Third round is over with the last of the mustering finishing up today, all we have to do is hope that the rain holds off for tonight so the truck can get through tomorrow. The desilter arrived the other day to clean out two of the turkey’s nests (small dams that supply water to the troughs) only to hampered by rain that stopped him in his tracks leaving a nest drained and unable to be worked on, as well the problem that it had no compacted earth at the bottom making it impossible to desilt. So the construction of a new nest is underway, which will be a good thing in the long run as it will be much bigger and better than old one with a compacted base and walls allowing it to hold more water for longer. The rain is also causing other issues washing out creeks making it difficult for a ute to get through and nearly impossible in the station truck, we lost nine 100kg lick blocks going through one creek today making for a difficult clean up. Hopefully the new turkey nest should be done tomorrow and the truck will finally arrive so we can get the cattle out.
Third round is starting tomorrow so the last few days we’ve running gear out to camp, ute load after ute load has had to go out from the gear for cattle handling to all the basics for living out on camp. We took the horses out yesterday only to end up in a race against mother nature herself, winning only by a nose I made it back to the station before the skies opened up and the rain came down. So for the next week it will be all go go go until third round is over.
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.
The skies have opened up over Humbert bringing down the rain and bringing the wet season to us, although we only got a small shower at the homestead the rain was huge a little further down the road. Turning the roads into rivers and causing the creeks to flow, all this water made it extremely slippery to drive about. All of this caused me to slip into the dam while trying to rescue a cow getting me axle deep bogged, after trying to drive out myself I eventually had to call the homestead to be pulled out and rescued. Tomorrows bore run should be interesting.
We finally finished the paving this morning leaving us the rest of the day to catch on the other jobs we had around the station. Four tires needed fixing with the tubes and rust bands shredded in two of them, one of the paddocks was running low on cattle lick so it was quickly topped up. Finally rain has been predicted for tomorrow and the weekend, so we’ll hopefully get that rain we’ve been waiting for.
The last left truck the station this morning meaning second round has come to an end and it’ll be back to station life as normal, today’s bore run proved to be more interesting than normal with one bore having broken belts, another threw both belts without explanation, thankfully they both seem to be running fine with the belt replaced. At another bore the pipe was blown and in need of a hasty repair before the turkey nest lost any more water.
Its another week on Humbert River Station with the kicking off with a quick day trip (850km return) to town yesterday, to pick up supplies. While today was spent sorting out supplies, checking more fences and feeding the cattle in the yards. With the loader broken this has become a difficult task requiring the 500kg rectangle to be rolled onto a ute and driven to the yards. The temperature is continuing to rise with 38 degrees today and a predicted 40 degrees later in the week, at the station dogs know how to keep cool.
Its been one of those days were nothing seems to right, the truck was meant to leave this morning carrying a ute to the mechanics but it made it less then one kilometer before it broke down itself. The loader wouldn’t start so we couldn’t put out the cattle lick and I went out to replace a float valve on a trough only to have to the wrong the size float. Fortunately the potty calves have settled in and are feeding well, we’ve also had a lot of whirly winds picking up the ash from the fires creating these black pillars towering a hundred feet above the ground.
The fires have been extinguished thanks to some hasty repairs to the grader, but not with out leaving a trail of destruction in its wake including large pasture losses and damaged fences. Second round is continuing with the contractors ripping another paddock, between these events day to day station jobs must still be done with cattle lick being put out today and a very eventful bore run yesterday.
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