Spring Beauty September 2011
 
Dry grass in the late afternoon light

Although we haven't had any rain yet, spring is definitely in the air. On one of our walks around the forest we came across an area with the most amazing fragrance. Bushes that we thought were "just ugly green bushes" were now flowering with bunches of small and very fragrant flowers. Identifying the plants on the farm is a real challenge and we suspect this bush to be some wild sage.

And although the long grass was now dry and dead there is a certain beauty when the light falls onto the leaf blades in the early morning and late afternoons. Grass identification is also becoming one of our more interesting leasure activities.

Amazing fragrance


  New Road Progress and the Woodpile

Woodpiles growing steadily at the campsite

 
New road from the gate side      

Still clearing sticks and branches furiously as we gain ground in cutting our new road through the forest. Working from both sides and looking forward to when we can get a car through.

We have to cut down and uproot a few reasonably large trees and lots of saplings. We also have a rather large fallen tree trunk laying right over the new road path which will have to be dragged out of the way before we finally break through.

      New road from the grassland side
 
Full Moon Rising

After a hard day's work on the evening of the 11th we were treated to a very special moonrise. The sun had gone down and it wasn't quite dark yet when the moon rose majestically up over the hill.

 

  Our "New" Tractor
  We had been looking around at all the farm implement suppliers in Meyerton and Benoni for a small tractor and slasher to make grass cutting in the open areas easier.

We had our eye on a really nice little Massey Ferguson 135 in Meyerton but the price was a little high. Then one day while driving through Heidelberg we spotted a little tractor with a "For Sale" sign on it on a street corner. We contacted the owner, checked it out and made the deal.

It was a 35X (older than the 135) and in full working order at half the price we would have had to spend on the 135. After a quick lesson on all the levers and pedals from the owner, we putted it out of town through the back roads of Heidelberg to the farm really early one morning.

Then we found a farmer in Hartebeespoort who was manufacturing small slashers at very reasonable prices and went through one Saturday to pick one up. All this farm stuff was just so big and heavy! And we just had so much learning to do.



 

So now we had the tractor and the slasher but still needed some kind of connection devices. This is called the pto shaft. So back to Meyerton to get one which was too long. "No problem" said the old man at the farm supply depot "Just cut it" and he showed me how. And then finally back to the old owner to get the toplift link and we were ready to go.

I'd love to know the life history of this little tractor. It's as old as I am and a little battered and bruised but everything that needs to work still works fine. Hopefully it will give us another good few years of service.