The rain has come down, the river has come up and I could be stuck. Heavy rain over night has caused the river to rise significantly cutting us off from half the station and the road to town, its also backing up some of creeks on the station causing us to be cut off again (but I’ll get to that later). With all the rain we went to pull a pump up the bank before the river rose too far but we were too late it was already up and were cut off from it making trip a bit of waste and leaving the freshly cleaned ute muddy again. Following this we went into Yarralin to pick up our panel yards and take them home, with the exception of a few storms hanging about it was uneventful until the trip back. One of the creeks we had to cross was dry on the way out but two hours later on the trip back it had risen to point were it was almost impossible for the manager to pass in the ute, luckily he got through by following the truck I was driving. Hopefully the rain will hold off tonight and I’ll get through tomorrow.
Over the last three days we’ve been finishing off more of the odd jobs that have been left over from earlier in the year, one of them is pulling up the bridge we half built down at Yarralin. We started building it so trucks would be able cross to get our second set of yards but half through we decided the river had changed to much from last year and the bridge would be too unsafe to use. Yesterday we received a truck load of bulls to build up herd numbers, so I’ve spent today running them out the paddocks there meant to be in, a simple job that has been made challenging by recent storms that have dropped trees on roads and left large bog holes which even bogged the truck bringing the bulls to the station. The river pump is still playing up, it has been sucking in the intake line to the point were it can no longer suck water up into the pump cutting off the water to the dams.
After weeks of making terrible noise we’ve finally replaced the diff in the stations body truck, it was a slow and difficult process as we don’t have the correct gear to lift the heavy diff into place, but after a bit of improvising and a bit heavy lifting we had it in place and bolted in. When the old diff was removed we didn’t find any metal shavings in the oil, just large bits and pieces in stead. Aside from that it was just a quick trip into Yarralin to pick up stores off the truck that’ll further top stations supplies for over the wet season.
We can’t live with out it and neither can the cattle which can make keeping the water up to them a never ending mission. The new turkey nest is still not at level were it can supply the troughs so i’m still manually carting water to them 1000 liters at time, although this sounds like a lot of water it disappears quickly when your watering a few hundred head of cattle. One of our main pumps has also been having some problems continually shutting down with out explanation, it turns out the intake pipe has been sucking in and closing up causing the pump to stall, with this fixed its now supplying the dam with water again and not a moment too soon as it has already dropped in level. Their are storms all around Humbert tonight so hopefully one of them will drift onto us bringing much needed rain.
As the weather delayed the completion of the final turkey nest the cattle were starting to run low on water so I’ve spent the day running water to troughs, 1000 liters at a time. Its a slow process with the tank taking half a hour to fill each time from the bore, the cattle clean up the water quickly so its a constant and never ending process. Fortunately the nest has been finished and there’ll be water in the troughs again by tomorrow afternoon. Yesterday we picked up our tractor and post ram from our yards on the outside of town only to find that they had been vandalized, wiring was cut, battery was missing, fuel bowl was broken and the fuel was drained, unfortunately these problems can occur when leaving things close to town for an extented period of time.
Its been a busy two days on Humbert with an early start yesterday heading into town to pick up supplies and parts so the station will be stocked up over the wet. And with the wet season quickly approaching we’re hurrying to clean up all the little jobs that we have left, so this morning it was all go moving cattle lick to sheds at the old outstation and cleaning up the remains of the old quarters that were burnt last week. Just to make things interesting this afternoon the loader that was cleaning out the turkey nest getting bogged axle deep, but the grader was soon on site and the loader was pulled out. Who knows what the next few days will bring.
Its been a long day putting out cattle lick around the station, we received forty eight tonnes of wet season lick three days ago and have been spending the last two days putting it out. It is essential to keeping the cattle healthy but a long process but it not with without its draw backs it is a long process and the blocks have as habit of falling off the truck and with a weight of 100kg a block they are impossible to pick back up. In other news the rain held off and the truck made it through by lunch today and one turkey nest has been completed and the other one has been started on.
We went into the park on Monday to pick up helicopter fuel drums that were left out there from when the National Parks did their cull of feral cattle only to be told they had already picked them up and we weren’t needed to do it any more, but seems as we were out there we had a look around the old camp and yards from the days when they used to drove the cattle to market. Yesterday was a long one leaving the station at 2:30 to make to town before 8, after dropping off my ute at the mechanics I picked up the station ute and spent the rest of the day picking up supplies, two flat tires later I made it back to the station at 11pm. It was a slow day today walking the loader two hours away to unload lick then walk it back. Were gearing up here for third round which will start Monday, we’ll start all the gear out to camp tomorrow.
The rain came in heavily last night with over 35mm falling in a few hours soaking the station, its roads and bringing creeks back to life, its also the one day a week the mail plane arrives making the first job of the day to clear the airstrip of termite mines and make sure the water has run off. This was followed by a bore run, made interesting by wet roads and paddocks as well as a bore motor that had thrown the fan belt. It had smoke coming off it, the radiator was dry but the motor was still running and the pump was still pumping, it was stopped, fixed and started first go. These motors continue to amaze me in their resilience and strength, I’ve seen one motor that was left with water sitting in it after the river had submerged it, all we did was change the oil and drain the water and it started first go.
Thunder and Lighting is clashing all around with promising signs of more rain but only a few drops have fallen at the homestead so far, hopefully it falls away from the main road so I can make it to Top Springs for Melbourne Cup tomorrow. We had more cattle lick arrive yesterday with the grader making putting it in the feeder the first priority of the day, by the time I had walked the loader to the feeder and back most of the day was gone, so the rest of the day spent cleaning the ute and fixing the three flat tires it had got during the day.
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