I felt a bit bad about saying in my last post that our winter landscape here in the Free State is drab. In some ways that’s accurate, but if you look a little closer there is beauty in the starkness. You just need to look at these photos that my step-mother Barbara took at the start of winter to appreciate what I mean. The farm looks a little different now, with all the sunflowers and most of the maize harvested, but in essence it’s the same. No matter what time of year, standing on the mountain behind our house – as my father John and Quentin’s father Bill were doing that day – what stands out is the contrasting patterns made by the contours on our cultivated lands. It may be a little browner now than in summer, but no less striking and definitely not drab! In fact, I love the contrast of the bright green fields of oats (used as green feed for the cattle and sheep in winter) with the brown landscape.
Tomorrow we’re off to the National Boran auction in Parys. It’s always a very busy time with lots of socialising and interacting with other breeders. Of course the animals are important too, but this year we are only taking one cow and some semen from our top stud bull Rustin MHB 06-30 so it’s not as stressful for Quentin as last year. The big annual sale of our animals happens in a month’s time here at Vastrap so we will be very busy preparing for that on our return next week! Last year my post on the National Auction was entitled “How life has changed: weekends at cattle auctions“. Back then auctions were still quite a novelty, but apparently not anymore!