Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Friends, Mountains, and Stars

Recently we've had some friends come visit for a weekend - it was lovely seeing them again and we had a fun time showing them around the farm. In between the 'kuier', 'braai' (not barbecue) and eating, we went on some long walks, and because of the (wonderful) warm weather even had a surprise first-of-the-season swim!!

There was an incredible amount of flowers in the veld, but all different from what I documented in September

Break time. 

Proof for the first-of-the-season swim. 

I asked them to wave, but the result was better.  

Sunday, October 18, 2015

From Kitten to Cat to Kittens!

Over the past year we had our first ever cat in the house (which has always been my dream)! Our dear little kitten Nassie is however not so little anymore - we've had a wonderful time so far being cat owners (or perhaps cat-owned is more accurate?), and once again observed how all animals have their own personality. We enjoy Nassie tremendously, even mom and dad (who has never even had a cat when they were children)! Her dainty manners, stately cleanliness and clear attitude of absolute royalty makes us all smile. For no reason we can see, she strictly prefers to sleep on Theuns' bed during the day, and likes her morning pet at 8:00am precisely, thank you. She knows exactly what she wants and what she doesn't want - and woe to the one who dares to cross her on a bad day.

So here's a few photos of the past year...

Tiny and adopted, last December. 

She went from baby kitten to playful kitten to know-it-all-but-not-really teenager with hormones...

 .....and now Nassie is a mother!

From 'Kammanassie' to 'Mammanassie'...

She delivered two kittens in the bathroom, and was purring most proudly for the next 2 hours.

 One day old. 

"A dog will flatter you but you have to flatter the cat." ~ George Mikes

Monday, October 12, 2015

Animals Farewell - Horses' New Home and Piglets Gone

Earlier in September, our 2 ponies Arend and Valk found a new home... Because we are only staying on the farm until the end of the year, we knew from the start we would have to sell them again. They taught us many lessons, and we have been blessed by the opportunity to have had horses and getting some valuable experience and life lessons.
What triggered the sale so soon though, was the planting of new orchards. Their camp (and grazing/food) next to our house is now a young fig orchard.

The new owners live on a farm in the Baviaans, and we are sure they will take good care of the ponies - so after having come to visit and see Arend and Valk once, the next step was to figure out the transporting business. 

After weighing Arend on the cattle scale, we determined that the 2 ponies together on a trailer would still be under the weight limit. Thus, the trailer it was! 

First, they tried coaxing Arend on, thinking that if they could get him on Valk would quickly follow. Unfortunately they had underestimated Arend's stubbornness. 

Tempting with treats...

He refused to budge. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

New Orchards

Since June, preparations has begun for the planting of new fig and almond orchards. It has been an interesting process to observe! The new fig orchard is directly next to our house, and we've spent a few annoying days trying to concentrate on school with the loud clankings of a bulldozer ripping the (rock-hard) 'Klein Karoo' soil next door....

First, Charles in the TLB cleared the area of 'veld', aka mostly 'renosterbossies' (a very tough but useless plant that abounds in the Karoo) and thorn trees. It is quite impressive watching him work as he knocks over trees and crushes shrubbery.

Mechanical advantages.

The heap of vegetation is left for a few days to dry and then burned.

Cleared enough for the next step. 

Once most flora is removed, it is time for the bulldozer to go to work. 'Oom' Jan rented the bulldozer per day, and the bulldozer rips the soil.

Of course pipes had to be removed before the bulldozer rips ("if that's our house's water....").

The thick, strong pens.

Nice neat rows of surprisingly deep 'trenches'.


While the bulldozer was still ripping, the little fig and almond saplings arrived (at first we thought it was just sticks haha). As their new home was not yet ready, trenches had to be dug real quick and the saplings kept moist.