Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Traveller Turns Farmer

You drive the tractor. The fence poster needs to go on the back of it. The bloody thing is hard to get on. It is huge and ungainly. The thing precariously sits on the back. You drive off slowly and it topples about and looks like it is going to fall over. Then you are lining up the tractor over the spot for the post. Drilling the hole with the auger. Getting the posts. Using the chain-saw to sharpen up one end. Picking the post up and putting it the hole. Using the rammer on the fence poster to whack it into the ground. Whack, whack, whack. Lining up over the next spot. Repeating. Making sure the post is level at all times. More whacking. It is in as far as it needs to be. The pump electrics need fixing. It is shorting on the switch. Switch removed and pump is back in business. It sucks air. You check on the foot valve in the river. Make sure it is clean. Find a huge wombat hole. Could almost crawl in it. No torch handy. Walk through sways of sticky beaks and burrs. Getting them clinging all over your clothes. Pulling them off for the rest of the day. A walkabout sawmill is being hired. You wear goggles and ear muffs. Saw chips still sting your face when it hits. Various board sizes are pared off the log and loaded on the truck. The fine sawdust clings to your skin with your sweat. Six hours and six logs are ripped up into rectangular timber. The truck is moved and the boards are unloaded in stacks. Batons separate the boards to air them. You head back to collect the tractor for the next section of fence. It is only a few days on the farm but you are still enjoying it.

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