Monthly Archives: December 2016

When the city gal moves…

December 6, 2016

When the city gal follows her ‘winemaker wanna be’ to the country, what does she do? Adapt… But for me, there was little adapting needed. I love my work and the views and the wildlife in my part of the world make my heart sing.  I awake every day grateful for my part in my gobsmacking, gorgeous surrounds and the animals therein.

But every once in a while, the nature I love, and protect where I can, seems to get the better of me. This week it did just that.  Now I’m not one to be scared of too many animals, but some I’m happy to see at a distance. Some are not so welcome in ‘my space’.

When I noticed bees had set up camp in the wall cavity of my outdoor laundry this week I was somewhat concerned.  Renovating the laundry is not high on my list of things to do right now, nor is hiring expensive humane bee removalists. Adding these concerns, to an already tough week, saw me increasingly less able to let go of my worries. Even more concerning was the email I received from the Hunter Valley Amateur Beekeepers, suggesting that as I lived in Broke, I would probably not be able to get anyone to travel to remove my bees, and perhaps I should get an exterminator! Are you serious? Have these people not heard of the crisis our bee populations are in? They’re the bee lovers for goodness sake! What the?

Regardless of my woes, life keeps going and washing needed to be done. So, one day, quietly entering my laundry, careful not to disturb any bees making their way out the wrong side of their new home, I heard a noise under some shelving, and it wasn’t buzzing. My new pup came charging in, barking madly, and I instantly recalled an ABC interview I’d heard on the radio the day before. It was discussing what a bad snake season this is!  So, I quickly called my crazy pup and we bid a hasty retreat.

Later that evening, when she escaped from the house, she raced to the laundry and resumed her incessant barking. Upon cautious approach I found her nose to nose with a beautiful, healthy, fat blue tongue. Instant relief!

Next day I resumed my well-worn track to the laundry, only to have my pup charge up behind me, and bark ferociously at a flower pot. This time, it was the animal I feared the day before – a baby brown snake. One of God’s creatures I’m less enamoured with and wish they’d keep their distance. Problem was, without my glasses, I couldn’t tell if it was just the skin, or still had a live snake stuffed inside.

Now don’t try this at home, but Michael’s response (remember he is a winemaker!) was to… peg a rock at it!  When it didn’t move, he assumed it was a skin and I wasn’t getting any closer to check.  Problem solved… except when I came back from hanging the washing it was no longer there!

Just when my week was becoming a little too overwhelming, I received the world’s best phone call.  A neighbour who’d heard on the grapevine that I was having a tough week wanted to come and visit. So later that afternoon, my two new besties, Scott and Felicity, came to the rescue in their shiny, white SUV (modern day version of the white stallion). Out they popped, donned their bee suits, and with one vacuum cleaner and one bee box our problem was solved. Not one single bee was harmed and now our newly identified Italian bees are happily working away in their hive in the village of Broke.

Did you know we started making wines in the laundry of our Sydney home? Commencing honey production was never meant to begin the same way! But who knows, may bee our Italian bees may be able to provide Italian honey for next year’s Little Bit of Italy in Broke?  All from the comfort of their new home – not my laundry!

So, with a little country hospitality, or in this case, ‘help in time of need’, my problem was solved and my week looks a whole lot brighter!

Now I need to forget all the animals for a while and turn my hand to organising our Grape Stomp coming up in March!  Believe it not, sometimes I do have to work…

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