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|Poopy the Pomeranian (who is actually a Swedish Lapphund) hard at work on this blog entry|
Your usual correspondent, Chris, asked me to write this week’s blog because I have had the best week ever. This week it has rained, and then it rained some more. 92.4mm (or 3.6 inches) of rain fell this week to be precise. That rain was totally the best ever situation as I was able to rest and relax inside the comfort of the house all week long! Usually I sleep outside at night, but not this week. I love the rain. Bring it on, I say!
Each evening during the week, the wood fire has been going strong and I was toasty warm. As you can see in the photo above I have superior breeding (edit – Poopy was picked up as a "free to a good home" dog who had apparently been returned three times already due to his 'unique' personality) and a beautiful thick winter coat so I never really feel the cold, unlike the other dogs. Winter is my time!
When the wood heater wasn’t providing its toasty warmth to assist in my relaxation activities, Scritchy the boss dog would take advantage of my natural warmth and sit on me in order to keep warm. This is all very undignified, but it must be remembered that Scritchy is one mean boss dog and so I had to tolerate her proclivities otherwise I’d get a face full of bad attitude - and who wants that? Yup, that Scritchy is one real bad egg, but with a warm bottom.
|Scritchy the boss dog warms her bottom on the naturally toasty Poopy during a recent cold snap|
This week’s long sleep and relaxation has been well deserved. It is a tough thing being a working farm dog! There are rats to hunt. No matter how many of those rats I kill, there are always more. And they don’t taste very nice. Well, the truth is that I have a special arrangement with Chris who swaps dead rats for beef jerky. Now, beef jerky is tasty – rats, yeah, not so much. Due to my superior intelligence, if the other dogs ever catch a rat, I can confuse the other dogs with my super secret fluffy mind powers and then snatch the dead rat from their jaws and present it to Chris as if I had killed it. That is winning that is and I end up with the beef jerky and praise. The other dogs don't seem to share my joy.
However, the rats are a minor diversion as my true enemies are the wombats, wallabies, and kangaroos. Oh how they tremble in fear at my bark and stealthy approach. During the daylight hours and into the early evenings I run regular boundary patrols looking for any signs of marsupial incursions and dealing with those intruders. It is a tough and thankless job, but some dog has to do it.
Then on Friday morning at day break it all changed because I looked out the window from my comfy position on the bean bag - without exerting too much energy of course as that would be a total waste - and saw that the morning dawned cold and clear. There was even a collection of frost right down in the bottom of the valley. When you are hard at work keeping Scritchy the boss dog warm on the bean bag, the thought of all that cold air down there in the valley sends shivers along your spine.
As the rain had stopped for the day, I unfortunately had to go back to work.
|Friday morning the day dawned bright, cold and clear|
It wasn’t all bad news though because for some strange reason, Chris was awake at sun up that day, so I had my breakfast even earlier than usual. I love breakfast. Next to my dinner time biscuits, breakfast is the best.
Chris returned home from wherever he went at about lunch time that day and I could smell that he had stopped along the way at a gourmet pie shop. Where is my pie, that’s what I want to know? I would share my breakfast and dog biscuits with Chris if he asked, well maybe I wouldn’t actually do that, but then again I might share them. But then he has to share his gourmet pie first. Yeah, maybe I would share food under those circumstances.
|Chris and the editor stopped at a most excellent gourmet pie shop on the recent journey to pick up new raised garden beds|
The afternoon that day was glorious as the sun shone with a little bit of warmth, I did some excellent boundary patrol work, I threatened a few rats, and I even noticed that the bees were enjoying the winter sun too. All of the other dogs tell me to be careful with the bees, but I say to those bees: Try and sting me through this thick fur coat, suckers!
|The bees decided to enjoy some nice winter sunshine on Friday|
As I said, it is hard work being a farm dog, so I assisted Chris with unloading the new steel round raised garden beds.
|Poopy assists Chris with the unloading of the new steel round raised garden beds|
Assisting with the unloading was total 100% pure fun and I got to enjoy plenty of the Lord of the Rings jokes (edit - Poopy is referring to the round steel rings) at the expense of the other dogs from my elevated position in the bright yellow trailer. My favourite was when I said to the other dogs who were on the ground below me at the time: Three rings to rule them all, losers! (edit - Observant readers will note that in the photo above that Scritchy the boss dog is incredibly angry at Poopy’s usual display of arrogance)
Once the three round steel beds were unloaded from the trailer, Chris and the editor spent the rest of that day and then all of the following day replacing two existing damaged steel beds and installing the remaining ring as a new garden bed. Watching all of that work was exhausting, so I disappeared just in case I became involved in all of that hard work. Anyway, there were plenty of rats to hunt.
From time to time, I stealthily slunk past to see what was going on and here is what I saw:
One of the existing small steel raised beds had been very rusty to begin with, but lately it had almost fallen apart. I had wondered if cocking my leg on that garden bed had sped up the rust. I must also add that the garden bed can barely take my weight because of rust damage. I had to jump up into the bed to hunt for moths and other insects to eat. I don't know why they were so upset about that as I was just trying to help! Anyway, Chris used some sort of electric wheel cutting thing which produced a lot of sparks and quickly removed all of the steel. That left the soil and plants undisturbed. The new and slightly smaller steel ring was then placed over the top of those undisturbed soil and plants. Now I can jump onto the garden bed without fear of being yelled at for collapsing the garden bed!
|A round and very rusty steel raised garden bed was cut up and destroyed this week|
One of the two larger new round steel raised garden beds was placed in position in the materials unloading area. Last week you may recall that Chris wrote something or other about removing the bed from that location. Apparently, I heard Chris and the editor saying that the location of this new bed will provide more room for unloading materials as the previous raised garden bed was too close and made unloading materials very difficult.
|A new raised garden bed was placed into position in the materials unloading area|
Chris then dug the area so that the raised bed sat much lower in the ground. I then overheard the editor saying that the raised bed will be planted out to asparagus. Seriously, who eats asparagus? No dog in their right mind would eat asparagus. Yuk! Now if only they could grow beef jerky in those garden beds, I’d be much more interested!
|The new raised garden bed was planted out with 10 asparagus crowns|
Then the final new steel ring was used to replace an existing raised garden bed that was too big for its location. That bed has pleasant memories for me because that was where the normally-goody-two-shoes-stay-out-of-trouble-at-all-costs member of the dog collective, Sir Scruffy, got into serious trouble because he was stupid enough to be caught burying his bone in this bed and had destroyed all of the seedlings. Too bad, so sad. Sucks to be you, dude!
|The final new large steel raised garden bed replaced an existing steel ring which will be reused later for onions or potatoes|
Then after a lot of hard work, it was all done and Chris smelled really good because he was covered in sticky and very wet manure.
|The new steel raised garden beds were now in their final positions|
It wasn’t all work this week because out in the forest on patrol I dug up an awesome joint bone. It was the best, and all of these free bones that I keep finding keep my teeth bright white and sharp.
|On forest boundary patrol Poopy discovered and retrieved this unidentified joint bone|
But, the best find of all was a dead goat horn. Yum! There was a bit of fighting over that horn with the other dogs, which naturally I won. Naturally this was after Scritchy the boss dog had chewed on it for a while.
|The dogs brought back a dead goat horn over the past few days|
I have a little confession to make here. I like apples. Apples are yum! And over the past few days Chris and the editor purchased a box of seconds apples from a nearby orchard. Some of those apples, being seconds, were a little bit dodgy, so instead of feeding them all to me, Chris cut them up, blitzed them and turned them into Apple Cider vinegar. What a total waste, I could have eaten all of them.
|Chris cuts up and blitzes seconds apples that were a bit too dodgy and turns the resulting mash into Apple Cider vinegar|
|Apple cider vinegar is produced in a bucket here with just apples, yeast and water|
Chris took me out for a drive this week to the local café because I am a sophisticated canine of superior breeding. Along the way we noticed that with all of the recent rainfall, the local river had begun flowing again. As I well know, the creek at the very bottom of the property has been flowing for a few months now, but I guess it takes a very long time for that water to work its way down to the valley below from here.
|The view from one side of the bridge across the local river looking north|
The view across the other side of the bridge looking south provides a remarkable contrast to that rather swampy looking ground.
|The view from the other side of the bridge across the local river looking south|
As an observant and intelligent canine, I realise that planting some of the local tree species in very damp locations such as drains and next to waterways is probably not a good idea as they fail to put down strong tap roots and/or cope with the damp soil. And sometimes they fall over (Edit - all trees eventually fall over) like this one that I spotted not too far from here which was in very damp soil. I’m glad I was nowhere near that one when it fell over.
|A nearby tree in very damp soil fell over in the heavy winds this week|
I do hope that you have enjoyed my story and Chris has informed me that he will be back next week!
The temperature outside now at about 7.00pm is 7.6’C (45.7’F). So far this year there has been 557.4mm (21.9 inches) which is up from last week’s total of 465.0mm (18.3 inches).
Solar PV Statistics (from 4.6kW of installed PV panels)
Tuesday – 5th July Batteries started at 57% full and 0.5kW was generated that day (this was the worst day on record – ever)
Wednesday – 6th July Batteries started at 50% full and 0.9kW was generated that day
Thursday – 7th July Batteries started at 43% full and 1.1kW was generated that day
Friday – 8th July Batteries started at 38% full and 9.1kW was generated that day
Saturday – 9th July Batteries started at 47% full and 6.4kW was generated that day
Sunday – 10th July Batteries started at 51% full and 1.1kW was generated that day
Monday- 11th July Batteries started at 43% full and 3.2kW was generated that day