The day Earl went hunting Doocarks…

Hi All,

We started off our day with an early walk for Steve, finishing off a bit of studies and at about 11am, we decided that we might take the boys to Exeter, along with my overdue library book and CD, for a walk. We hadn’t been to the op shop in a while and its always interesting to fossic around there and waste a bit of time so we headed out the gate to the car. Steve was getting Bezial up into the back of the car and gave me Earls lead to hold. Some of our chooks were milling around as they quite like us as we often give them little treats and hanging around tends to result in a positive reward. Today it almost didn’t! I have had a bit of a dicky knee for the last few days and haven’t been able to walk first up in the morning until it loosens up a bit. I was taken off guard by Earl lunging at the chooks and I slipped on the loose gravel, skidded down the hill, dropped to my knees and let Earl go! It was on…it was a bit like a Benny Hill episode but it was deadly serious as Earl picked the weakest link in the chook confraturnity and took off after her. It was one of our 2 year old golden wyandottes and where Earl ‘hit’ her (like a shark broadsides you) you can see a pile of feathers which is much bigger than this photo lets on…

Steve is pretty fast and luckily had his new trainers on, so he took off after Earl and managed to head him off at the pass by shoving him over the edge of the pathway. Earl took all of 2 seconds to recover and run over to where the poor girl had headed into the blackberries and went straight in after her. Lucky for her, he couldn’t quite fit into the small hole that she had squeezed, in her terror, into and Steve grabbed his lead and pulled him out of the blackberries with a mouth full of feathers! Its hard to get too angry at Earl. He arrived here in Tasmania a bit battered and scarred at 17 weeks. I know that the kennels that we bought him from were not a heaven on earth for dogs and are more like a puppy factory for the owner. Earl was unable to be sold because he wasn’t massive. He has a classic American Staffordshire Terrier shape and as such, isn’t what the breeder was trying to achieve which is a short, very wide, ball of muscles. I get the feeling that Earl suffered a bit in his early years in South Australia, but he has recovered and is a lovely dog. All that aside, Earl was bred to hunt. You can see it in his eyes when he spots something. He can’t help his pedigree, but it makes it difficult when you have a farmyard full of domestic and wild animals, all smaller than Earl and all prospective lunch! Earl had earlier chased one of the ferals who was much faster than him and Bezial and who sauntered back up when they knew that the boys were up on the deck and gave them a cool “Try and get me now…” look in his eyes. So Earl had residual adrenalin. We were so worried about our poor girl and managed to toss Earl into the back of the car and head out hunting for her. She was still right where she had gone to ground and knowing birds, I was very worried that she would simply die of shock as Earl had most definately got a hold of her. I picked her gently up and examined her but she didn’t have any blood on her (unlike me who had cut myself on some tin when I slid…). I put her gently down to see if she could walk and she trotted off down into the second garden. Steve went looking for her and she had again, hidden in the shrubs so we left her be while we went to Exeter.

Here is Earl looking like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth on dads old favourite chair that we couldn’t bring ourselves to get rid of and that Earl has taken as his own, but we are more than aware that he has latent chook mangling tendencies now so your being watched now sunshine….

We got back after finding a decent sized cake tin, a stainless steel shelf for Steve’s shed and a jam tart tin all for $1 at the op shop, walking the boys and taking back the overdue library books to no fine for me! Bonus. I HATE paying overdue library fees. We took the boys in to the compound and shut them in then went hunting for our poor most probably quite sore girl. She was walking around just fine and appears to have sustained very little damage. I think that Earl got a mouth full of feathers for most of his troubles and I think that I sustained more damage than the chook…we now have to make sure that we are very careful whenever the dogs and the chooks are in close proximaty of each other. Earl is very strong. Not as strong as Bezial who was a perfect angel and who stood still not even held by anyone while the whole hen, Earl and Steve chase occured. He just hopped up into the back of the car and hoped that he wasn’t going to suffer any of the obvious backlash that was about to unleash itself on Earl! Bezial is not stupid…Earl, on the other hand, doesn’t give a stuff, so there is no point telling him off, he just looks at you as if to say “what? Are you talking to me?” I am so glad that he didn’t kill that chook. It would have been my fault! Talking about Bezial, he has a love hate relationship with sunshine. He spends his afternoons alternatively laying in the sun and getting up and moving out of the sun as his black mass heats up. He loves to lay upside down and thinks that there have been altogether too many photos of Earl going onto the blog and not nearly enough of him so here he is, in a sunbeam…

We had to go hunting for eggs yesterday as one of the chooks was making a racket up in the first paddock. We have a broody stealing eggs so that puts the other girls off laying and I had suspected that they had found somewhere else to lay as we were getting “0” eggs for a couple of days and that wasn’t normal. Steve and I headed off up to the area of sedge that the girls love to rootle around in when it gets hot and Steve found their new nest, in a hollowed out tree. He took a photo of the 3 eggs that we collected today to show you their nest…

Steve and I will be removing weeds tomorrow. There is no WAY that we can remove them all in a single day, but we can remove those that are in the areas that we want to plant into. We have some lovely weeping maples and disectums and would like to plant them out underneath a large Japanese maple at the side of the house so need to poison some jasmine growing there. There is also honeysuckle, although I love the smell of honeysuckle its going to have to go. Apart from running wild through some of the garden, its starting to tangle itself into our plants so its wandering days are soon to be over. Once we finish sorting out the areas that we want to plant into, we can plant out a lot of our dwarf and low growing conifers. I have lots of Polycarpus lawrencei that I am going to plant out over a rocky embankment. I have lots of herbs that I want to plant out into a double concrete trough that is sitting in the first paddock. I picked up some apple mint and some pineapple sage at the little plant stand up the road from our place where everything is $2. Most of it is pretty standard stuff, but occasionally you can get something a little different. I picked up a pile of unknown bulbs (most probably Muscari botryoides) in pots for free on the side of the road not so long ago. You just have to keep your eyes open sometimes. Steve was talking about going to the Evandale markets again. We used to go regularly almost every weekend last year but since we moved here, its gone from being a nice leisurely drive on a sunday and then on to the Esk markets and back by 10am, to being something that we have to plan and justify the petrol. There is a market on at Exeter on Monday so we will probably go to that instead. Is anyone else doing anything exciting for the long weekend? Its just another week for us as holidays don’t register much with us out here. We will be working hard to get as many pots cleaned out as we can as next week promises to be wet and great weather to plant out pot plants.

Have a great weekend and enjoy whatever you plan to do. Think of Steve and I, bums up, heads down, painting weeds with glyphosate, hand grubbing out scotch thistles and sweating bucketloads, but loving every minute of it because it ISN’T BLOODY STUDIES! :o)


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mum.
    Nov 04, 2011 @ 22:17:40

    The chook should be okay Pen, but it would have had quite a shake up. She needed a bit of quiet after that episode with Earl,.Bezial looks so nice & comfortable in his sunbeam. He’s a big dog,& will feel the heat too. Why not take a few cuttings of the honeysuckle, get them growing, them make them standards? I have three woodbine honeysuckle, remember the pink one? I am trying to keep them into a standard shape. They are fully in bloom at the moment & smell lovely. At least you can take your own time over what you want to do, can’t you? Enjoy.


  2. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Apr 11, 2013 @ 02:51:00

    Chris works at Marshall University (grants coordinator). Have you seen the movie, “We are Marshall?” That’s where he works, a 50 minute commute, but he car pools with someone who works in his building – the science building – where you will see animals from time to time, anyway, off track. Being faculty he can check out most books for a year – hard to believe. They usually don’t have the books I want. By the same token I haven’t explored the library that well. There is a bookstore in the town that sells both new and used books, and the used books can be quite a bit cheaper than the kindle version. You might want to read Law of Attraction Gone to the Dogs, my post on our dogs.


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