Saturday, September 8, 2007

rain rocks chooks

Sprinkles yesterday. Showers overnight. More showers today.

What bliss to wake up to the sound of raindrops on the metal roof. There hasn't been HEAPS of rain - but it is raining none the less.

Today Stanley and I drove out to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve for what was meant to be the cumulative outdoor excursion to the moth stone oven bit of our Bush Tucker Course. But only three of us turned up, and those present did not include anyone who actually knew where the moth stone was! I think the rain scared people away. Anyway, after having a leisurely cup of coffee (thanks Stanley!) we decided to take a guess and traveled up to Hanging Rock. This is an amazing place - once a regular camping ground and meeting place for the Ngambri and their buddies from across the other side of the Goodradigbi River, a few valleys further to the south west. I have read that the vast, sheltered overhangs all around the base of Hanging Rock would have been lined and hung with possum skins, making it cozy and warm and sheltered from the cold, wind and rain.

My understanding is that soonish (early spring), when the Bogong Moths would start their annual migration down from South West Queensland through to the Snowy Mountains, and across the Brindabellas, folks would travel up into these beautiful mountain valleys to take full advantage of these yummy, fatty, full of protein moths. The moth stone, apparently, is a carved out hollow on a flat granite rock that would have been heated with a fire long enough to be able to roast the moths on top. There are lots and lots of incredibly significant sites in these Mountains. This is one of them. But we didn't find the moth stone.

Hanging Rock is a beautiful place - and it is easy to imagine heaps of folks gathering around the base of this HUGE granite stone, surrounded by beautiful rocky torrs, fresh water and cozy fires.

I left feeling happy and in love with the mountains.

In other news, for those of you who nurse an interest in Nefley and all things fluffy - here is a picky taken this morning during a break in the showers. As you can see, the little babies are growing up fast. I now think there are two partridge (perhaps) and too black chickies there, rather than two buff as I first thought. They are feathering up very darkly in their little wings and tails.

And perhaps even more excitedly, Jenni has started laying again. I am torn between breaking this first egg to see if it is fertile, or just waiting and trusting that Maurice is doing his thing. Neither me or Mr Duck Herder has caught him at it so to speak, but he is a quintessential gentleman, so it is possible that he is being discrete and not "crowing" about his exploits in the chook house.

How exciting - baby Maurices!

And finally, the Nashis are almost bursting into flower. The Mulberries are not far behind. We are not talking about the Avocados any more. And the Kiwi Vines are swelling and threatening to bud soon too.

Bring it on - I am ready for spring - BRING IT ON!

Well, That's me. Seeya.


Lucy C said...

I love those fluffy photos.
And the Hanging Rock ones are great.
Is that where the movie was filmed?
Can you really tell if eggs are fertile by cracking them?
I thought you had to wait until someone was sitting on them and then candle them at 7 days.

The Duck Herder said...

Hi Lucy C! This Hanging Rock isnt the same as the book/movie hanging rock, I think that is way down in Victoria somewhere. IT is much higher and colder up here.

Re the fertile egg test - I found a great reference for how to do this in a duck book. I would give you the reference, but I loaned it to someone and cant remember exactly what it was called. I will write a quick post and try and explain ok?

rhonda jean said...

There's lots happening at the duck herder place. It's good you got some rain. We've had some here too. And those Hanging Rock photos are lovely. Onya Stanley!