02 April 2011
Posted in Life's Style
All looked well to me and nothing appeared to be crooked in this agricultural area of Crookwell (excuse the funny), a country town that is accessible by driving 40km in the northwest direction through Goulburn. In this Upper Lachlan Shire of New South Wales, views of sandy coloured pastoral fields with its chubby grazing sheep have given me an instant feel of tranquility when entering this realm for my weekend stay.
It's been five years since I've set foot on Spring Creek when the property had just its humble abode, but now the newly laid bricks and mortar are looking like a picture out of a country style magazine. Elevated at 900m and as Giulia observes; the fluffy clouds that linger up above are like those in "The Simpsons" animation series and you certainly get the sense of being able to touch them! Giulia had relayed her story of a wicked electrical storm that once hit the property when the ground had actually exploded at the zap of the lightning strike. The next day, two startled sheep where found huddled up together with their singed woolly coats. Both had to be treated for burns, the poor darlings! As it has been quoted- "lightning can strike the highest point!"
After being given a tour of the house and its beautiful little finds, we then set out to pick the royal galas (perfect for baking) and red delicious (perfect for salads) apples from the nearby trees for the next day's baking. The mild freshness of evening had found us cozying on the sofas with a red wine in hand and one dog sharing our sitting space on each of our sides, then later they had migrated "into the covers and on top of my bed" leaving me very little room to move. Chloe, the small black terrier and myself have been gal pals since her days of living in Karlsruhe: where I was her sitter for a weekend; accompanied her through the Nuremburg Christmas markets; a day trip over to France and a ski trip in Switzerland that she joined with her family, but a few years later I was not forgotten in this little dog's memory. Regardless of my busy bed, the three of us had managed to have a soundless sleep through the stillness of the evening, and when morning broke we would rise from the bed in sync with one another.
Our early morning rise had prompted us girls to start the quad bike to venture over to the neighboring property. For my photo session, I wanted a glimpse of the morning's golden hue that would greet the old cottage that sat on the hill. It was a challenge for my driver to a ride through the long yellow grasses and somewhat nerving what may lie beneath it, but we were up for the challenge. We had spotted a couple of cute bunnies whilst dodged the spider webs along our path. A praying mantis had decided to join us on the quad bike for a part of our journey, before we gave him back to mother nature. Feeling a little rusty of the livestock procedures from my days of living on a hobby farm, I had decided to leave the Yallouris family to tend to their sheep. I looked on from the veranda while preparing the apple and rhubarb crumble, to notice that the sheep don't get to move very far without the presence of alpacas; Major Tom and Sundance. Both are extremely protective of these animals and it is very touching to observe and they could definitely give a shepherd a run for his money! A copperhead had been spotted for the first time on the property in 14 years of ownership and although this slivering, venomous snake may not do too much damage to us human beings through his bite; he has been removed from close proximity to protect the playful family dogs.
Ready for some pub grub, we headed off to downtown Crookwell along the dirt road where I had spotted a Kangaroo that was blending amongst the trees. I was complimented on being able to spot our aussie icon in such low light conditions, but to be honest, I was on the wildlife alert- unfortunately, dawn and dusk are notorious times for road kill. The kangaroo decided to pull out and do his "hop pity hop" down the centre of the road, then he veered to the left of the road, again another hop to the centre of our path before he chose to jump a fence in an effortless fashion. After our meals of bangers and mash and beer batted fish at the local, we set back onto the dirt road and drove beneath the clear blanket of southern hemisphere stars. We stopped the car, looked up to see the visibility of the shiny Southern Cross-I smiled and said quietly to myself "welcome back downunder aussie girl!"
You may also like to look at the Rhubarb and Apple Crumble recipe.