Saturday, 9 January 2010

Foxes and Heatwave

We are enduring another heat wave on top of a fox problem. In all our years here we have never seen so many foxes or been subjected to so many attacks. The last 3 have been a zero result for the fox but in the process we lost a goosing and a chook both where killed but dropped the birds when pursued by the dogs. The latest attempt was well cut off in the orchard but in this heat you can’t be out on the lookout all the time. This has meant the birds have been kept in their pens more of the time. I only allow a few out each day which is more difficult in the heat as there are lots of cool shady places for them to hang out.
The foxes we have seen are larger than normal and are out and about around midday .Hear say around the district is they are around in large numbers. Being an urban fringe area there are really no control taking place. With a mix of smaller properties and plenty of bushes for them to hide any sort of control is difficult. Quentin mentions getting out the gun but he is only 5 weeks out from a total knee replacement and needs to watch is steps especially on the slopes. (Actually it’s amazing how he has progressed in such a short period)
So now we are on fox, weather and fire watch .During a heatwave all you can hope to do is a few chores not involving any machinery early in the mornings, keep the water up to the orchards, keep a watch on the poultry and go inside. Every half hour I check the poultry. They have shaded pens fitted with misters that run for about 10 minutes every half hour as well as a sprinkler on the shed roof to cool it down in the afternoon.
As a result of the Victorian bushfires there has been much hype over what householders should or should not do in case of a fire. Our plan has always been to stay and defend as result, on serious fire risk day we always stay at home, alert to the possible risks. The areas around our house are kept well watered ,sprinkler in the roof. the fire pumps are all well serviced and ready to go (unlike many that come to Quentin to be serviced or fixed after being left out in the weather all winter!) We also have suitable clothes, pants, boots, woollen jumpers, hat etc all there ready to put on at a moment’s notice. We hope we never have to implement our plan but we are ready


Von said...

Down our way they seem less this year but that could change.Problem for us at present is the Brown Goshawk.Chooks are being kept in but the goose flock cope even with goslings in tow.
Yes it's full alert for most of the next months, roll on the opening rains!
Hope it goes well for you in your neck of the woods, I grew up in Crafers so know what you're on about.

Ting said...

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Hi. I just discover your website and love reading the blogs and details. i must come visit. growing up in suburban tasmania, we always had a large vege patch - pity i was not into veges as a child, and i remember the soil to be so alive and vibrant - it was fibrous and dark, almost black and full of worms - when I first came to adelaide i lived near the coast and the soil was a fine grey sand - it just seemed so odd, to grow in this soil - then i moved north or the city and the land is red dust and clay. Just seems so inhospitable. anyway i spent a bit of time back in tassy recently and tasted some veges - just local market stuff -not coles/woolies, and got reminded of the superb taste that is available with the veges. so i swore to set up my own garden - but i look at the soil and think years to improve this - so i have planted in hanging baskets under shade cloth for the summer. tomatoes and cucumbers and capsicum and strawberries. tomatoes seem fine, but with no bees, cross polinating the male and female flowers of the cucumber - well i dont know if i am making proper sexy for them. lol. I then got a planting calendar worked out for the year, and have been planting seeds every 2 weeks, ready to plant out during the year. It is an adventure and enjoyable, and i look forward to learning as i go.

one huge regret i have is that i moved from a house which had 15 different types of established fruit trees - almonds, persimmons, mandarin, lemon, cumquat, tangelo, orange, 3 diff grapes, 3 diff plums, peach etc. it was a joy to almost have fruit all year round - and plentiful - so i have also embarked on getting some kind of fruit producer each week. vines, trees, bushes etc. so i can get back to the healthy fruit that is used to enjoy for 10 years or so. I was so disapointed to go back to the fruit tree house i used to own, and see the house has been knocked down and the whole block cleared and a new sterile house built. 50 rose bushes gone, all the fruit trees gone. The love and care of 20 or 30 years of culitvation, wiped out. very upsetting. anyway my challenge is to make this inhospitable desert looking block into a thriving block, that will grow more than just eucalypts and olives, and bindi weed.
thankyou for being there and doing what you do and being inspiring.
look forward to seeing your property one day. adrian

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Anonymous said...

Hope you are both ok.thinking of you in the heat and the foxes.we don't see many in Queensland but they do appear around the lakes looking for the odd bird. Anyway hope you both are ok and quentins knees are getting better.
A & M qld