settles them into a hillock in the grass, then leaves them to go and feed.  The lambs seem to know that to remain safe, they must huddle down and settle to await her return. The reunion is beautiful to see....little lambs standing bleating "muuuum, muuuuum" then when the time is right, a deeper reply that signifies the return of mum.  Watching the lamb run across to mum is guaranteed to bring a smile to my face so,  long as the lamb runs to the right mum.  She sniffs to check them out, so if they don't smell right, look out.  A lamb is easily bowled over by a head but from a temperamental ewe who is not prepared to feed the wrong baby. There have been a large number of twins born....while the Merino cross are cute, it is the little dark Black faced Suffolk lambs that I love.  Almost charcoal black, their color, will over time settle, so that as adults they will have the traditional black faces, with black stockings. Even from a few days old, the lambs will play.  Watching two young lambs meet each other for the first time is special.  They approach each other slowly and sniff nose to nose.  Once they become acquainted, King of the Castle, and Tiggy seem to be the favorite games.  With legs too long, and tails flapping, they gambol across the hill tirelessly....only stopping if mum calls them in. Sitting quietly on the hillside, watching the lambs in the sunshine is a favorite way to while away the afternoon.