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Friday, 16 September 2016

Fairy sprite and firey stuff.

We had another controlled burn this week.  We have a very small window between winter and summer when it is safe and yet dry enough to burn.

Some of the she-oak got going but mostly it was a pretty cool burn and we were soon on top of any trees that flared up.  Here are Angus and Mirline on firebug duty.  I did a lot of that this day.  We would lay in a new line or series of spots of fire behind the burning area, working into the wind, so that the wind would be driving the flames onto already burned land. This always makes for a safer burn.  The other thing I was doing was bobtail goanna spotting duty, as I didn't want us to trap any between the rows of fire!  Luckily we saw none and I'm sure we would have if they'd been there.  

And on the other side, on the bridle trail, we had crews working to make sure the fire didn't jump the trail.  That's Phil and Pierre on the hoses, and Andrew was crew leading that side for some of the time, and that is him just coming back into picture.

At home there is plenty of work to be done too.  I'm never sure whether it is better to brush-cut the grass then collect sticks, or the other way around!  This time I cut grass first then picked up sticks, which makes the sticks easier to find and pick up but means for more painful stuff flying into your legs while you are cutting! 

It hasn't even been six months yet since we last did this and yet this is how big the piles are from a very small amount of space along the extreme west side of the place.  

Andrew had the mower and trailer out and was picking up piles of leaves he'd raked up,  while I gathered more sticks.  At this time of year we can put everything on a bonfire so it is well worth the effort as it saves us a from a few tip runs. 

The chooks have been out every day lately and they have learned that following me along in my work means disturbed ground cover and more bugs, or maybe they think I will keep them safe from eagles?

All the foraging is doing them good.  They look great!

Now if they'd start giving me more than one egg a day between five of them I'll be happy!   I think Mrs Guppy lays an egg every day too but she lays them in the stupid places, basically wherever her bum is at the time, and the crows or dogs get them.  Honestly, I have never had such a stupid chicken, and I've had some pretty stupid ones.  :D

Up at the block I was admiring my shelter belt on the north side.  Most of this is four years old now.  I remember the year I planted it because Buffy was not well, it was 2012 and I was about to have to say goodbye to her, and I had her on a stay, lying on a blanket beside me while I planted these, so that she could be with me but not run around and set off a heart falter.  I don't think I ever walk by them without thinking of her, my precious girl.

Ah well, they are thriving and the birds and bees love them and they are a lovely screen now too.

Speaking of birds, listen to them singing away in this video we did of Niamh singing "Son of the Trees" by Pilgrim.  She was singing it and dancing around the other day and I wanted to show the band how much she loves the song they wrote, so we videoed this.  What a fairy sprite she is!

And how glorious is her hair?  Mum's was this colour before it went white, too. That's me newly born there, looking a bit boring!   

 Today and into the night Andrew is off driving the local bridle trails doing support crew for the local Oxfam trail Walk. It is the sort of interesting stuff Fireys get to do when they aren't at fires.  Tomorrow we are both doing a shift so hopefully will get some photos of that.

Writing is still happening 1000 words each week day. Just now am finding it a bit hard.  For some reason being at 108 000 words seems like starting all over again at 8000 words.  :) Sister Jen suggested I try working it out by percentage instead and if I end up at around 120 000 as I plan to, I am 87% done.  Yay, that does look better!

As a ten book veteran of novel writing, I know that these boggy moments come round for every book and you just have to keep plugging away. It never reflects in the book whether it was hard or easy to get that bit, so with that knowledge to back me, I will just keep on writing!  Think I might start thinking about the cover art now I am so close to finishing too!





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