Saturday, February 11, 2017

The heat of the Summer

It's difficult to write a post and not mention the hellish weather we have been experiencing the last couple of days. We reached a new record under the varandah area yesterday, hitting a very uncomfortable 46°C (115°F). The house temperature rose to 34°C (93°F) and didn't drop more than 2°C degrees overnight. Grumpiness is only to be expected on these mornings!
Sadly, one of our older Dorking chickens didn't survive the hot weather even the day before.
Our brave broody hen, Toupee the naked-neck, hatched out one baby chick nearly 2 weeks ago (happened to be another 40°+ day with horrible northerly winds), so it's already a tough little chick who is accustomed to hot weather. He or she is keeping cool with no neck feathers (from Mum) and running around on 5 toes (from the Dorking Dad).

Having a bee in our bonnets again about rodents living in our walls (it's a theme continued over from living in the old miner's cottage in Stawell), we pulled down the false walls in the alcove area. The framework needs to remain in place for a little while yet.

Yes, we cleaned up nest sites and all manner of mess. There was a little render left on the walls, and the plinth over the doors are concrete painted white. The walls look in very good condition and we'll protect them with render again real soon.

Marty and I braved a clearing sale or two, brought home this neat meat-safe. It's in need of repair, but we're thinking it'd make a good fruit drying safe. Just need to figure out the best way to put racks in there..

And my favourite part, first thing in the morning, just as the sun is rising, I water the shade house. It's beautiful and green in there, probably THE best spot on the whole property. It attracts plenty of insects, to be sure, but in turn, the Willy Wagtails and more recently, the Grey Shrike Thrush have figured out that the buffet is free. We've seen frogs on the shadecloth and in saucers of water in the evenings, and the strong north winds are effectively blocked by the house and water tank. It's the ideal spot. I took a chance and planted beans directly in the soil on the south side of a row of straw bales and now we're getting a yield! The same beans planted in the kitchen garden have long since gone. Infact, the kitchen garden gets almost as much attention as the shade house does (although, I do raise seedlings in here, so they get attention twice a day), yet the kitchen garden is struggling to survive, let alone produce much food. There are plans for "Shade House Ver. 2" in the near future.. definitely before next summer!

In the meantime, we're keeping the humidity up with a wet towel in front of the fan. It's 34°C inside still, so I can't say we're keeping cool, but it's a lot more comfortable than being outside! It's easy to forget some simple measures to keep cool, so here's a link to an ABC article as a reminder!

Stay alive. :)


  1. Wow you are getting it hot! Congratulations on keeping yourselves and the plants alive. Hope it cools down really soon for you.

  2. Hopefully, this will be the last of the truly hot days. Anything under 40 degrees Celsius, a chicken can survive with adequate hydration. Sorry to hear your bad news, but I suspect there will be quite a few livestock deaths in this present heatwave.

    I didn't measure the actual temperature at our place, but said we got to 42 degrees. It was sweltering outside. I hosed down, both of our coops, in the middle of the day. I was worried about them. One of our chickens got out though, and if I hadn't checked later in the day, and let her back in, she would have died. She had no access to water and no means to get back in the coop otherwise.

    I consider myself fortunate on that score. Well done on your recent finds though (meat safe) and coping with this heat.