Oh how guilty do I feel? I have shamefully neglected you oh my dear reader, I am distraught. Well I’m back at work anyway having spent four days up at the station with my family – including Mum and Dad.
We arrived mid afternoon on the first day and it was 41 degrees in the shade – so hot we could hardly breathe with the floorboards warm enough to imagine central heating. We slept out on the decking – well I slept on and off – woken at five to six by the first fly getting under Rory’s cunningly devised mozzie net – he bought a double but I think we really need one each.
I snuck into the spare bed in the only bedroom.
When I awoke Rory, Dad and Hugo were off to buy hay for the cows, Imogen and Mum were on a mission to paint eggs, and I had a few books lined up awaiting my attention.
It was so hot. We filled the bath with tepid water which helped and had a few water fights. We made salads for lunch and had a beer. The cheese on the salad MELTED while we were waiting for the boys so we put theirs in the fridge and ate ours without them.
Eventually, just as we reached for the keys to go and find them they turned up having lost the wheels on the trailer they had spent the whole day on an errand that should have taken a couple of hours!
At least they had air-conditioning in the landcruiser! It was with relief that I jumped in the said landcruiser with the kids to go fishing. Fishing for Yabbies that is. We drove down to the homestead – Imogen at the wheel (on my knee) and found the nets before heading out to East Dam. Hugo having a lesson in opening “cocky” gates.
Just as we arrived the heavens opened – blessed rain! Nets in it was back in the ‘cruiser and home.
Next day was much cooler to start with but humid. As it warmed up during the day the relief of the day before seemed but a dim memory. We checked the nets (very disappointing – only 7 fair sized yabbies with about 60 tiny ones which we threw back. We decided to pop them in at No 1 dam), and as we arrived at East Dam we came across a ten 4WD convoy trundling through the bush! They were on their way to Ennuin Tank for lunch (so they said) and I’m sure were a bit worried at having come across the Western Pastoralist!
Anyway he directed them through the station to the tank and we followed them out (Hugo getting a lesson on closing “cocky” gates on the way. We tuned into their CB Radio Frequency and they started peppering dad with questions which he answered in his usual taciturn style:
“How much rain do you get a year?” “About 250 ml.”
“Did you get much last night?’ “About 6 ml.”
“What kind of cattle do you run here?” “Murray Greys.”
“How big is the station?” “About 110,000 acres.”
“How many cattle do you run per acre?” “Er that’s confidential.” (I was wetting myself laughing)
“I guess you don’t know until you muster…?” “Ah that’s correct.” (still laughing)
“Do you use a helicopter to muster?” “Ah no we just round them up when they come into water.” (paroxisms of laughter)
We run about 19 cattle. That includes the calves. And the bull.
Still they were good fun, very polite and left the kids a couple of Easter Eggs on the fencepost as they went past the homestead.
That night it rained again. 11 ml. And the salt lake filled and gleamed blue in the morning sunshine. We managed to catch quite a few big yabbies in No 1 dam which we threw back – unfortunately losing one of our nets at the same time. Then we went up to Ennuin Rock to see how much water had been collected. There was quite a lot as it turned out although the kids got a fright when they surprised a snake! We think it might have been a king brown so they were luck the snake was as shocked as they were.
It was great to see the creeks running and to feel cool. The station smells lovely when it has been rained on and the kangaroos seem to be more plentiful.
Of course it was a bit of a worry getting the Commodore out on the boggy roads but we made it.
A happy Easter indeed.