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The Waterfall

Last week we were wandering around the hillier parts of the farm, where the ewes are just beginning lambing. We were walking into some fairly inaccessible areas to see how the feed on the ground was looking, and if the sheep were starting to seek out the shelter and privacy of some of the steeper gullies. We came across a couple of ewes with new lambs and some nanny goats who are having their kids at the moment. (That the goats, who have been living in this place for many generations now, are choosing this time to have their kids, gives us confidence that our experiment with changing lambing time around is on the right track.)

There’s a place we sometimes visit; you go along a narrow valley floor, then turn right when it closes up and follow a small ditch for a while until you get to a small clearing which flattens out a little and ends at a cliff. We jokingly call this area “the waterfall”, because a little bit of water seeps out of the cliff face and if you press your cupped hands against the wall, you can manage to fill them enough to get a small drink on a hot day.

Before we got around the bend we noticed there was water in what is always a narrow, dry, creek bed. After all the rain, this was to be expected and we wondered what the waterfall would look like; maybe there’d be an actual flow of water down the cliff. What we weren’t expecting was the sight that greeted us when we came out into the clearing. We’d been distracted watching a small group of goats with their kids and were making sure we didn’t startle them, as some of them were very young. It turns out, with enough rain, the waterfall really is a waterfall.

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Of course, we then “wasted” a couple of hours climbing around and just enjoying the spectacle. The goats hung around and we spotted a ewe near the top of a cliff with a new lamb and satisfied ourselves that all is going to plan.

This week, now it’s finally stopped raining enough to get to some places, well go out and check (and most likely repair) the flood fences.

2 comments to The Waterfall

  • Jenny

    What a wonderful surprise all round. Nature never ceases to amaze

  • John Gillies

    Ha! Lovely story. It’s in the same mythology vein as our “High Pasture” – a smallish (acre or three) of valley floor, only accessible via a narrow creek gully. It’s practically re-vegetated now but in 1965 aerial photography it was quite clear native pasture. Apparently, when the property ran a dairy (prior to c.1955) Reg Payne used to take the cows up there for the grass during winter when feed was running short. He kept one old cow – well beyond her prime – just because she could lead the herd up there, more or less by herself. Appropriately, she was called “mother”, which sort of fits. Not quite the European alpine story – but very jokey Australian!

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