THE BIG DRY- HAS SET IN - HARD TIMES AHEAD

Okay -now its 2019- nearly September and still no rain. Putting out water bowls for Koala- Birds- Possums- Wallabies- all doing it tough.  Our dam is dry our Bore is struggling! I suspect our underground water is now down to bare minimum-and if our Bore gives out? well do not know where we go from there. We are fighting to keep the Orchard going- our established citrus trees- and the immediate garden! and thats about it? But so many others worse off- further West- and NSW -out near Dubbo-  folks who have lost their cattle- their livelihood- and no end in sight. Some are out on the road- trying to chase the grass- everywhere you look people are trying to hang onto what they have- I only have two mares- I am feeding- thank God ,I have nothing else?  Big bales are $200 - any grain or pellets- ridiculous money- it is pretty cruel on our poor old livestock?  I am going to lose a lot of trees- I just cannot keep the water up -now the dam is dry?  they are mostly all natives though & some are thriving? the Brigalows I planted are going well- most of the gums- the Causurina trees are legendary- virtually drought proof. but the worst is this constant wind -blowing a gale- hard to cope with really- just makes everything seem much worse?  Hope its all blown itself out by our Festival week!      

OUR LAND CARE PROJECTS FOR 2018/19

Our Bony Mountain Folk Festival- a Highlight every September! Right here on fifty acres (half) of our Property.  Lots of jobs- we have got piles of (tree pear) to burn now- after major works having them dug out & removed. Roots and all- Maybe through winter months we can burn. Ben (my son) and I plan to put permanant water points around the Festival site- for wildlife- birds- this past year has made us more aware of the (lack of water) our dam is bone dry-as most are -so nowhere for poor old roos-wallabies- . Our troughs for horses-provide a water point- but we need to look at Koala-Kangaroos- that don't want to come right in close! So that will be a priority -also more mulching is desperate- mulch dissapears so fast here. I have lost even established trees this year- big Peppercorns?? unbelievable- lost all my London Plane trees- should never have planted them? too sandy maybe- but too dry-just could not keep the water up. So I let them go- the trees I am thrilled with- Brigalow- Wilga- River Gums- Casuarinas- and another (so called) pest tree- the Racehorse tree. Amazing growth- tough & will survive- it is a legume though -so edible a fodder tree in desperate times!  great shade -bit messy- but once again-a tree is a tree- is a tree.   Hope your gardens are surviving? 

OUR 2019 FLYER .  www.bonymountainfolkfestival.com 

WATER POINTS FOR OUR WILDLIFE

We have been putting out water points-for our Koala-Wallabies-Possums- Birds- everything is so dry- the grass-the trees are all dropping leaves- our dam is dry & no rain in sight. We have a lot of tiny birds here now & I worry for them- little Blue Wrens-Zebra Finches-Willie Wag Tails-(new parents)- a lot of other tiny birds- who really need close water points. So a constant job looking after them. Even if you live in town-please put a bird bath out-or provide an old dish- they all need water!  I have been shocked to see so many dry dams- and so many people without water-dead gardens-dead lawns- it is all rather depressing! The plants will all return -but the little birds won't we must all be aware. Around Southern Downs &  Allora it is Sunflower time! such a gorgeous happy Flower! so could not resist putting this up to cheer us all up! 

A POST FROM 2017- BUT STILL RELEVANT!

I have had some comments on planting Peppercorns (or Pepperinas) as the locals call them, but I grew up with Peppercorn trees & we learned from (Roc) our old stallion that the peppercorns are marvelous for arthritis!  Horses will always self medicate if they can, and select medicinal plants, Peppercorns (medicinal) and Willow (medicinal) they contain Aspirin. I recall one little Qtr Horse mare (pregnant) used to stop & eat one particular native plant! it was obvious it gave her something she needed. Everyone with cattle or horses should consider what they grow in the paddocks with self medication in mind! makes sense to me. Looking at our corridors now though I have had success with the Brigalow, Kurrajongs, (not many) Bushy Sugar Gums ,are a bit touchy-(need more water) . But as I said the SHEOAKS Casuarinas win the award for the most rewarding ,most suitable trees here!  And a mate stopped the other day to have a yarn and he suggested if I plant enough of them the Black Cockatoos might move in ?  We love Black Cockys, we had them at Uralla in New England but they do live here! They can be a bit destructive they just about ate our Hakeas , but enjoyed having them around. The hakea are a beautuful bush they do grow here naturally and their seeds are great food for the bigger birds, so I should look at an understory of Hakea? the ideal habitat for so many birds . Looking at all we have planted here & with summer looming, it just inspires me to plant even more! Simply because a dense habitat protects all of us, but mostly our birds, our Wallabies, Kangaroos, they really appreciate the shade, shelter and Koalas can pop up any tree as protection instead of covering large open spaces where they become vulnerable! After the tornado we had here a few years ago my Neighbour (in his wisdom) got the bulldozer in and flattened nearly all the trees on his side, our western side which has become a windswept no mans land for wildlife! I do look on the positive though, at least we will never be burnt out from that side.  But no rest ! more planting/mulching/ etc for 2017 when the weather is nicer.

MORE PHOTOS SOON! 

Fruit trees in bloom! my dwarf Peach! but this was last year, it is not so pretty this year!

So proud of this western corridor we now have the odd koala using this tree line to travel down to the Condamine river. Previously this paddock was open & bare and provided no protection. (LOOKING UP TOWARD HOUSE)

A HIMALAYAN ORCHID, I know it is a bit off the track, but it is gorgeous!