A Travellerspoint blog

May 2010

May 28th

Church Mens Night

sunny 27 °C

I was all set to head out to Howards property for the skeet shooting night which started at 7pm. As we finished milking we decided that a heifer was taking to long to calve and that we should pull it out. Well it was just as well as the calf was huge. It was about the size of a two week old calf. We pulled and we pulled and we pulled and finally the head, and torso slid out but then the calf became hip locked. I was pretty stuffed by that stage and we had as much trouble getting the hips out as we did the head. It took about 15 minutes of pulling but finally it was out. We checked out the temperature of her ears and found that they were rather cool which means that she was suffering from milk fever. We ran an intravenous drip and gave a shot of penicillin. By the time we were all done it was 7:20. I grabbed a quick dinner and flew home to have a shower. I was out the door by about 7:45 and still had to get some cash out and get some gas. I finally arrived at location at about 8:30 pm. Between 10 and 15 guys had turned up. There was an impressive arsenal of guns available.
There was a double barrel shot gun, and 2 pump action shotguns just for the clay pigeon shooting. I got my first 5 practice shots firing off one of the 12 gauge pump actions and hit 3 of the clay pigeons. I headed over to Rob who had deer sausages cooking on a portable BBQ on the back of his ute and chowed down a couple of them. I then headed over to another spot to try out an old style Winchester lever action 30 30 rifle which was flippin loud. I fired off about 5 rounds from that at a distant target before picking up the SKS and firing off about 5 rounds from that. It was quite funny to just stand back and listen.
The sounds were made up of shotgun blasts, a 7mm rifle shots, 30/30 shots, sks shots and .22 shots all mixed in together. It sounded a bit like urban warfare. It was my go to shoot my next set of ten clays and I think I decimated out 6 of the ten. The night progressed with cans flying, stumps splitting and guns barking. Here is Pastor Lewis and his son Jonathan...
Eventually it was my go to shoot, or attempt to shoot, my last set of clay pigeons. With everyone watching, gun loaded, I called “pull”, the clay flew threw the air, I lined it up pulled the trigger and… nothing happened. I then took the safety off and started again. Well let’s just say that I didn’t win the competition of the most clays hit out of 10. Everyone then proceeded to have a go with a pistol grip shot gun as shown below.
After we helped clean up the busted clays and chatting for a bit we called it a night and hit the road. I had driven about 1 kilometer down the road when I saw 2 cop cars parked and talking(the cops not the cars) and another pulling out of the neighbors place and then another driving down the road toward me. So I guess someone must have made a complaint about all the shooting.

Posted by classique 11:48 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

15th May

Discovery Wildlife Centre

sunny 27 °C

Before you ask... Yes this is a real bear! Ah no... It’s not stuffed! Boy was it a close call! You can tell by the expression on my face how startling it was. I was just sitting there enjoying the moment when suddenly I felt something furry touch the back of my arm. Hot breath rolled through my hair, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. The foul stench of its breath reached my nose and all my senses recoiled. Every part of my body urged me to scream like a girl and run. But just in the nick of time someone in front who was armed sensed the danger, spun round, pointed and shot. And well... this is the shot that best captured the moment. The most startling part of this was the cost but hey... it was worth it.

After arriving on the last Saturday of October last year to find it closed I had decided earlier this week that today was the day that I would head over to the Discovery Wildlife Centre. The place where they keep real live bears, leopards etc. I apologize… for my Australian friends… This is what a Kodiak “beer” looks like! I got to go behind the scenes and meet several other bears and see how they were trained and what tricks they were able to do. They also told us the list of movies and advertisements that these bears have been involved in. We were the given the opportunity to get our picture with one of the three bears with the option of the bear in a scary expression, waving or smiling (sort of) and waving. As you can see I chose the scary expression. Then after picking up the above picture I headed out to watch the training of the leopards. One was black with black spots (kinda hard to see but they assured me that they were definitely there) and the other was brown. They walked over logs and jumped from stand to stand, did some paw painting and received lots of treats. There were also lions, wolves, squirrels, monkeys, rein deer (yes, they actually live), buffalo etc. Some of the animals were behind small chain link fencing which was then behind another fence. Great for viewing and safety and now I have a whole bunch of awesome pictures of chain link fencing with blurred animals in the background. I was considering showing you all a picture of real fair dinkum Canadian chain link fencing but upon further inspection I found that it was pretty much the same stuff as we have in Australasia. I have posted a small video here of a black bear having a great time in a small pool!

Today was one of the hotter days we've had for quite some time with temperatures in the 20's so needless to say I am almost as red as a beetroot. I headed down to the $2 shop and picked up a couple of bottles of aloe vera moisturizer. I spent a good hour and a half driving around this evening checking out a couple of lakes around the area before heading home and writing this exposé of my day :-) I also found out that the area I had parked my car on a few months back to watch a speed skating competition was actually all ice and that where I parked it would be now about 50 metres out from the shore and in deep water!

Posted by classique 11:46 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

May 10th – 14th

Cleaning the corals


This week, on top of my usual tasks, I cleaned out 6 corals. We cleaned out the corals last fall and as winter came on and continued on and on and on we bedded and bedded and bedded with straw and it has piled up quite high as you can see in one of the pictures. The object of the bedding is to ensure the the calves are not lying on wet ground. So this week I attacked between and one and two corals a day to get it all done by the end of the week. Most of the corals would empty with about 4 loads in the solid manure spreader but the last coral took about 8 to 9 loads. Each coral took around 2½ hours to clean out, and each load took 20 minutes or so to load up and another 10 to spread on the field. Once each one was cleaned out I re bedded it to get a dry base.

Posted by classique 10:40 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

May 8th


sunny 27 °C

The weather has been rather topsy turvy lately. A couple of weeks ago we had some nice days with temperatures in the mid 20’s. They had rain forecast and it turned into a brutal snow storm causing several 40 to 60 car pile ups on the freeway as visibility dropped to about 50 feet and the roads turned to ice skating rinks. The forecasters then predicted warmer weather but all it seemed to bring was wind, wind and more wind. I love the snow and rain in comparison to the wind. At least with the rain and snow you don’t end up eating half a bucket load of sawdust as you cart it from the shed to the bedding site. The grass has returned to its nice green state but has been covered in a blanket of white several times.
It’s nice to be able to say that finally all the tourist attractions are coming out of hibernation. Now I am struggling to decide which of the many things available I should do. I have been spending an exorbitant amount of time trying to plan the first stage of my trip back in Europe. I have had it several time where I have researched something, finally decided on it and suddenly the facts have changed, i.e. I final got my credit card the other day which means I can now purchase those 5 pound flights around Europe with Ryan Air. Now I have found out that if you pay by credit card (which is the only way to pay) that they levy another fee of minimum 5 pounds as a levy. But they don’t charge that for prepaid master cards. So now I am trying to find out who I can get a prepaid master card from. I researched a bag which as far as I could tell was the exact dimensions for the ryan air carry on limit. Then, just as I was about to buy it, I find that one of the dimensions was back to front and the bag was 2 cm’s to big. After a lot of consideration I decided to get it anyway! As I am trying to do everything with just a carry on bag I need to purchase a 10.1” Netbook as they only weigh about 1kg where as mine weighs about 2.3 which is a lot when you take into consideration the bag itself weighs 3.6Kgs and I have a 10kg limit.
Wim and Hennie flew out to the Netherlands a week back and Jan and I have been running the farm. Jan has been working every morning and I have done 4 mornings this week on top of the normal work load.
On Saturday just past the church congregation got together and assisted in a statewide highway cleanup event. We cleaned 16klm’s of highway, both sides. It started about 8:15am on Saturday morning and we were finished at 12pm. I arrived a bit late because of the feeding that I had to do on the farm before I went. The idea behind it is that all groups, clubs and organizations can volunteer to clean up the highway and will be given a certain length of road. Once completed the group etc wil get paid a certain amount of cash per km. There were a lot of drive through coffee cups and a lot of cigarette packs picked up. We also found many hub caps and a exhaust tip for a car. Once we had finished we headed to Subway for a quick hunger quenching lunch after which I headed back to the farm and back to work.

Posted by classique 10:39 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

May 4th

More snow

snow -4 °C

Well today we had a little freak snow storm. It was meant to rain but as temperatures continued to drop it turned into a snow storm. Visibility dropped to about 50 feet and we had about 5cm’s or so of snow whereas Calgary which is about 1½ hours away was having an extreme dump of snow. Reports starting coming over the radio of highway’s shutting and several pile up’s ranging from about 50 to 60 vehicles including semi trailers on there side etc. Some towns lost all power for the whole afternoon and well into the evening. The very next day most of the snow melted away and we went from green grass to pretty much everything being white and then back to green grass in a period of about 24 hours.

Posted by classique 10:39 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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