Thursday, 20 March 2014

Hunting the Pigs

Today we are living on Rooshoek for exactly four months. What an event full four months this has been.
This week alone we have had a snake in the garden, said goodbye to our friend from the Falklands and last night we had wild boar hunters.
The Hunters we actually have quite often but these ones actually shot a wild boar. The first one shot since we moved here.
It rained the whole day yesterday and the evening air was quite cool so when Billy called at around nine I thought he was calling to tell me that he had finished hunting because he was dying of the cold but no ... the hunter had shot his pig.

Although I realize that some of my readers might frown about the hunting of the animals but please remember that we are farmers and these pigs are classified as vermin.
The wild boars were initially imported from Europe because they were the only natural enemy to a moth that was destroying the pine plantations.
Unfortunately there was no natural enemy to the wild boars and they soon became a pest.
We now have a situation on Rooshoek where they destroy fields of produce and sometimes even come as close to the house as our front lawn.
The meat we use for all kinds of "organic" pork cuts and use the meat fully.
The meat quality of the pigs are excellent and contrary to what one would believe it not a white meat but red and tastes almost like a cross between beef and mutton.
The pig weighed in at 123kg and after it was slaughtered we had 68kg of good quality meat  left.
Today as a postscript I am adding this beautiful picture of the pig's teeth that Billy sent me just yesterday. We cleaned it for him but he took the beautiful picture above.  I know plenty feral pigs will be shot on Rooshoek, but because this was the first, it would always hold a special place in my memory.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Our Owl

About  a week before we moved to the farm, we started coming to the farm every day to clean  the house. One day while having a picnic lunch on the front lawn we became aware of a very interesting ( and interested) audience.
From his nest in one of the oak trees  a baby owl has fallen. With his big big eyes he watched our every move.  The next weekend heavy rain fell and we were all worried that he will not survive, but he did.
His mom fed him on the ground and he became "our" owl.
Recently he was so tame he would actually come sit next to us on the steps or at night sit in the tree in front of Misha's window.
When our friends from all over ( even Italy and the Netherlands)  visited and  he was the most photographed item on the farm. He became out pet and we loved him. He had the most amazing eyes and sometimes he would look at one with eyes that looked almost human.
This morning we found him dead. We don't know what the cause  of death was but we suspect that he was killed by the grape harvesters, because they are still very superstitious about owls.
It is heartbreaking
that such a beautiful creature had to pay with it's life for something that  has no relevance in this day and age.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Tennis- the Rooshoek way

The game of tennis on Rooshoek is nothing like any game you will see on Wimbledon or Roland Gaross.
The Rooshoek version is also exiting and eventful but always different and the spectators... they are amazing.
Ben, our labrador loves tennis balls... not just loves, adores, so despite our best efforts to keep him in the house, he somehow always manages to escape.  the sound of the tennis ball hitting the court just drives him completely "bezonkers" ( mad)  and  I swear, he will find a way out of a high security prison to play with a ball.

So we made Ben our ball boy. He runs after every ball and the brings them to the server. Amazingly sometimes he would bring three balls at the same time(like on the photo). He would bring them to ones feet and then... one, two, three he will pop them out. ... And he is quick!!!  Off course after a while the balls are disgustingly wet and heavy with doggy drool and when one hits it... it goes splat... all over one! All the while Oscar, on the outside of the court is barking like mad, mainly because Ben is allowed inside and he is not.

Our night time game takes a completely different turn. For some reason, unknown to me, when the light goes on at the tennis court, hundreds of crickets come out to play. The five cats finds this challenging.  Like Ben chases every ball, they make it their mission in life, to chase every cricket on the court. This makes serving and playing quite tricky, because they have no concept of the "no cat allowed on the court while the game is on" rule.
So imagine the game... two rather unfit humans, one mad ball chasing dog, a loud dog spectator, five cats a lot of crickets. It might not be Wimbledon but it is quite a spectacle!