Who are these billabong refugees and what are they doing?

The job had got to that point where you have to stop for a minute and stare at it, just to ‘process’ its sheer enormity. Before me was a truly terrifying tangle of high tensile wire that had pleased the contractor by wrapping itself around the ploughing discs.

The knot was about the same size as the Bobcat and, without safety glasses for little Alex (do they make safety glasses for toddlers?), I had to accept that the wretched thing was going to beat me.

With the dawning realisation of defeat came the sound of something equally beyond the realms of reality: a babbling waterfall coming from the gully billabong. A very nice and very timely distraction.

The fish had gaping golden lips and flashy golden bellies to match. Each seemed about 2-feet long and oh-so-muscular. I may be a piscean but I know nothing about fish. Perhaps this group of half a dozen or so monsters are the dreaded carp, washed into the gully during one of this year’s floods. And what are they doing? Breathing or breeding?

Carp are considered the lowest of all fish around here: categorised as “noxious fish” by the Department of Primary Industries for the environmental damage they cause while being pilloried by cooks and anglers for their muddy taste.

But perhaps Charlie Carp deserves better. The big fish make excellent organic fertiliser and, according to one account on ABC Radio, might be alright on the menu if we Aussies learned the secret to eating carp.

Anyhow, the whole fishy dancing performance went on for five minutes and would have lasted longer if not for Patch. Yes, our most accident prone pooch had to investigate and was so intrigued, he forgot he couldn’t walk on water. Turns out he’s not that good at swimming, either. Crazy dog!

Patch had to come and take a look

Shame I missed the “after” pic. The memory card was full of fish video and photos. Patch isn’t the only silly one.

People and animals tell the farm’s story

This was Zoe on the Bobcat as I moved the electric tape in paddock 6 on Friday. It really was sunny enough to dig out the zinc!

Yes, two pairs of oversized sunglasses are apparently “hot” right now

I’d been away from the paddock for a week and things had got away. It’s newly sown to a high performance grass and zoomed off once the saturated soil turned to plasticene over a balmy few days. We had to get the cows in at once if there was any chance of keeping grass quality levels up over Spring.

At this time of the year, it’s really important to divide the paddock into small strips. Let them into the whole lot at once and most will be wasted as the engorged cows make nests to sleep it off. The trick is to have the cows absolutely full to pussy’s bow, but only just. It’s good for the cows, good for milk production and good for the grass.

The grass on the right has just been grazed, the grass on the left is for dinner

Grass growth will have come to a skidding halt over the last couple of glacial days though. Everything is mushy and muddy all over again. Including Patch.

Whadda you mean I can’t come inside?