All creatures great and small

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It’s been a busy week for the local vet with a lot of ‘stuff’ happening in the lane. Last weekend we had not one, but two, dead calves. It always makes me feel so sad to see a little black and white bundle lying in the grass and nine times out of 10 a sad and exhausted cow lying nearby. Sometimes it’s a false alert with the little ones just sleeping but you can normally see an ear twitching or a tummy rising and falling.

Not so this time.

Another cow, Mum to the other inert bundle, was licking this new calf desperately trying to get it to breathe but to no effect. The nurturing force must be strong in her as I saw the farmers having to shoo her away hours and hours later – she was determined! She was apparently a very young cow and this is often the outcome when they become pregnant too soon. She survived to be a Mum another day but sadly the other cow died with paralysis, quite common after a difficult calving.  All in all farming is a really really hard life, I’m sure those days when you have to pick up a dead calf or a full grown cow, these guys must wonder if there is another way to make a living and I’m not even going to get started about the 5am starts and the weather variations they have to work in….
Things will change down the lane this year as the young farmers lease runs out on the dairy farm and they have decided not to renew. Their parents have a farm and they will go and work alongside them instead. If no-one else locally is interested in renting a dairy farm it looks like it will be sold. Such a shame after several generations of the same family farming that land and yet another small dairy goes out of business. The land is not zoned for residential so we are not likely to be surrounded by building blocks any time soon. There are 3 separate 100 acre titles and I’m thinking that a canny developer may buy it in the hope the zoning changes in the next 10 years or so. We will miss seeing the cows wandering past in single file on their way to milking or dotted in the surrounding fields looking all the world like a still life painting in the golden afternoon light.
We wont miss the extra flies that they bring though.
Always a silver lining folks…..

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Dougal, the new puppy on the block, has been diagnosed after extensive testing with lupus which is going to adversely affect his hereto happy life in the countryside and Molly the goat had to have surgery for a hernia much to her disgust. She is doing well but her bleating has an extra sad tone to it. Vets are such an important part of rural living. We love our pets of course and will do anything to keep them happy and healthy but for some local people their animals are their entire life AND income and a sick animal, or worse, a sick herd has severe repercussions. Their dedication and love of what they do sets Vets apart I think. At least doctors don’t have to work in a muddy paddock in the pouring rain with their patients……

In happier news it has been a lovely week catching up with friends and enjoying some stunning scenery at the same time! Lunch at Wharf Road with my friend Sue was lovely. All the more for the fact it was air conditioned on a very hot day and we enjoyed their lunch special of a main course and a glass of wine for $25!!

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Then a quick trip to Sydney and an opportunity to choose some tiles and bathroom items for the renovation (if and when it ever begins) and the odd compulsory wedding decoration purchase! I’m so glad we have plenty of time before the big day so I can really enjoy the process of planning everything with Lauren. A lunch with the eldest son at the Boathouse at Balmoral was the perfect Sydney ending to my trip. All sunshine, blue skies and a gentle breeze keeping things bearable on what was a very warm Autumn day.

Bailey has been enjoying some long local walks, we try and go early in the morning or in the late afternoon when it’s cooler. Her favourite place is the beach where she can run for miles and leap into the waves to fetch her ball as well as bump into lots of other dogs. It completely knackers her for the rest of the day and is a great excuse for us to have a lovely coastal walk too. The country lanes allow her to meet other animals and she is always inquisitive leaning into the fences to get as close as she can to the cows, horses or donkeys. At home and at work she loves to be involved with whatever is going on and is always right at our side being ‘helpful’…

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So our little life in the country bimbles along with a pleasing rhythm, our daily chores dictated by the seasons and the weather. We have been so lucky that loads of our friends past and present have popped in to see us when they are in the area. We see so many more people down here than we ever did in Sydney and have also reconnected through this blog with people we knew 10 years ago which is just lovely. The fact that people are often down here for weddings and holidays means we get to see them for a couple of hours or overnight on their way home and we feel blessed and very lucky to be moulding this new life of ours in The Meadow.

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