Project “Thor”

After a record wet winter followed by a fleeting Spring, it hasn’t rained here in a long time.

In fact, despite several attempts at emulating the Sioux rain dance ritual shown in the remarkable footage (bear with it, not all stills) below, we have had little success – other than the 2.5mm of rain we got after our fourth performance a week ago, there’s been nothing in the gauge for a few weeks now.

Perhaps the problem lies in our execution. Since the materials used by the Sioux are not all readily available here in Australia, we have been forced to improvise with picnic blankets, turquoise hayband, the feathers of wedge-tail eagles, dyed hessian sacks and rubber boots adorned with eucalyptus leaves and shells.

We are getting desperate and it shows.

Under construction: will Thor be impressed?

Rain Dance Ampitheatre under construction

Drawing upon my husband’s Scandinavian heritage, I am building a stone amphitheatre to honour Thor with a special sacrifice: a washing basket full of damp linen. With a toddler in the midst of toilet training and the truly spectacular laundry that makes our dairy-farming family infamous, you’ll understand the meaning of such an offering.

I know I must show total faith in Thor’s generosity but any tips would be gratefully received.

Farm fit


Before Bed Bike Safari

Before Bed Bike Safari

At my local primary school, I was an okay runner but at the big regional secondary school an hour’s drive away, I was a star. The townies were no match for a fit farm girl.

Farm kids get a natural workout every day as my little girl’s muscular legs will attest. On Boxing Day, she urged me along 10kms of forest tracks on her new pushie, complete with a “passenger” to match mine. Tonight, she was desperate to go on a ride before bed, so I said “just around the boundary then”.

The boundary ride was a nice little adventure and a good chance to check the fences and more far-flung paddocks. We are besieged by kangaroos and wallabies who are very charming but give fencing and pastures close to the forest a beating.

The kangaroos are welcome to some of the west-facing paddocks, which are already quite desiccated. The others won’t be far away. In fact, I can say with some confidence, Friday will cast a new hue over the farm. The first summer stinker of 2013 is forecast to be 40 degrees in the shade and the Bureau says not to expect any rain for at least the next eight days.

Time to figure out a new rain dance, I guess.