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Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer (October Edition)

Updated on November 27, 2015
Jodah profile image

John is a long-time poet, short fiction, and article writer. He studied a Writing for Profit course through ICS but loves story-telling.

Mother hen and chicks
Mother hen and chicks | Source
Earth and Mars Orbiting the Sun
Earth and Mars Orbiting the Sun | Source

Time Passes Quickly

Well another month has come and gone. It amazes me how fast the days seem to pass the older we get. I did read somewhere recently that the Earth's orbit around the Sun has actually been slowly increasing in speed over time and, if this is true, time may actually be passing more quickly. That sounds like a good excuse to me anyway.

So, welcome to the long awaited October Edition of the Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer.

A nest containing cackleberries
A nest containing cackleberries | Source
Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea | Source

NO Snakes or Pythons!

Before I get too far into the article I'd just like to assure any readers who suffer from "Ophidiophobia" that there will be no snakes or pythons in this hub. So you can read on in confidence that you won't suddenly be confronted with a photo of one of those scary looking reptiles. Oh, if you didn't know what "ophidiophobia" was, you do now. It is the abnormal fear of snakes. Yes, it was a new one for me too. Writing is a great way to increase one's knowledge. I am always learning something new while researching articles.

The wedding party
The wedding party | Source
The outdoor setting (rain restricted its use)
The outdoor setting (rain restricted its use) | Source
Kathy and I
Kathy and I | Source
A new grandson Cyrus Jax
A new grandson Cyrus Jax | Source

There Is Life Outside the Farm

The month started once again with Kathy and I spending more time away from the farm. On this occasion it was to attend the wedding of one of Kathy's favourite cousins. The wedding ceremony and reception was held at a beautifully restored homestead located in the lovely town of Dayboro.

The wedding itself was a wonderful event, despite the ceremony having to be moved indoors, instead of being held in the garden, due to rain. I have included a couple of wedding photos here. As Dayboro is close to Brisbane we spent the weekend at our eldest son Daniel's house and travelled from there to the wedding and back.

On the following night I had to drive Kathy to the airport so that she could catch a flight to Darwin to spend time with our youngest son Trent and help out as his wife Cheenee was due to give birth to our newest grandchild. If you read my recent hub "Off the Cuff.." you will know all about that event (if you didn't, why not?).

Beautiful Irises
Beautiful Irises | Source
Jackson, one of the toy poodles
Jackson, one of the toy poodles | Source
The chickens free ranging
The chickens free ranging | Source

Back on the Farm

We had arranged for friends of ours who live nearby to feed the dogs, cats, and chickens while we were away. I arrived home to find that everything seemed to have gone smoothly enough in our absence, and a usually the dogs greeted me excitedly. Coco can actually say "Hello" I kid you not. One day I will try to capture her on video greeting me.

The chickens have finally grown and are independent enough to be released from their pen. So now they are free ranging with the rest of the poultry. Three of the hens are now nesting, however the cackleberry that Speckle was sitting on disappeared (probably taken by a predator) and she has been sitting on half a dozen macadamia nuts instead.. silly chook.

I actually felt sorry for her and placed an egg, laid by one of the other hens, underneath her. Otherwise she'll be sitting for months trying to hatch those nuts.

Hippiastrums blooming
Hippiastrums blooming | Source
Canna lillies
Canna lillies | Source

In the Garden

In the garden new flowers are continuing to bloom now that Spring has sprung. The purple irises are looking beautiful, as are the hippeastrums, hibiscus, and the bourganvillea are beginning to flower. Even the mulberry tree has tiny fruit forming.

I have been spending some of my alone time weeding the gardens and have planted rozella and capsicum seeds. These should start to shoot and bear by the coming summer. The spinach and Chinese cabbage that provided us with greens all through winter are surprisingly still bearing new leaves.

Hibiscus and happy plant
Hibiscus and happy plant | Source
Silver beet
Silver beet | Source

Life as a Batchelor

On my first shopping day alone I went to a venue called "The Pantry" located at and run by one of the local churches. It is like a food bank where you pay $40 and receive a hamper of grocery and household items, fruit and vegetables. You get a choice of items and probably around $120 value. All the food is donated from Supermarkets and local farmers, and all money raised goes to helping the needy.

The hamper contained so much fruit and vegetables that there was no way I could use it all myself. I sold a box full to some friends nearby for a greatly discounted price and blended what I couldn't use immediately into juice which I froze so it wouldn't be wasted. Any left over vegetable matter was fed to the chickens.

With Kathy away it's my responsibility to do all the housework and cooking.I don't really mind, especially the cooking as it gives me a chance to experiment and practice my culinary skills. Besides, if I need help or advice she is only a phone call, Skype or FaceTime away.

A few of the poultry
A few of the poultry | Source
Chickens resting in kaffir lime tree
Chickens resting in kaffir lime tree | Source

Until Next Time

Well, that's it for another month. As you see, I was being truthful when I said there would be no snakes. I'll say goodbye now, and look forward to seeing you again next month. Thank you for reading and your support of my hubs. I look forward to reading your comments.

But just for a little excitement before I sign-off, here is a picture of another regular visitor to the Cackleberry Farm. I encounter at least two or three of these little guys almost every night. They don't mean any harm and they do keep the cockroach and insect numbers down.

A friendly Huntsman Spider
A friendly Huntsman Spider | Source

© 2015 John Hansen

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    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading Jo. It is always interesting to read about rural life in other countries. I find there are always similarities as well as differences. I'll check out your hubs as well.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      2 years ago from Tennessee

      This is delightful. I live the rural life also here in the States. I'll be back to read more.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Lawrence, thanks for visiting "the farm". Unfortunately the chook that was sitting on the macadamia nuts has given up. The egg I placed under her also disappeared so I presume it was taken by a goanna as I have caught one trying to take other eggs. The dogs chased it but I imagine it will be back.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Lawrence, thanks for visiting "the farm". Unfortunately the chook that was sitting on the macadamia nuts has given up. The egg I placed under her also disappeared so I presume it was taken by a goanna as I have caught one trying to take other eggs. The dogs chased it but I imagine it will be back.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      John

      I guessed that ophidaphobia might be the fear of snakes. It was good catching up with events on the farm, and I'm glad you felt sorry for the 'Chook with no chicks'

      Lawrence

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hello Deb, thanks for reading and the great comment. You are welcome about the huntsman spider too. Hopefully I have enough content for next month's edition..we will see. You have a great month too.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Glad to hear that all is well. Thanks for showing me a huntsman spider. I don't mind the reptile pictures, and it is always good to see the chickens. Glad to know that macadamia nuts are as important as cackle berries to the chickens. Tell Kathy I said hi(grin), and look forward to hearing the next bit of news. Have a great month!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Shauna, so sorry about the spider surprise at the end of the hub. Had toi add a bit of excitement for anyone disappointed with the lack of snakes. :)

      Glad we share some of the same flowers though.

      I'd love to be able to film Coco saying "hello" when we arrive home from an outing, but for some reason she is terrified of having her photo taken...go near her with a phone, iPad whatever and she slinks away.

      Thanks so much for reading..lucky I didn't put that photo of the spider at the beginning.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      John, I love you my friend, but that last photo freaked me out. I'm afraid of spiders, especially the big hairy ones! I'd much rather hear about your snake encounters. I really do hate spiders and snakes, two phobias Jim Stafford sang about long ago.

      That said, your flowers are beautiful. We have many of the same varieties here in Central Florida. So pretty!

      I feel sorry for the hen that has resorted to sitting in macadamia nuts. Poor thing.

      I hope you can capture Coco saying hello. I'd love to see that!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Haha, thanks Flourish.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Haha, thanks Flourish.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      What a nice surprise at the end, especially after the promise of no snakes!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Ann, there was a spider just like that (about the diameter of my hand fingers extended) on the kitchen ceiling last night after moths. I got a surprise when I looked up, but as long as he doesn't fall on me it's ok. I did jump though the other day while watching tv and felt something move on my against my skin to see another Huntsman running up my arm. He quickly got flicked away.

      If I don't mix the social in I have trouble finding enough new stuff to fill the hubs :) I do appreciate your kind comment.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      I love finding out what's happened from month to month. It's all so beautiful; love the spider! I had a colleague who didn't like snakes. I had to move a picture of one by my door as she had to go past it every day and couldn't bear to do so!

      Your grandson's lovely. I like the way you mix the social with the farm stuff too.

      Ann

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for continuing to follow this series Theresa. I am glad that you are enjoying the insight to my life here on the Cackleberry Farm. Thanks for your kind and interesting comment, and yes I can see hoe that hose may have looked like a snake at first glance...sorry. Peace and blessings back.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      3 years ago from southern USA

      Eeks! You sneaky one You ...John. That ending was a surprise. Haha.

      Oh, I do love your cackleberry farm hubs. What a lovely adventure you have invited us along to share in with the spring at your doorstep (when we are in fall and heading towards winter), and then your beautiful family and the wedding, and now another precious little one to join the family. Wow, you mean you cook just for yourself. You are staying busy as a temporary bachelor.

      Your photos are great. Thank you for sharing of your busy and lovely life. I agree time is going by faster and faster!

      I am SO relieved about no snakes in this one, but that one photo of the eggs and that water hose, spooked me for a moment as I thought that might be a snake hahaha.

      Peace and blessings

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Haha Mel, yes I guess use of the term "abnormal"depends on what is normal in your particular circumstance. I wouldn't class snakes among my favourite creatures but am sometimes forced into dealing with them. they say the best way of overcoming your fears is to face them head on.

      Oh that large "brood" of people aren't mine. They are my wife's cousin, her new husband and their combined broods. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      3 years ago from San Diego California

      Only a fearless snake wrestling Steve Irwin protégé like you would call a fear of snakes abnormal. That's quite a handsome brood you've got there, you must be proud of them. I was talking about the people, but the chickens are nice too. Great hub, happy Spring!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Good day to you Suraj, it is good to hear that you enjoy reading my hubs. Thank you for all your kind words and congratulations. It remains to be seen where Cyrus's skills will lie but will be an interesting journey. Yes it is peaceful here where we live, no neighbours close and surrounded by wild life. Hope you are having an enjoyable week.

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 

      3 years ago from jakarta

      I just love reading your hubs, especially the ones relating to your everyday life, and this one is no exception. Congratulations on the birth of your grandson cyprus, May he as great a writer as his grandpa. I seriously envy the location you live. Its so nice to be surrounded by so many different plants and animals and surrounded by greenery. Looks like a very peaceful place. Great hub my friend!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Alicia, thanks for staying with this series. The best part of Spring is all the new flowers and the temperature is perfect. Summers are a little too hot here generally. If we get rain it's not so bad. I hope you have another mild winter, it seems to be snowing early in some parts of North America.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another enjoyable hub in your series, Jodah. I envy your spring flowers. It's fall where I live. Even though we get a mild winter, I always miss the spring and summer.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 years ago from london

      It's cute, Bro. very cute.

      Yet I know of many who will cower in its presence. Human fear. What's to be done? he he:)

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Manatita, thanks for your kind comment. Yes, I like gardening but perhaps don't spend quite as much time out there as I should. New Zealanders have a good climate for it. You mean the spider at the end isn't cute....hmmm?

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Mary, yes the Huntsman can be scary if he sneaks up unexpectedly. Thanks for finding this edition (No4) and glad you enjoyed it. Good luck with your book and enjoy Halloween.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 years ago from london

      Nice Hub.

      You seem a pretty good Gardener/Farmer. My Grand-father was awesome. Highly skilled in so many areas. I think the New Zealanders are good too, so you guys share a lot in common.

      I suspect that this spider at the end would be as bad as the snakes for some. But you knew that, right?

      Loving Hub with interesting sceneries and animals.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      He may be helpful and harmless, but you have to admit he's a little scary too!

      This is a great series and I have apparently missed some editions. Between working on my books and getting ready for Halloween I've been a bit behind.

      Nice to visit with you.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Peter, good to see you. Year "bum-nuts"...I have heard that term before and I guess I could have called the series "Diary of a Bum-Nut Farmer" haha, kind of has a "ring" to it, excuse the pun. The Huntsmen come in all sizes around here...depends how long they live. Yes the Pantry is a good concept.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 

      3 years ago from Australia

      LOL you got me good with that Huntsman ! You sure breed em big up there !

      Mate what a great 'read' and you sure have an idyllic life up North, we used to call the cackle berries 'bum-nuts' kind of appropriate?

      btw 'The Pantry' sounds like a great idea and also good value what I would call Win-Win

      cheers Peter

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Jackie, being bitten would make me hate them too. It seems HP are cracking the whip on poetry hubs again, especially shorter ones. I have had a bunch of hubs made non-featured suddenly (mostly poetry hubs)..it says due to engagement, but when I refreshed one it came up non featured due to quality. Practically all my "micro poems" are no longer featured.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      No; I use to have the poem here about the spider; I took about all my poems down when HP use to be down on them.

      I don't know what kind of spiders are biting me or I would be biting them back! No kidding, I use to pay them no mind, not being afraid of bugs or bothered by them but now if I see one I kill it! Even the granddaddy ones! It has been a few weeks now but for awhile it was horrible and I even had to go to the doctor over a couple of them they were so bad. So now they are on the same list as the snakes! lol

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi savvydating, thank you for visiting the Cackleberry Farm. Yes, those things certainly make life worth living...someone once said if you write about children and animals you can't go wrong...but come to think of it, that might be when writing Country Music songs. Oh well, I have to admit the new baby is one handsome kid :) Have a great week.

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 

      3 years ago

      That's what life is all about if you're living it right......a garden, foliage, chickens, family, weddings, babies and a solid marriage. I am glad I discovered your diary. Looking forward to the next installment. By the way, your new grandson is terribly handsome---love that beautiful dark hair!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Larry, yes it is certainly tranquil here.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Jackie, we have the same problem with our Guinea fowl who decided they preferred the neighbours. Now they only come back to visit occasionally. I hope your neighbour still gives you the eggs from your hen. Is the poem you wrote about spiders here on HubPages? What type of spiders were blighting you? Thanks for reading this.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Drbj, thank you for reading. Glad you had fun up until the Huntsman spider. You are also right that it's better for time to be speeding up as we age...rather than...well not being here to worry about time at all.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Mike, I am glad that you appreciate this series, it is fun to write. I think Cyrus is already being spoilt.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      It is nice here Dianna providing we are getting sufficient rain to keep everything alive. I hope your snow fall was an isolated one and you don't get any more for awhile. I am sure that hen was freaking out thinking her duck chicks were going to drown.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      I always love the pictures of your farm. Seems like such a beautiful and tranquil place.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Very interesting John; loved reading of your chick trying to hatch nuts! My best layer has quit for now or taking it over to the neighbors which is where she likes to spend her days now and I cannot lock her up it seems!

      I wrote a very nice poem for spiders once but after being bit so many times this summer leaving scars they are not getting anymore nice words from me!

      Love 'em; keep 'em coming!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      What a fun hub to read, Jodah. Enjoyed every moment. Except the last few. I do NOT like spiders, even the friendly Huntsman variety. You are so right about time seeming to go by faster and faster as we get older. Still . . . it's better than the alternative. ;)

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello John. There is a richness to this series. Your 'life on the modern farm' is a treat to those of us stuck in our suburban existence. Congratulations on the new grandson! Your turn to spoil him.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 

      3 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      It certainly is beautiful there. Thank you for sharing your life's story. Spring is my favorite time of year. It's fall here and we recently saw our first snow fall. I'm hoping it is short lived until I get my 4x4's sticky brakes fixed.

      Chickens are funny sometimes. My Uncle had an old sitting hen hatch out duck eggs back when I was a kid. At the time it was so funny to watch the hen go nuts when the little ones swam around a shallow pool of water. I've realized since then that it was a mean thing to do.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Phyllis, thank you for visiting the cackleberry farm. It's good that you feel at home here. I appreciate your always taking the time to read my hubs and for your generous comments. Thanks for wishing my son Trent a happy birthday on Facebook too. Cheers.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Another wonderful month on the farm of blessings - and as usual beautiful photos to make me feel I am meandering around outside enjoying the hens, chicks, flowers and everything, even the friendly spider. Cyrus Jax is such a darling baby. Thank you, Jodah, for sharing a part of your life with us. You have been blessed abundantly. Cheers to you and your wonderful Kathy and family.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Bill, that's what I try to portray and exactly what I feel when I read the hubs about your urban farm. Thanks for always finding the time to read my hubs.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love this series.....it makes me feel like I'm there visiting in person. A very warm place...a very warm family...a job well-done by you and all, John!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Haha Buildreps, sorry about the spider. You may be right about time speeding up because we get older but I don't want to admit that :)

      I can imagine Winters in the Netherlands are quite cold, so I hope it is not too extreme. Thanks for reading and the kind comment.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 

      3 years ago from Europe

      But you included a fat scary spider :) I prefer snakes above spiders...Jodah. Funny to see that it's Spring where you live while we are slowly moving into Autumn and Winter. I think time moves faster because we're getting older and one day becomes an increasing smaller portion of our overall lives and memories. You've a great plot there in down under. Greetings from the Netherlands!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi whonu my friend. Thanks for your generous comment and I am pleased you enjoyed the read and the photos. Blessings.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hello ps, I hope all is well with you. Yes I thought the hen trying to hatch the macadamia nuts was cute, but I had to help her out. Glad you enjoyed this and thank you for the angels as well.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 

      3 years ago from United States

      Wonderful work my friend. I always enjoy my visits there. Great photos of family and nature. I really liked it this time. Thanks for sharing. whonu

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      O those silly macadamia nuts...don't they know they should hatch??? That is so cute...and how good of you to give her an egg to lay on!!

      Appreciate the peek into what's happening with you and yours...it is always fascinating to me to learn of happenings in other parts of the globe..

      Angels are once again headed to you and yours ps

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Surabhi, I thank you for being the first to read and comment on this hub. Glad I provided you with a new word for a change :) I also appreciate your congratulations on the birth of Cyrus, and that you enjoyed the photos., especially my friend the Huntsman spider.

    • profile image

      Surabhi Kaura 

      3 years ago

      This was indeed pleasing to read, Jodah. Congrats!! a new member in the family, Cyrus (very cute). God bless.

      Oh yes, "Ophidiophobia" was a new term to add to my dictionary - thank you! I really liked all the pictures, especially you and Cathy...that's of course a special one to cherish... isn't it? (Smile). The chickens refereshed some old memories I had in India. Thanks for sharing and ending with a friendly Huntsman Spider he he :)

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