Tuesday, 25 November 2014

What a little bit of rain can do...

Before November is done, I wanted to show you what 35mm of rain can accomplish.
An unseasonally dry winter resulted in a dam
level well below it's normal winter level.
But, peeking under the jetty in the top right
corner you can see there was still enough for
the ducks to splash about in :)
The above pic of the dam was taken in October.  As you can see there is at least 3 - 4 feet of waterproofed gum pole showing above the water line.
A dry and crumbling entrance gully...
The entrance gully was all dried and cracked.
Welcome water gushing down the gully into
the dam
And then on the 3rd and 4th of November 49mm of manna fell from the heavens in 24 hours.
The water deepened the gully, but wasn't
ferocious enough to widen it.
RMan is planning to strengthen the entrance
gully to prevent it from getting out of control.
The gully into the dam is dramatically deeper...
That's better.  What's the point of a dam if
it isn't holding much water?
... and the water level in the dam has risen by at least 2 - 2.5 feet :)  

So, not only did the rain fill the rain tanks, but it also rejuvenated the water in the dam too :)

The predicted rainfall for next week
The weather forecast that I follow shows that we can, hopefully, expect, a further 20mm of welcome water falling from the heavens over three days next week.  I hope that they don't adjust that down as is their wont... 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

In the bag

I have started another blog which will deal only with all things alpaca related.
What's in the bag
If you'd like to see what it's all about, please click on this link.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Introductions all round?

I often wonder about the origins of names that other people use as their Blogger name.  The name I use, is an abbreviation of my given name, Danielle (pronounced Dan-ee-elle).  I shortened it to Dani because I was tired of being called "Daniel" - a common way of saying the female version it in South Africa.

But - there are many fascinating names of followers of my blog out there e.g. Chickpea (is that because you're a chick, and pea is part of your surname?  Or because you like peas?  Or chickpeas?  Or is it a favourite family name from when you were a child?)

Similarly, (and in no particular order) : The Shroom, shrimptonandperfect, (from the 60's a.k.a. Jean Shrimpton?), dreamer, Fracas Farm, Wriggly Tin Farm, Bear Soap, DFW, Hilltop Homestead, Redloon, Thistlechick, Treasure Hunter Girl, 1st Man, johnnybgood, Riverhauler...?

Won't you share what inspired you to choose your Blogger names - without exposing your privacy?  Just for a bit of fun :)
RMan and Dani in 2007 - cartoon style :)
(And you can't see the wrinkles nor the grey hair
- bwahahaha)
I'll leave you with the link to a site that my brother sent me http://cartoon.pho.to/

It's brilliant, and it instantly transforms any photo into a cartoom image.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Minky - before and after...

...shearing.

This is to remind you of what Minky looked like on the 18th October this year...
Typical little boy - scruffy, dirty and filling
his face
 ... just 4 days before Chris from Helderstroom Alpacas kindly arrived to shear our three alpacas.
Miranda - showing Minky what to expect and
what lies in store for him :)
Minky wasn't mad about the blower which was used to try and get 1) as much of the dust and 2) whatever vegetable matter out of his fur as possible prior to shearing.
Minky getting the blower treatment -NOT a
happy chappy
I don't think the noise of our generator (which powered the blower and shears), nor the noise from the blower helped Minky's state of mind either.  But, the shearing is necessary for his own good during the heat of summer ahead.

And, as for being strapped by his feet and pinned to the floor for the 3/4 hour it took to remove his fibre...
Minky after shearing - he's less than half the size LOL
...he didn't "speak" to RMan until the next day.  But all is forgiven now :) (a bowl of freshly grated carrots helped too.)
Minky's fibre - and this pile is just from his legs!
He doesn't look quite so cute and cuddly anymore, and has instantly "lost" a lot of visible weight, but I do have his fibre as a reminder.  And his fibre will grow back again next year when we will have to start the whole process over again.
Minky, being the scruffy lad he is, has
fleece which is taking me hours (and
days) to pick clean.  Each scrap of
vegetable matter has to be picked by hand
I'm sure he is much more comfortable now and will be better able to handle the summer heat.
I'm using the 1st (unsquare) solar dehydrator frame that I had made as a picking table - a bit
of chicken wire slung over the top allows the
vegetable matter and very short fibre to pass
through and collect at the bottom.
Sitting in the remote room (now know as my craft room) behind the garage, I have started the process of picking each scrap of vegetable matter from the aplaca fibre - MP3 earphones firmly plugged in my ears, a mixture of Josh Groban, Moody Blues, Eric Clapton, Luther van Dross, Nickleback, etc thump out of the earphones and help keep the boredom at bay.  Given my isolation in my craft room, RMan's ears are also spared the tuneless noises eminating from my lips.  (I'm hoping in my next life I come back with a voice that can hold a tune - what a gift that would be!)

I have found an inexpensive second-hand table top weaving loom in Cape Town which my son-in-law will bring back with him next weekend.

Then the fun bit starts... :)  I'm feeling inspired.  And I can't wait.