October 2023

October already and daylight saving for some. I’m very happy to be living in Queensland! 

It feels like summer and is very dry, a few crops sown early on heavy black soil still look OK but that could change very quickly, most are in ear and unlikely to fill. I’ve noticed quite a few For Sale signs going up. I was struck by the “Angel” cloud hovering over the hills out of Clifton. It was disappointing! On the other hand, I took a different way home from Leyburn today and was amazed at the amount of trees that are missing since I last came that way a few years ago. IMO the Govt should be planting trees instead of knocking them down for the new “renewable” grids. Humans are pretty thick, we’ve known for years that rain follows forested country and yet harvesting renewable resources(trees)is being banned and steel framed houses recommended(in WA)?! No wonder the planet’s in a mess.

When I came here twenty odd years ago I was told by locals that they used to grow winter wheat crops(there are big grain storages at Nobby and Greenmount ). Dry winters and late frosts had put a stop to that some fifteen years prior, and we’ve had very few wet winters since… climate change? Clearing all the land? The amount of soil blowing during the drought was horrifying. I can’t understand why farmers don’t plant rows of trees along their boundaries as most don’t run stock, just crop, and if you plant when it’s really wet they don’t need watering. 


September was a very sad month. Arthur Crumblin died in hospital after suffering a stroke. I feel so sad that he wasn’t able to do those things in his retirement that he’d worked long and hard for all his life, and had so looked forward to…breeding stock horses and trialing dogs. Health problems have plagued him over the last decade or so, but instead of getting grumpy he remained positive to the end. I will miss his very valuable advice and his skill  training the pups, but most of all his friendship and generosity. There are very few skilled stockmen left now with such experience, and he told some great yarns of ‘the old days’. The Karmala dogs would be nowhere near the quality without his wise words over the last fifteen years. Photos below of Arthur with Karmala Swagman at Karara in 2009. Swags died from a snakebite shortly afterwards while mustering; he was a favourite of Arthur’s and he was very upset when he rang to tell me. He loved Gibson too, and it was nice that he came and watched three of his first litter starting a few weeks ago. Great memories.

Unfortunately a couple of my puppy clients are coping with accidents and have delayed picking up their purchases, so I have more older ones than usual including the two flying to Japan this month. All quite delightful characters and I’ll miss them…but they eat a lot! There are also the three Gibson x Sunny pups, a Joaker boy and Koonawarra Downs Callie…just growing up. Plus four bitches in pup and three sires, two “visiting”! I’m planning on collecting and freezing Gibson and Barney semen next week, having finally worked out a manageable way to make that happen, just a trip to Pittsworth vets with the dogs and a bitch on heat. It will be great to have a bit of insurance.

I haven’t forgotten Livvy, she had eight pups two days early, all good. She’s a wonderful mum and they’re all full and asleep when I have a look at feed times. Only three girls.

I was given a couple of ewes and lambs last week, they’re very quiet, were living in a backyard with a kelpie for some time, so Midnight had a bit of fun helping move them. So funny, Siggy flying in to give her a hand in the video!


Midnight is due to whelp to Wills on Oct. 19.

Hoping you all get very wet very soon….