Scorrybreck Ponds

This could be an alternative name for the farm right now! Since Friday afternoon there has been a near constant drizzle, with intermittent downpours as a large East-coast low hung out over most of the Eastern coast of Australia. The rains eased off late yesterday afternoon after depositing close to 106mm in the Sale area.

Some of the soils around here contain high proportions of clay, which lends itself to waterlogging in sufficiently wet weather. This is especially amplified after a period, like the warmer days we have had recently, when they have dried out and the infiltration rate is such that a snail could make it to the end of a paddock before any water made it more than a few centimeters. This resulted in a lot of standing water in paddocks. In some areas there were overflows onto roads that caused closures and diversions to local towns.

One of the main road intersections not too far from the farm.

One of the main road intersections not too far from the farm.

Thankfully the rain was mostly steady and did not result in any major flooding locally, although other areas have been hit harder and there are still some flood warnings out. It is by no means the worst Sale has experienced, but it is the wettest I have seen the farm to date. I have kept a closer eye on the land and stock as part of the farm at the back is listed as being subject to inundation and currently the girls are down at that end. There is a drainage channel that runs across the back two paddocks for, I assume times like this. I believe it drains into the Lake Melanydra wetlands catchment that is nearby, although I am not 100% certain of this. With all the rain recently I was curious to see whether this had filled.

Found the channel.

Found the channel…

...and now I will play in it!

…and now I will play in it!

Not only had it filled, but the very back paddock was mostly waterlogged, especially the areas with native tussocks. The paddock before that where the girls are currently stocked is about a third waterlogged and the series of hollows which lie around halfway through the paddock have filled and resemble small ponds. This morning the dam had just overflown at the tip and the small boggy hollow where the frogs hang out behind the dam was also filled to its brim.

Humbug admiring the new paddock decor.

Humbug admiring the new paddock decor.

The stock are all fine and there is a good two-thirds of their paddock that is not under water or too wet and boggy. I wish I could say the same for my boots! On Sunday I had driven the Land Rover into the paddock but didn’t go into the tussocky areas as these were too wet. This morning as I was curious about the drainage channel, Deva and I took a stroll over. I had worn out my wellington boots earlier this year and presumed my jazzy new cowgirl work boots were waterproof…NOPE!

Not when most of the back paddock looked like this!

Not when most of the back paddock looked like this!

Today we have only had 1.2mm of rain and there is not too much more forecast so I don’t feel I will need to move the girls. Of course I will continue to monitor to situation just in case, but all is well on the farm for now and I am sure the vegetation will appreciate the drink.

– Rachael




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