Monday, 6 February 2012

Motiva... Nah, Can't be Bothered

Motivation fades in me quickly. On the Wednesday I was really keen to get to Providence and run the station horses in and trim their feet. By Saturday morning when it came to the crunch all my eagerness had faded away to "Oh, I'll just check on them and see which ones actually need doing". Turns out two should be done within the next couple of weeks while the other two will get by for at least another month. On the list for next weekend...
Thankfully though, I gained motivation to get other jobs done. A visit to Capone who was chilling in the opened yards with Hoppy under the shady trees brought my attention to all the gamba grass that had sprung up from unclean hay. This particular grass is the one in which Professor David Bowman has suggested an introduction of elephants and rhinoceros to the Top End to control it as they are accustomed to African Savannah grasses such as gamba. Quite frankly I love elephants and I would think it pretty cool to see them thumping around the NT but not so much thumping down fences and such and becoming unmanageable. Back in the day when Africa was becoming "colonised", the elephants would trample buildings if they were in their migration path. Imagine them trampling kilometers of fencelines that backed onto no-go zones like a national park or untrustworthy neighbours? A whimsical idea but not a practical one. But at least, on Providence, I decided to do something within reasonable means about the gambe we had. After finishing mowing the lawn (my usual weekend task it seems to have become) I headed off back down to the yards with a garbage bag and pair of scissors. Capone, his usual friendly self, came up to me as what I initially thought was to say hello but instead he decided to make it known to the garbage bag swinging off my arm that it was not welcome on his turf and proceeded to try and headbutt the bag but unintentionally me as well. I've never felt the need to run away from Capone before as I had hand raised him and he knew who is mummy was and that I gave him pats and scratches and cuddles but on this day I did my best duck-back-suck-back to get away from him before he unknowingly did do me some damage. Seems it was safest to ditch the bag at which point he gave up trying to kill it and sat down under the tree to chew his cud. I then went about peacefully cutting off the seed heads of all the gamba, making trips with handfuls of it back to the garbage bag. But my rounds of the yard revealed another pain-in-the-butt weed. Sida. And this stuff is not easy to kill! So in addition to cutting off the seed heads of the gamba I went around chopping off the sida at the base... till I became a little overwhelmed. Different inexpensive, organic measures need to be taken so I decided that before my next trip home out to Providence I will go to DPI (the Department of Primary Industries) and see if they still dole out Calligrapha Beetles which eat the leaves of the sida. Sida needs its leaves to go through photosynthesis to be able to grow. The Beetle eats the leaves and the plant cannot grow and therefore prevents flowering, seeding and spreading. A nice, cheap and organic way to control sida considering that herbicides only seem to hamper growth but not stop it and $1000's can be spent trying to control it to no avail.
That's not to say that I don't want to spray the weeds that I do know will die from a bit of herbicide. After finishing off the gamba I dosed up the spray unit and Damian reconnected the lines on the pump and I set off to the Cooler Paddock ready to get trigger happy with the spray gun... till I discovered the pump wasn't working. Motivation... FADE! Even though Damian tried to figure out why the pump wasn't working I had already reached the point where I just didn't care anymore. Another task for next weekend...
But to prevent anymore spread of gamba I took the garbage bag of seed heads back to town with me along with kahki burr that was growing by the back verandah (without the burrs thank goodness) and put them in the wheelie bin where they will be smothered by 5,000 other peoples rubbish in a dump that already has these weeds and then some.
What really worries me though is if we keep getting unclean hay then the weeds are going to keep popping up to the point where every morning during the Wet in following years will be spent spraying just to keep it under control. We're also getting the dozer in sometime this year so I'm really hoping that it gets cleaned before it arrives or the motivation for a hissy fit will be high!

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