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3 October 2003

The title doesn't really have much to do with today's report, except that it rained off and on and we kept finding these wonderful rainbows...and I couldn't pass up the chance to use the title.

potty of gold at the end of the rainbow!

What a wonderful place this is!!! We are at Settlers Run farmstay cottage. Of course, we are here because we are visiting, but Penny and Claire have given us the use of the cottage that would normally be rented out.

It's a beautiful place. I awoke this morning to the sound of a kookaburra sitting on a post outside the back porch, laughing. His mate sat on a telephone pole nearby. Never did get a good photo, but it was a good omen.

We wandered around the grounds here. They own 100 acres and have lots of livestock. We enjoyed watching the sheep (and bottle feeding 3 of the nearly-grown lambs).

We followed Penny around as she let the horses out and gave us a tour of all the outbuildings on the place. The puppy, Indy (named because she was born on the 4th of July), had a great time keeping up with us, romping through the fields of daisies, and herding the lambs (she's a border collie, so sheepherding is in her blood).

We did our turns at the computers. I got a couple of Funny the World entries uploaded and registered a domaine name for Settler's Run, Peggy worked on some graphics and we found an interesting way to solve a technological problem---

Peggy had taken pictures of the cottage for me to use in the web page I'm designing for Settler's Run. The picture was nearly perfect, except she thought it would look better with a more interesting sky and more clouds...and Penny was unhappy that there was a wattle tree in the foreground, which she doesn't like and means to cut down.

Peggy spent some time trying to get the sky right, to get blue behind the leaves of the wattle tree, and to make the picture look just perfect.

As she worked, she looked out the window and saw that the sun had come out, the clouds were beautiful and...what was she doing trying to craft the perfect photo in PhotoShop when she could just walk outside and take it again! Not only that, but Penny picked up an axe and hacked away at the wattle tree and in a matter of seconds, Peggy had the perfect picture--lovely clouds and no offensive tree-- without so much as manipulating a single pixel.

I had a bit of a moral twinge in the mid afternoon. We had just come from the raptor center in Margaret River where we had learned about the value of hawks, and the injustice of the laws which allow the killing of hawks in Western Australia, and the raptor center's attempts to get that law repealed. Here, they have a cage of small birds and a hawk has been making raids and has killed several of them. The hawk was back yesterday. Penny grabbed her gun and with one shot, put a bullet right through his head. I wondered what the guy at the raptor center would have done in a similar situation.

After lunch, we drove in to Mount Barker, did some shopping, and got the grand tour. While it doesn't take long to see greater downtown Mount Barker (which is about 3 blocks long), Penny whipped her 4-wheel drive around some "road closed" signs and through some beautiful scenery, until she came to a spot where the river was overflowing a bridge and decided that maybe it was better to turn around and go back from whence we came.

The skies opened up as we got home and we've had a nice bit of rain. But as I type this, Penny and Claire are out on the patio putting a barbie together for us, and Peggy is dozing off in the lounge. The dogs are asleep under my feet.

This was a day to relax, and just what the doctor ordered.

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