Muddy culverts: I'm sick of them and so are the cows! This one has long been a problem, at the gateway between the Spring and the Middle Back paddocks. Stephan got stuck here years ago when first preparing to install a culvert made of wired-together car tyres and while that culvert still works well enough in carrying water under the track from up the gully, the water that makes all this mud runs down the hill and onto the track. What this probably needs is a big load of lime rock to make a solid surface, off which any surface water would run. As it is now, the water collects in the cows' foot-holes and during the wet part of the year, the mud just gets deeper by the week.
The culvert is a fair way in from the other tracks and we've previously only been able to bring small loads of metal in at a time and it has obviously not been enough.
A lovely visit this afternoon from Sarah, Karl and the boys. We all went walking to play in the stream crossings, while following the young mob out to new grazing.
One of my Cabbage trees on the stream bank is sprouting what will become new branches.
I wonder what spurs some of them to do this? Insect damage, perhaps?
Stephan went up to the water on his own today, taking a new, small filter he bought for the end of the pipe. He seems to be moving quite comfortably again now, although he pays for it at night with excruciating knee pain. Such is life. He hates sitting around.
Time for the cows to come back from Over the Road.
They always climb up along the bank for a few mouthsful of the long grass there and I invariably have to clamber up and chase one or two of them down and across the road.
Most of them are pretty good about going directly across and in through the gateway.
The blue sticks are primarily for waving at the cows to keep them moving across the road - and we wave them furiously in the direction of any motorist who comes speeding around either corner toward us.
At around five I walked ahead of the cows out to the Big Back North. I was walking directly into the sun as it was going down over Puketutu to our west and when I turned to watch the cows coming toward me, I could see the shadow of the huge hill quickly moving along the track toward them.
It has been lovely walking around in the sunshine for the last couple of days. There have not been many such weather breaks this winter.
What you see when you're not carrying a gun.
This feral boar came wandering across the top of the Middle Back paddock while I was checking on the pregnant heifer mob. I knew something was approaching, from the alertness of the cattle. The pig casually wandered across the slope and up toward the bush behind the farm.
Stephan has started clearing the sides of a gully in the Big Back North paddock, in preparation for summer-time fencing. There are some gullies we still want to fence, which will protect water courses which feed down into the big swamp. He walks and works much more carefully than he used to, because any twisting on his knee is extremely painful and presumably potentially more damaging. He's delighted to be back out doing active work again.
In the afternoon a visitor, Alan, whose parents lived down the road for decades before the Mathews came here and helped the family significantly when the house burnt down in early 1982. We three went walking out to the Middle Back where I checked on the pregnant heifer mob and moved them and we wandered slowly back home. Alan hadn't been here for years, since he used to come and help Stephan make hay on the flats.
The cows, having spent a few days in the Big Back North, happily came out in to the lane on their way to the South paddock.
Wet, muddy, boggy, wet.