Patience is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. It is a useful character trait and on the off chance that I fail miserably at displaying any of those qualities, the wombats here show me just how it should be done in true style.
Now your average wombat is a sensible creature. In fact if any fictional character portrays the characteristics of a wombat it would be one of Tolkien’s fictional Hobbits. Not only do wombats live underground in extensive burrows which become expanded and enlarged with successive wombat generations, but they also dislike adventures. It is only the very poor or sickly wombat that would get caught out in the rain and end up with dirty paws. Heaven forbid!
Last week, a massive tropical low pressure system dumped just shy of 80mm (3 inches) of rainfall at the farm. Every single drop of rain was gratefully received and stored in water tanks or in the groundwater table. Much further north of here: http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/heavy-rain-in-central-queensland-celebrated-as-a-blessing-for-drought-declared-areas/202128 300mm (12 inches) of rainfall fell from the sky.
Now wombats being sensible creatures, simply wait in their cosy burrows for the rain to stop falling. Every now and then during those rainy days, I’m sure they have a bit of a sniff of the air and put their noses outside of the burrow and go, “No. It is still a bit damp for me, I think I’ll catch up on a bit of much needed rest”. Well, after the rain fell, the herbage grew and the wombats came out in force to graze. Below is a photo of Fatso the wombat enjoying the lush herbage over the worm farm trenches from only a few nights ago. It is worthwhile pointing out that Fatso has an exceptionally glossy coat.
|Fatso the wombat cruising the herbage|
Wombats know how to wait. They have patience in spades.
I also spotted Baby wombat a few days ago. Baby wombat has this year become Mummy wombat. Her single mini-me sized off spring was trailing along dutifully behind her. It was beautiful to see, but unfortunately, I didn’t have the camera to hand at the time.
Patience is a virtue because the few rainy days were put to productive use preparing bottled apricots for the winter. During that time, I also considered cooking up some of the summer fruits into a jam which I could eat later in the year. But then I wondered just how much jam was currently in the pantry cupboards? It was a difficult question because I honestly didn’t know the answer.
One of my maxim’s here is that if you are thinking or wondering about a system then that system probably isn’t working.
So a couple of hours later, I’d pulled every bottle of preserves from the pantry cupboards, sorted them into flavour and the date they were bottled. This sorting process produced the somewhat surprising discovery that I had almost an entire year’s supply of jams and chutneys ready to eat. There were even flavours that I’d completely forgotten I’d even made. All of the preserves were then labelled and stacked so that the stores could be assessed and known at a simple glance.
|Order has been restored and the Jams and chutneys are now known|
The interesting thing that was also highlighted in this process was that I’d completely run out of bottles to store future jams and chutneys in. At this point, it is worthwhile mentioning that my editor happily noted that a few months ago that in my naivety I’d given away about 20 empty bottles! Not good, so I thought that it was perhaps a wise activity to rapidly investigate how to purchase more bottles and discovered to my horror that: the cost of the glass bottles used in commercial jams was a large percentage of the shelf price of the product! Yikes! That was a mistake not to be repeated in the future.
As a further related note, all of the preserve bottles used here share common lids or caps depending on their particular function (fruit, jams/chutneys and alcohol).
Now that the rain has stopped and the wombats are happily going about their business, there has been an increase in the insect activity at the farm here. The spiders are never shy in taking advantage of this sudden boom in insect activity and I took a photo of this Golden Orb spider which had happily caught a few of the bees here.
|Golden orb spider happily waiting on her web|
|New machinery shed is nearing completion|
Back to the shed though, the doors which were a gift from a neighbour gave me some problems because being security doors they were built to have flywire covering the back of them. They came with fibreglass flywire which is great to keep insects out, but completely useless if a bushfire ever came through this area. Try the experiment at home sometime and chuck a small section of fibreglass into a fire and it will disappear in seconds. The whole problem was simply resolved by attaching a sheet of galvanised steel to the back of the doors.
The Asian nashi pears are also ripening at the farm and when they are ripe, that fruit is both sweet and juicy.
|the nashi pears are ripening on the fruit trees|
I previously mentioned my grandfather because my father disappeared when I was so young that I don’t even remember him. As an interesting side note, I met my father as an adult through a strange set of coincidences involving a friend and I intuitively understood the disappearance situation far more clearly. It was no loss.
Single mothers do it hard and so upon completing high school it was no hardship at all for me to head off into the wide world as an independent adult.
Ambition certainly wasn’t a word that I would use to describe my outlook in those days. My first job in the work force was with a State Government authority and I enjoyed the rich social life of that organisation and have many fond memories.
It wasn’t all slackness though as I began the long process of University to achieve an undergraduate degree on a part time basis whilst working full time. Incidentally, the first year that I enrolled at University was also the first year that students were required to take government loans to pay for their course fees.
Alas, all good things come to an end though. In this case it was perhaps far sooner than I personally cared for. Australia had a recession in 1990/91 whereby unemployment reached around 11.3% of the workforce. The State Government cut costs and I was one of those people that had to look for another job.
As an independent adult, moving home was not an option. Rent was due monthly so I had to do whatever it took to put food on the table. So, I spent the next four years employed as a debt collector for a large corporate firm. Very few jobs teach you more about the depths of the human soul than that particular job.
To be continued…
The temperature outside here at about 8.30pm is 15.0 degrees Celsius (59.0’F). So far this year there has been 810.0mm (31.9 inches) of rainfall which is up from last week’s total of 805.0mm (31.7 inches).