Friday, 30 January 2009

In the Heatwave

As part of our bushfire action plan we stay at home on all total fire ban days. At least one of us has to be here but both are preferable. Sometimes Quentin has to venture out to service a fire pump as people often panic at these times –often they have not tested their fire pump for years! Also as part of our plan is to stay tuned to the radio – of which I often find tedious. For example yesterday they just talked up the heat more heat and power outages continuously. Yesterday the worst advice would have to do with pets and animals, so many people give them human qualities and think they are doing them good but often this advice is misguided. Its extremely important for them to have shade ,shelter and plenty of fresh cool water but not ice water and frozen food!. Even for us these things are not good. The best thirst quencher is cool water not cold! Domestic animals are accustom to eating food from the fridge but frozen meat is not good for digestion & would do no good in cooling down animals A frozen bottle of water placed in but not mixed with water would cool down the water enough, best also to place water bowl in the shade.( this is my grizzle for the day)

This is how our chooks keep cool under the shade of the federation oak planted in 1901!

Our irrigation system is running at its full capacity so there is precious little leeway for those crops that are not normally irrigated to get some much needed water. The hazelnuts and Kiwis are the worst affected with burnt leaves, thus reducing the shading to developing fruit. This morning the kiwis are getting some water. Our valley is usually waterlogged much of the year and there are enough small springs and under surface moisture to service many different crops along the narrow valley without the need for additional irrigation but over the last few summers the creek has stopped flowing, ponds have dried up and now under extreme conditions some of the plants are becoming stressed. (A bit like us)
Early mornings are the best time to get things done, the poultry and irrigation are attended to first up, the shed is opened up to assist with air flow to ensure the cold room is working as efficiently as possible. Any fruit needing harvesting is done. Plums, elderberries and mulberries at present .By this time the temperature is back around 40 and its time to retreat indoors. Every hour we check everything out side and top up water bowls for poultry, dog and birds.

mulberries ready for harvest

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