Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Week to Forget

Things started badly when I got an urgent phone call from my neighbour.
All my cattle had got out and had been herded into her place from the edge of the highway by a passing motorist.
This is our worst nightmare scenario.
I was puzzled to where they had got through as we had just repaired and strengthened the southern boundary fence.
A little investigation found they had made their way through a large swamp area that had always been considered impenetrable as it is extremely boggy with a mass of 3m high sword grass and entangled melaleuca scrub. It has never been fenced, even by the previous owner.
Well, after 25 years, that myth was finally debunked!
It was impossible to join up the two sections of boundary fence through the swamp due to the terrain so we had to fence off the entire area. This was a major job estimated to take 3 days.
My neighbour agreed to keep my cattle at their place while this was attended to. I transported hay over there to keep them fed.
So the co driver and I , with a lot of help and expertise from Neighbour Bob, got to it. Indeed on the afternoon of the third day we had it basically finished albeit tired, sore, insect bitten and barb nicked. We were short a few star pickets. They could be sourced and put in the next day. Then we could get the cattle back.

Or so we thought.
That night the heavens opened up and for three days we endured over 300mm (12.5inches) of relentless rain.
A deep low pressure system had formed off the coast and was not going anywhere.
Our creek flooded for what was probably the second worst time.
So not only can't we finish the 'swamp fence' but the cattle are 'stranded' on the other side of the flooded creek and who knows what other fence damage the surging water has done.
All we can do is sit and wait for the rain to stop (it's mainly showers now) and the flood water to recede.
But we are not too badly off compared to some others.
The areas to the north of us have had a lot more rain and many houses have been evacuated. Roads are cut in many places. A dam was, at one stage, in danger of collapsing.
Reports can be found here.

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