2020 - and some notable highlights are
January - as the bush fires came closer, desperate back burns
were set by the Rural Fire Service - through the upper half of
our property - the part which is adjacent to the National Park.
And - then it rained! A few days in January with scattered showers, followed by a deluge in February. We dodged the bullet - this summer, at least
18 January - about the most memorable day so far this year: Kora gained 2 x performance titles in the space of 4 hours in Canberra!
She passed 3 times for her Trick Dog (Starters) title - that's earned when dogs do 6 prepared tricks in sequence from a longer list. Her scores ranged from 59.2 / 60 to 55.5 / 60
Later in the evening, Kora passed Heelwork to Music (Intermediate) level with our routine to the Dolly Parton song Here You Come Again
Champion Silversuisse Dragons Serenity (AI) RAE RM (TK.S) HTM.N FS.S ET JC WPD
February - and it RAINED! 205 mm in the rain gauge for the month.
Encouraged the weeds to grow.
Mara and Essence continued to enjoy dog Shows every weekend, putting on the miles and counting up the wins.
Essence was Best in Group at the Tuggerah Lakes K & O Club - 7 February. Justin won Best Australian Bred at the same Show. It was pouring with rain, so this picture was taken a few days later - when the rain had temporarily stopped
Essence won Runner Up to Best in Group at the Hunter River A & H Association Show on 15 February
Culminating in our trip to the Canberra Royal Show where both dogs were successful
(Justin on the left, Essence on the right)
Best of Breed - Ch
Silversuisse Iron Essence RN
Curiously, our planned P & O Cruise from Singapore to Sydney was cancelled, 5 days before we were due to leave. We had been booked for almost a year and were anticipating a pleasant 14 days of sailing interspersed with day trips in a range of countries. There were whispers of a corona virus decimating the people of Wuhan in China, but we thought little of it.
March - and a deadly disease called COVID-19 became more widespread and more insidious through the entire world. We read, we listened and we learned - both about the illness and about strategies to reduce our chances of catching it. Which we increasingly put into practice - all day ~ every day
March started with a 10 day road trip to the Sunshine Coast of Queensland and back. A chance to explore a bit more of this part of Australia, slow travelling, relaxed and with no dogs. We enjoyed good food and good company along the way. Simon came to look after the dogs and our place - we found him on Trusted HouseSitters.com
About as Far East as you can get in Australia - by walking. We hiked the Cape Byron Track out from Byron Bay
Smoky Cape Lighthouse - Built in 1891, this still active heritage lighthouse is one of the last designed by the Colonial Architect, James Barnet. Smoky Cape headland was so named by Captain Cook after he saw Aboriginal fires burning there in 1770. Standing on a granite headland 111 metres above the sea, its light is the highest in NSW. It directs boats towards the entrance to the MacLeay River, which is located just north of the lighthouse.
Trial Bay Gaol near South West Rocks ~ a rare example of a large scale gaol constructed in NSW in a remote location for the purpose of carrying out a public work, the construction of Trial Bay Breakwater. Construction began in 1877 to provide a labour force for the building of a breakwater - needed as the bay was seeing large ships dock for loading. The breakwater project was abandoned in 1903 due to finance restrictions and more seas worthy boats becoming common. The gaol remained unused until 1915 when it was commandeered by the Department of Defence for use as an internment camp for German Prisoners and resident "enemy aliens" interned in WW1.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane ~ and you can never get too many photos of koalas
(seriously - click here for some much more appealing photos of Koalas we took at the Sanctuary)
We visited the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens ~ were taken by the Japanese Garden and the Cactus and Bromeliad displays
Eumundi Markets on the Sunshine Coast, QLD - enjoyed with Diamond (aged 13) and Hero - Ch Sibertac Hollywood Hero WPD - owned and loved by Bev and Antionella
Springbrook National Park - about 100 kms south west of Brisbane, and our stopping point on our drive south. We walked the Natural Bridge Track of 2 kms, which gave us this memorable view when we stood behind the waterfall.
2 days after our return to Bulga, we left for Melbourne for the final dog event before Government restrictions commenced and so much was cancelled. Gatherings of more than 500 people were the first to go - including the Sydney Royal Easter Show, and so many other Agricultural Society Shows around the country.
Kora earned her Herding Instinct Certificate at the sheep herding trial held by the Border Collie Club of Victoria on 15 March - the FINAL ANKC sanctioned event held until much later in 2020, or beyond . . .
April - and our world contracted to our lovely 4.5 ha property, with limited trips to Singleton for food and supplies.
Vale ~ Gary ~ Champion & Neuter Champion
Sibertac Somebody Told Me ET
8 October 2009 ~ 4 May 2020
What quirk of fate brought you into our lives?
Whatever it was, we are still grateful to have too short a time with you
The mould was broken - and so was my heart
Mourned and missed by so many