Bogged down on the farm

Monday, April 11, 2011

Over the last year we have been enjoying the extra rain the Lord has sent us - we love the fact that the earth is green, the tanks & dams are full & we haven't had to buy in any feed for our stock ( or even raid our hay shed which is still decidedly full from our 2009 hay cutting). We truly are so thankful for each & every drop - it's such a blessing to this land that has weathered so many years of drought.  But with all this lovely rain comes one problem.  Normal paddocks that are hard &  sure become soft & miry & very, very slippery.   If you aren't aware of the extent of the softness and you happen to drive over it, you are bound & sure to get bogged.  In fact I think the 2010/2011 harvest should have been labelled the' year of the bog' - because every day you were hearing of trucks & tractors & headers that were having to be pulled out of a bog somewhere or the other.  
Here on Sunnyside we have been fortunate not to have bogged any big machinery (not that we have anything that would be considered "big" around here), but  we have had a few bogged incidences of our own.

The first was when I got bogged in the jeep while driving over a paddock to check the sheep.  I saw our neighbour stop on the lane for a chat & went in that direction instead of staying up on the higher ground & before I knew it I was stuck fast.  Of course it was right when Dave was away for work, but thankfully the wonderful neighbour was kind enough to pull us our with two very long snap straps & his 4WD.   

 The next "bogging episode"  (the photos are from this one) was when we were again checking sheep (silly animals ;)  )  and Dave decided to take the back paddock - now I'm just sayin' here that I did mention that it was very soft down there - well he got right into the middle of the paddock & then stuck fast (this time in his ute).  We had to walk back to the house  right on dusk - without shoes (because Zai had forgotten his, so I gave him mine) - tired, grumpy children - overgrown paddocks - can you say FUN??!!??    We had to wait a few days until the ground was slightly harder before we used ol' blue our tractor to pull it out.  (And isn't it such a satisfying "pop" sound when it finally comes loose?) 

Dave drove the tractor back & I was driving the van - but who was driving the ute??

 The third time was by far the worst - it only happened recently & this time it wasn't actually on the farm (which is why it was so much worse than the others).  We were going to our friends house for tea & Dave decided to take this little random lane (which we'd never been down before). This part of Australia is criss-crossed with dirt lanes between neighbouring paddocks - little drive-through shortcuts for the locals.   It was a quaint, tree-lined lane & you could even see the spiders webs across the road which was evidence that it was long unused (yes, we should have thought a bit more about that).  We were driving our big van and all was going well when we came across a small creek flowing across the road, well instead of slowing down & stopping, we just plowed on through - well that is until we couldn't move.  (I will admit it looked much harder than it was & it hadn't rained for about a week, so we just didn't expect it.) Then began the long process of trying to push & maneuver it from the sludge.  Well there was no way that bus was going anywhere, so we realized we needed help.  Unfortunately our phone had no coverage in that area (in fact it's a terrible phone even though it's meant to be a country one & has no coverage anywhere around here) so we were left with no option.  We had to walk - we were tired, hungry & all dressed up to go out & you can imagine that couple of  kilometres back to the bitumen felt like hundreds (especially in my wedge sandles that were now coated in sticky mud).  Once at the highway we tried to flag down a vehicle to use their phone.  Just picture this - Dave right on the edge waving  and the rest of us a couple of metres off the road just trying to get someone to stop.  Saturday evening is definitely the quietest time for this road & it was quite a while before we even saw a vehicle. The first few cars just thought we were being friendly & waved back at us, but finally a car did stop - only to not have a mobile themselves.  Finally as darkness really began to descend we were able to wave down a big semi.  Thankfully the guy did stop although it took him many hundreds of metres to do so  & Dave was able to run up & use his phone.  Our friend laughed & laughed at our predicament & then she came with her hubby & pulled us out (because they really are wonderful friends!!)  
For us novice farmers these were major incidences, but for the real farmers around here, being bogged has been a part of everyday life this season.  I have heard of machinery bogged & the machinery bought into pull that out getting bogged & then the machinery to pull that out even getting bogged.  The most recent problem has been when the farmers are burning the paddocks (to try & get rid of the summer growth before they can crop this autumn) and getting bogged while in the burning paddock & having to watch their vehicle catch alight.  I can't imagine how frustrating that would be.

Zai has learnt to drive this year (although only in first gear)!

So another part of our life here in the country.  Another part of our story.  Something else to remember way back when our grandbabies are on our knees - the year of the bog!

Joining in


Hope you are having a wonderful week
We have a busy week of school ahead of us & then finally we will enjoy our Easter holidays!


"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

YIKES! Doesn't sound fun. Working at camp for so many years you would be surprised at the people who try to drive on a "camp vehicle" only road. MANY times getting the tractor to get them out.

Smilie girl said...

A very sticky situation!
I remember reading a kid's book about a tractor. It was from NZ. In the story, the tractor got bogged and everything that came to rescue him got bogged too.
It's good to have the rain and a new set of things to think about :)

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

You don't need to live on a farm to get bogged which is why I had the lovely outlook from my window last week of our Subaru ute stuck fast in the mud. It made an impressive garden feature. It dried out enough yesterday to use the other Subaru Brumby ute we have as a paddock basher to pull it out. Our property is steep and we often end up with utes or the tractor or both stuck at the bottom of the hill. Our scariest 'being stuck predicament' was when the milk tanker cut a corner and clipped our van on one of the tight bends and knocked us onto the edge of the bank with a steep drop off. He had a rope and was able to pull us off the edge. I was praying furiously and not daring to look out of the window!
We own a 4wd van with reasonable clearance which has saved us and many other 2wds who drive into paddocks to park as you do in the country when attending weddings, parties etc.
Actually my scariest being bogged story has just come to mind - when my husband decided to take a remote route across a mountain road in NZ in winter. He was convinced our 4wd would make it across the snow field. Wrong! I am convinced that only prayer got us out that time. See Renata you have me reliving all my bogged stories! I enjoyed reading yours. It is not fun at the time but you will look back and smile about your 'bogged' experiences down on the farm.

Christy said...

oh my Renata! that certainly will be a memorable year with all that getting bogged! at least the plants and vegetables are loving the boggy soil! we are getting our first crop of navel oranges!! Thanks for your comments on my blog. I think the colour is pale eucalyptus (a colourbond colour) - it's my favourite too! We are doing well and making lots of progress with plans. Love to all you guys xoxo

Grandma said...

Hello Narn, Welcome back from your week away!! We city-siders don't really think about getting bogged much with all of our bitumen!!! Still we miss the experience of sliding around on the road! Was surprised to hear that Zai's learnt to drive - but that's pretty normal for life on farms - most of my cousins could drive as kids. I actually learnt to drive when I was 15, but you don't need to know about that!!!! However, please tell Zai that Grandma would like him to wear his seatbelt!!!!!!!!!! (I still remember a young lady in Biru who'd gotten thrown out of her ute in an otherwise minor prang - she never wore seatbelts around the farm!!!)
Today started off as a lovely sunny, breezy autumn day (ie great washing day!), but now it's clouded over and had a couple of little showers. Did get the sheets & towels off. Hopefully, the rest will dry with the breeze.
Better to and finish my essay (otherwise I will have the dreaded aunties giving me a hard time when they return from work and uni!) (only joking girls!!!)
Lots and lots and lots of love to all - love Mum xxxx

selina said...

Hi Narn,
So much mud to get bogged in!!
All those poor little kiddies having to walk so far cos their parents go their car bogged!!
Have fun,

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Oh, my! Getting stuck that last time would be much worse than our little incident in the city recently! I'm glad someone finally came to your rescue!

I've always been a mountain girl at heart, but seeing those pictures of such wide open spaces is really breathtaking!
Have a blessed week and thanks for linking up!

Kim said...

Boggy or not, your property is beautiful! Our favorite song of the moment is "Praying for Sunny Days" area just set a new record for rainfall~80 days in a row! I'll be singing that song until the cows are standing ON TOP of the soil and not belly-deep! :)

Sally said...

Yowsers! What a story!!! I found you by way of Homestead Revival's Barn Hop, and while I don't like all your trials, the pictures of where you live, and the story itself are amazing!

Quinn said...

These things are never fun when we're in the thick of it are they, but after time softens the edges of the memory a bit, they surely become a fun memory and great stories, don't they?

We got lost in the streets of Boston a couple years ago during a rain storm. My skirt was soaked to my knees and I was so worried the baby would get sick. It was miserable and I was so upset, but looking back now, it's great for a laugh.

Connie C said...

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Savories of Life said...

Life msut be fun on yoru farm. Visit me.

Linda Stubbs said...

Hi........I always love it when I see your name at my blog. We have been soooooo busy with our little filly. So wish you could come over the ocean to the farm. I would love your little ones to run around here in America. Now that is a fun thought. I guess we can wait for heaven.......that will be wonderful.

Loved reading your adventure. Have a wonderful Easter holiday!
Hugs sweet friend, Linda

Kath said...

While bogged down at least you are outside enjoying the beauty!!!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Couldn't really get your blog to load all the way for some reason so I could not read the text to this post!!! Sorry!
But thanks for your kind words about my sister's shower!
Parisienne Farmgirl

Frizzy said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. It gave me a glimpse into your life and I too can imagine you looking back on this time and laughing about all the bogging that happened. I'm thankful you all were safe.

Heather said...

Your property is so beautiful, in spite of the bogginess! Also, I can't get over how old Zai looks sitting in the truck. He looks very much like a young man now. I remember when I first started following your blog, he was just a little guy (5, maybe?) I can't believe it!

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