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Saturday, October 5, 2013

LED Lighting, Family Members, Maintenance

First job of the morning was a walk down to the pumps and kick them into action. The holding tank is low and all the beds will need watering this morning. As usual the dogs go with me and hunt around smelling the lingering scents of the previous nights visitors. Usually foxes, wallabies and rabbits. Nikki stays with me hoping I'll throw a stick in the dam for him to fetch but since he is recovering from a bad neck injury that does not happen. Bill stays in the background observing proceedings and only venturing forward occasionally. Lisa is off running about looking for rabbits or anything else of interest.

The pumps working I head back to the house. Of course Lisa is missing but I know she will not be far behind. If she misses the opportunity to go through the fox proof fence with me she always sits patiently on the other side and waits until someone comes and opens the gate. We are not sure how long she will wait because occasionally she has just appeared magically at the house. For a small slightly portly dog climbing over a one metre fence is an achievement.

I keep an eye on the gate and on schedule she appears just sitting and waiting.

And then when she sees that someone will let her into the Orchard a big grin breaks out.

Every year our entrance road needs a bit of maintenance. Being 400 metres of bitumen it acquires the occasional pot hole which needs patching but this weeks job was to trim away any grass from the edge which if left too long will force its way through the bitumen surface and erode this expensive access. After trimming away the growth we also rake the clippings over the edge.

As this is our only way in or out of the property it is our escape route in the event of a major bushfire. The section just below the road is steep and mostly Blady Grass which has grown tall and now very dry. When this burns it produces very tall flames and masses of black smoke. In the event of a fire it would be difficult to navigate down the road and so we spend some hours cutting a wide break along the downside of the road. The fallen grass will still burn but not as intensely and provide an opportunity to escape.

And of course we could have burnt off the grass as most of the locals do but didn't someone mention something about global warming and CO2 gases? Can't remember what that was but anyway I'm sure the soil will benefit from not killing the microbes and the cattle will enjoy the juicy regrowth. Must ask the neighbours one day if they have heard of this climate change rumour. I'm sure they will know about it.

Another long standing member of our family is Burbles the companion fowl. She and Bootsy are the only two fowls to share the house yard. They have learnt to behave themselves and only venture into a vegetable bed when we are digging it over to help with any grubs. Having ceased laying some years ago she keeps us company whenever we are outdoors. Especially if we are eating. She is of fairly large proportions and is a bit like a Saturn V rocket when launching vertically.

We raised Burbles after she fell from the nest and was abandoned. That same day she escaped from a large Brown snake as well. Destined to a peaceful life wandering around the house yard cleaning up any bugs or food scraps.

Todays big outing was an early trip to Aldi in Raymond Terrace to collect some LED lighting. There is a special buy of various LED lights and in our quest to continue reducing electricity consumption we have worked out a list of lights that could be beneficially replaced. In particular two tubes in the kitchen which are used heavily and various other frequently used globes which are either already fluorescent of halogen. At the moment we are leaving the down lights as is because the wattage available is insufficient. The few down lights we have are in areas which are poorly lighted by the main fitting and we rely on them to see clearly. No doubt in the next 12 months we will be able to replace these as well. Rather than throw out the old fluorescent lights we will use them as replacements in areas which are infrequently used.

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