Kangaroo

You’d think that an Australian walnut farm would be knee deep in kangaroos, but no, they’re as rare as yetis here. Yesterday we did have a visitor, captured in the grainy soup of this snap.

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Here yesterday and gone today, these shy creatures live in the forest by the river and don’t venture onto farmlands. Our colleagues, 30 kms from here have many kangaroos. When the orchard is in leaf the kangaroos materialise , leaping from behind the dense cover to shock. Kangaroos are harmless, eating grass, but may become obstropoulous if cornered.

Today was one for fertigating with potassium and clearing the channel of umbrella sedge weeds. The ewes had to be moved from the orchard, in with the lambs in the front paddock. They are almost tame, heading easily through the gates. The reunion of mothers and offsprings was a somber understated affair, with no baaing or bleating. The flock came together and had an afternoon nap.

Never before have I at this time of year had time to be able to whipper snip the channel to the dam for umbrella sedge. I worked my way up one side, watchful for snakes, slipping on the mudflats and splattered with mud, pebbles and organic matter. I put the large holes in the floor of the channel down to yabbies.

I looked up to spot my neighbour Greg. He wanted to look at the filtration system on our pump.

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Since the main channel to our farms has been interrupted on the adjacent property of a member of a orchard dynasty, the quality of water has diminished. Greg’s filters now clog repeatedly. We discussed the issues. It seemed that as we do not pump directly from the main channel we do not experience this issue. The green matter in our channel to the dam may filter this sediment. It also disperses its seeds throughout the orchard. I need a sedge to compete with the umbrella sedge in our channel, that filters the sediment and is not invasive.

I went back to the pump shed.

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I set up the fertigation with potassium nitrate. The equipment is past its time but remains effective. Fresh water comes in the top pipe and water rich in dissolved potassium is suctioned from the bottom of the tank.

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Between cycles of fertigation I went to buy some more bags of potassium nitrate. I spoke to our chemical supplier about the solution to our problem of sediment in channel water. He laughed at the concept but liked the idea.

‘How many bags do you want?’

‘Thirteen”

‘Thirteen?’

‘ I’m not superstitious.’

 

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