The weather has been rather fine for a number of days and I had a bag of Italian Rye grass seed still sitting unused, so today seemed a good day to go out and sow it. It's quite possibly far too late for sowing, but ground temperatures here are probably still warmer than they were in earlier months further south and if I don't throw the seed on the ground, the rats and mice will eat it. After sowing the Flat 2 paddock, which used to be entirely covered in rushes until we did some weed-wiping and then mulched it earlier in the year, I let the cows in to chew down the Kikuyu and press the seed into the soil.
With the long period of colder-than-usual weather, the grass really isn't growing much, so I decided we'd get the small amount of hay out of the top of the shed and use it to supplement the bulls' diet. The hay came from Kees and Lynn's farm eighteen months ago, intended for use as seating at our party. I don't want to risk feeding it to any of the pregnant cattle, so the bulls can have it.
The little guys haven't seen hay before and it took them quite some time, watching their older paddock-mate very carefully as he investigated the piles, before they cautiously approached it for a sniff!
Rachel and Issa have come up from Auckland for a couple of days. We went out for a walk to check cattle and to see what Stephan was up to, creating that smoke out in the trees!
Stephan was working up and down the hill, pulling the cut scrub from the other day into piles, then setting fire to it. The hill is quite steep, so several small fires made more sense than hauling all the bits of tree to one place.
Burning the scrub, rather than waiting for it to rot where it is, will allow grass to grow more quickly and makes life a great deal easier for the cattle than if they have to step over bits of tree as they walk along the face of the hill.
The bulls have learnt about hay now and as soon as it's put out in the paddock, they gather to eat it. There are still six of the Rising Yearling bulls and the R2 bull, #26.
A Bumble Bee bumbled in through the window this afternoon and fell on the floor. I've read somewhere that they often get a bit short of nectar at this time of year and the provision of some sugar or honey will get them up and going again if they've run out of energy. This bee very keenly plunged its proboscis into a little creamed honey on a teaspoon for half an hour, before moving away, at which point I put it back out the window.
Rachel and Issa headed back to Auckland this morning and were the first people to drive over our newly crunching drive. For weeks when walking to get the mail, or taking the cattle to the yards, I've looked at the holes and puddles and mud on our driveway and meant to phone the quarry to have some gravel brought in. We ordered lime-rock, which packs down very nicely to a surface a bit like concrete. It's a reasonably comfortable surface for cattle to walk over and when it's compacted, doesn't tend to be carried away by flood waters to the same extent as some other roading metals. (I can't remember why we call gravel metal here, but always have. Hence we also have metal roads, rather than gravel or dirt roads.)
Driver, Brian, did a very nice job of spreading and missing the big trees which made the job a bit awkward.
Today is this website's FIFTH BIRTHDAY!