22 August 2021
The final stages of our build are under way! Last week the Australian Black Butt floating timber floor was laid in the living areas and passageways. It was again so pleasant to have a tradesperson, Richard from Noarlunga Carpets, who understood the product and took the effort and care to weave all the various wood colours and grains of the individual planks to make a wonderful floor. We are also pleased with the decision to go for a low sheen, not gloss, which enables one to see the wood not the gloss. The view all the way along from the living area along the hallways to the Annexe living area is superb. To see it you will need to visit!
And when you do, you will know which door to use. Really thankful to our painter Aidan for helping with our selection of our Red Entrance Door. Some say a red door means ‘Welcome’ in Feng Shui, and other general meanings of the colour red are of good luck and happiness.
We will be very pleased to ‘Welcome’ you to enjoy Anacotilla Springs on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
01 August 2021
What a joy our Hidden Valley is in winter! Although it has been difficult to get around at times, and we have been extremely busy with the house build (not complaining!), the wildlife activity and dappled light, misty mornings and snug shed have made it a delightful winter home. Small flocks of Red-browed Finches and Superb Blue fairy Wrens regularly forage for food just outside our doors, ducks are roosting in the trees and strolling in pairs, Galahs returning to their special hollow. And special guests of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Adelaide Rosellas. We also hadn’t realised that kangaroos eat broccoli!
We will definitely be coming here for a relaxing winter retreat next year!
23 June 2021
So happy with progress on our build. We were at ‘lock up’ (minus two external doors still on their way), on 17 June, exactly three months after the slab was poured. We reckon there have been only three weekdays with no tradies at all on site. Often it has been multiple trades the same day, with some working on weekends as well. Thanks Catalyst Homes.
20 June 2021
Rain at last! So delightful to hear running water again, as our winter-flowing tributary Hidden Valley Creek and the all-year flowing Anacotilla River join together just near our Hidden Valley Shed for the first time this year. It is incredible how quickly after the first decent rains we start hearing frog calls again. Just outside our sliding doors we can see two pairs of ducks who have returned to forage nearby, small flocks of Superb Fairy Wrens, Silvereye and Red-browed finches and a solitary Scarlet Robin seemingly having the time of their lives. Having bought Anacotilla Springs in 2012, this is our tenth year of noting the season break. We are calling 8th June the break this year, and the latest season break we had recorded previously was 10th May, with both the median and the average being 23 April. Very welcome rain indeed!
26 April 2021
We were very pleased that David, Helen and Lenore Parsons could attend the Dawn Service at the Second Valley Soldiers Memorial Hall. They laid a wreath of rosemary and native flora in honour of Garnet Kelly the brother of their grandmother Lorna, Garnet was killed in France in 1917. He was an innovative farmer and a well-respected member of the Rapid Bay and Second Valley community. He, his father and grandfather had worked the Anacotilla Station since the 1850s. Garnet Kelly Reserve, 2kms south of Normanville, is named in his honour.
22 April 2021
We are now permanent residents of Second Valley! In December 2020 we signed an agreement to sell our family home in Glengowrie, and the contract for the house build at Anacotilla Springs. The sale of our existing home and the build of our new home both happened in January, in fact we signed the contract of sale on the same day as excavation began!
The build is going very well with the skilled and professional trades used by Donovan Steer of Catalyst Homes. We are very fortunate that our build has started before the building materials shortage really hit. So, during the six to nine month build we are ‘homeless’ but have taken up residence in our snug little shed.
1 February 2021
House site excavation work has really begun now with Craig Haywood arriving early morning Wednesday 27th with his 22 ton excavator making his way up to the site for the building of our house on Lot 103. It always amazes us how a skilled operator using these large machines can move earth and rock with such precision. As expected, there was a lot of rock and shale, but it was able to be broken up under the excavator’s bucket or ripper. Fortunately, there was no need for the rock breaker.
17 December 2020
To use a quote from Lord of the Rings – ‘So it Begins!’
The building and establishment of our new home at Anacotilla Springs began this week with the turning of the first sods of soil (and rock). On Monday local contractor Craig Haywood prepared pads for four new 24kli tanks, three of which will be storing potable water for the house. On Thursday, the tanks were delivered and with help of the neighbours, Daryl and Antoine, a fair bit of manhandling was required to get them safely off the truck into their final resting spots. Fortunately, the wind had died down after nearly two weeks of constant and strong winds. We pumped about 3kli of river water into each tank to ensure they stay put until we can start getting water up to them harvested from the new shed and house roofs.
As work progresses, we will be updating the Built Environs page with the new house plans, discussion on the ‘liveable’ concepts and energy efficient measures incorporated into the design. Work will hopefully commence in January 2021!
30 November 2020
We are thrilled to welcome our new neighbours, now the proud owners of Lot 102, Anacotilla Springs – Antoine and Casey, Evie, Ila and Vera – bringing vision and enthusiasm for creating their own sense of place in the region. They have been organic farmers for decades and it has already been very interesting for us to learn that a number of ‘weeds’ on the land are in fact edible! We look forward to seeing the beginnings of their extensive garden, food production and land improvements as they and their helpers (a great array of chooks) get to work.
14 November 2020
Four new species of birds were identified by BirdsSA at their most recent visit, bringing the total number of new species identified to 61 species, identified over seven visits since 2017. During the last few months, we have particularly enjoyed daily visits by a pair of Maned Ducks, foraging just outside our shed window, and the early morning feeding of the Red Browed Finches.
26 September 2020
Very pleased to announce the safe arrival of nine new calves in the last month. Mums and calves all doing well.
There are seven girls and two boys, mostly dark grey except for Sugar who is black, and three very pretty silver ones: Delta, Spice and Cam. In keeping with one of our naming themes the phonetic alphabet, we are up Hotel, so Cam is short for Hotel Cambrai. We called the other boy Lizard, short for Lizard Drinking. We have just started a new naming theme, (wonder if you can guess what it is) with two of the girl calves called Delilah and Brandy. And the other two names, for those of you who are counting, are Praline, Hazel’s fourth calf and Foxtrot, Beryl’s second.
4 September 2020
To celebrate National Wattle Day earlier this week, here is a ‘Tale of Three Wattles‘
15 August 2020
Enjoyed taking 11 friends from Uni days (yes, from the 1970s) on a trailer ride tour (all kids enjoy a trailer ride) of Anacotilla Springs, a superb lunch at Leonards Mill (one entrée featuring Anacotilla River native watercress puree), and for us a glass of bubbles and sunset to finish a full and enjoyable day.
29 July 2020
What does one do with all the hay baling twine remaining after feeding livestock through the summer months? It has many practical uses and can be used in a huge variety of craft projects.
20 July 2020
Great to have received our farm gate sign from Farmers for Climate Action, and very proud to be part of this organisation, doing such important work.
15 June 2020
To our delight there has been lots of wildlife activity these last few weeks. On a wet night in April 2020, we found a small froglet, leaping around in the shed, and then discovered a larger frog clinging to the glass sliding door and another froglet on the ground nearby. We don’t know what species they were, or what caused this behaviour but it was a very interesting and unexpected encounter.
Thanks to the sharp eyes of our friends Nathan and Garry we met an echidna which resides in the gorge opposite our Hidden Valley shed. Donning gum boots, we crossed the Anacotilla River in the late afternoon and found the little creature in a fallen log, happily foraging away despite being observed.
Our young neighbour Asher from Yarnauwi across the road found a sleepy juvenile brown snake (1cm diameter and 20cm long) when he, his sister Annika and parents Joel and Sophie were gathering rocks from our place.
For the second year in a row a pair of Galahs have found the perfect hollow for their chicks in an old river Red Gum.
And in the meantime, we have identified that the bird which has been roosting in our shed is a magnificent male Nankeen Kestrel.
10 May 2020
Mother’s Day at Anacotilla Springs
It was great to have the family together for the first time this year. Travelling in the trailer was a fun way to maintain appropriate distance.
25 April 2020
Remembering a local ANZAC
Garnet Kelly was killed in France in 1917 at the age of 33. He, his father and grandfather had worked the Anacotilla Station since the 1850s. Garnet was an innovative farmer and a well respected member of the Rapid Bay and Second Valley community. His loss was sorely felt by many. Garnet Kelly Reserve 2kms south of Normanville is an ideal place for some quiet reflection this Anzac Day and an opportunity to learn more about one of the many who whose lives were tragically cut short.
18 April 2020
We are very fortunate to be able to self isolate at Anacotilla Springs on the Fleurieu. The cattle, kangaroos and birds never breach the 1.5 metres and when farmers chat, they are usually 2 metres apart in any case. Came up with a brilliant idea to catch up with our friends Mary Rose and Geoff who are just 2ks up the road. Being in an open carport with a long table, separate nibbles platters and brand-new champagne glasses meant we were still doing the right thing for ourselves, grandchildren, elderly parents and the community. Although after a while we had to rug up, we were all pleased the weather brought in some rain. A very enjoyable evening.
17 March 2020
The pictures tell the story of our hay production. Of course, hay is essential during the summer months to feed our herd and maintain their health and wellbeing. We are fortunate to have an arrangement with Rob’s brother Gavin whereby he grows our hay on his McLaren Vale property, L50K (Lot 50 Kanyanyapilla). We pay production costs only, then transport the 390 bales in our large trailer, 30 bales each trip, and stack them in the Hay Shed. The last of the photos should not normally be part of the story. It shows what happens when, even though you know that electric fences are not fully reliable, you still don’t remember to close the gates to the Hay Shed as you leave. No wonder the cattle looked so contented when we returned.
1 February 2020
Pamela’s first few days in her new workplace. On our arrival found that we had rainfall of 33ml which will help our recent understory plantings survive the rest of the summer. Great fun Saturday evening at Sealand Theatre’s bushfire fundraiser concert for our Kangaroo Island neighbours. The next day we walked 32 cattle to the yards and drafted them into three smaller herds. Hot and dusty work, and challenging at times as we were weaning a number of our calves. More exercise walking them back to their individual paddocks, mostly uphill. In the end very satisfying. Followed by a balmy summer evening – dinner and a few drinks with next door neighbours at our shed.
27 January 2020
We introduced seven new steers to our herd this last week. Welcome to Bentley, Bedford, Bully, Bristol and Buick born 2km up the road at our friends’ Mary Rose and Geoff’s farm, Little Gorge Farm. Rough and Tumble were delivered a week earlier from Tooperang near Currency Creek. When new cattle are introduced to a herd, it can get a bit rough as they sort out their pecking order. We watched these guys closely, but, being only about 7 months old, they were just curious to meet each other and more interested in a good feed.
17 January 2020
Made our cattle very happy last weekend. They always enjoy our Top Paddock … we think it’s the view! We hadn’t let them up there for some time as we wanted to preserve the feed for as long as we could, plus had to repair some pipes around the tank from an earlier breach of the electric fence. Great to see them so content with their heads down.
4 January 2020
We have enjoyed a few relaxing days celebrating the holiday season with the Fleurieu Coast community. The traditional Normanville NYE Parade was great fun – special mention to the Second Valley Progress Association’s highly competitive bid for the 2032 Olympics. The Parade concluded with the Yankalilla CFS truck which, in these troubling times, was enthusiastically applauded by all. Next morning another tradition, the Second Valley sandcastle competition, followed by walking the excellent and informative Second Valley Heritage Walk, and an enjoyable lunch with friends at Leonards Mill. Next day we managed to do a bit of work, primarily tree protection and watering. As the weather warmed up by then, we felt we had earned a cold beer at another of our favourite local haunts, the Normy.
4 November 2019
We are pleased to have recently planted our 100th Paddock Tree. You may notice that it is a different guard from the ‘Alcatraz‘ design that we developed and have been using. These guards are from a Natural Resources Management (NRM) – Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges initiative working with local farmers where NRM is supplying the materials and trees for the farmer to plant out. The initiative is to get paddock trees into cattle grazing areas which require more robust protection from cattle than is needed for sheep. Also above is a Paddock tree we planted five years ago.
1 November 2019
Not all our time is spent at the property planting trees and chasing cattle! It was great to spend a day at our eldest daughter Cally’s wedding to Robert Faulds. Cally and Robert did a great job of organising the wedding which was held at the McLaren Vale Information Centre. This provided a lovely natural environment and that casual atmosphere they were wanting. Luckily the rain held off until after the ceremony and an enjoyable time was had by friends and family celebrating the special occasion with them.
13 October 2019
It was great fun to spend some time with nephew Trav, wife Jess and kids Emily and Joshua when they visited us a couple of Sundays ago. They all enjoyed the traditional trailer ride as we showed them around the property including getting up close and personal with the cows and calves. It was very pleasing to have them plant our 98th paddock tree which is in Top Paddock.
12 October 2019
A big thank you to the Yankalilla Lions Club and 4WD Adventurers for welcoming us novices on their 4WD tour of the Fleurieu Coast on Saturday. A very well organised event, guiding us through spectacular views (such as entering Rapid Bay) and some interesting 4WD challenges from Yankalilla to Cape Jervis.
7 October 2019
Our eight new calves born between 5 April and 13 August are thriving, and have settled in beautifully with the herd. There are five heifers (female calves) and three bull calves, two of whom we will grow out as steers (neutered males). We left Bravo ‘entire’ so he will be our next bull when it is time for Lindsay to move on next year. Unfortunately, alongside the joy of greeting new calves, the reality is that there is always the possibility of stillbirth, particularly with heifers who, by definition, are calving for the first time. This year two of our heifers had stillbirths – luckily both heifers survived. We also lost a cow as her calf died in utero. We were sad to lose her as she had been with us for a number of years, was the leader of the herd, a lovely animal and experienced mother. Fortunately, we were able to have the vet attend to her early so she did not experience any illness or pain.
27 September 2019
Over the last month the distinctive orange flowers of the One-leaf Cape Tulip (Moraea flaccida) have started to appear in some spots in pastures and bushland. It is toxic to cattle and other grazing animals, and a declared weed under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004. As landholders, we are required to control these weeds. We found five small outbreaks of Cape Tulip on our property and have been able to grub all these plants out, making sure we have removed the entire root system and all corms.
16-17 September 2019
This week Rob attended a couple of workshops held in the region. The first all day event was part of the Fleurieu Coast Festival of Nature and was on Regenerative Agriculture with natural grazing expert, Dick Richardson, hosted at the Ryan family farm at Deep Creek. Dick delivered insights into sustainable grazing practices that can develop healthy soils and micro systems with increased carbon capture, water holding capacity, organic matter and soil fertility. Practical land management practices that can be taken towards a more resilient agricultural landscape. Very interesting and thought provoking.
The next day the Fleurieu Beef Group ran a workshop on good animal health during the weaning process and what to be aware of for the best outcomes. This was hosted at another farm at Waitpinga. Both workshops included practical activities and discussion out on the farm, always very helpful but a bit bl..dy cold at Deep Creek with the wind off the Southern Ocean.
1 September 2019
We are pleased that another frog species has been identified in the Anacotilla River riparian area, the Spotted Marsh Frog. We recorded the calls recently and uploaded it to the Frog ID Project and a few days later they identified the call for us. This is now the third frog that has been identified using the Frog ID app.
21 August 2019
We have now received and erected our official roadside number address of 7421 Main South Road, Second Valley. Great to finally have a number that we can refer to, however Google Maps and other apps don’t yet recognise it, hopefully soon!
10 August 2019
August rains have been very welcomed in the area. On our arrival on the 9th, the rain gauge at the shed had 40mm, and over the next two days we received another 9mm. Although this was a nice amount of rain, the paddocks were not showing signs of saturation as we would expect after that amount of rain. The yearly average to now is 410mm, we are currently just under 300mm. A bit more (gentle) rain please!
27 July 2019
Our daughter Rhianna with Tony, travelling in style instead of walking back to their car after planting their paddock tree. Tony was here on holiday from his home in Virginia, USA. We suggested a trip to the Fleurieu Peninsula and a tour of our property would help him get over his jet lag and enable him to see close up a variety of native birds and animals, and of course the cattle!
21 July 2019
Rob has spent the last five days at Anacotilla Springs to attend two talks, one on beef production the other on the history of the Normanville Police Station. We also wanted to keep an eye on two cows who were a number of weeks overdue. The cows must have heard Rob talking to the vet on the phone, because, as shown in the photos below, all was well. Also included are a few other pictures of the stay.
14 July 2019
With revegetation we talk about pests and weeds that affect the nature of the land. Unfortunately we are suffering the ever increasing destructive effects of the feral deer. Over the years we have seen the occasional one or two deer and also their effects, but of late we are seeing more deer and seeing them more often. Last week we saw of a group of 8 males on the hillside. We have been discovering well established trees destroyed by what appears to be the rubbing of the antlers on the tree and branches.
8 July 2019
22 June 2019
In the last month two male calves have arrived to keep April and May company. Here are Bravo and Charlie enjoying some warm winter sunshine. Charlie is the calf of Misty who was the first of our own cattle born at Anacotilla Springs. Misty delivered a stillborn calf two years ago so we were very relieved at Charlie’s safe arrival, and Misty is a very attentive mum.
7 June 2019
On Friday evening we attended the AGM of the Second Valley Progress Association (SVPA) at Leonards Mill. Rob was guest speaker and spoke about his research into the early roads in the area. The image on the screen is the historic stone bridge over the Parananacooka River – the SVPA is considering a project to revitalise and maintain the bridge.
22 May 2019
Smoke haze at sunset looking over our North Creek and the house site toward Wirrina Cove. We couldn’t find out what was the cause of such a large amount of smoke over the area, and it was quite invasive. But it made for a nice photo.
14 May 2019
Another early arrival, May was not expected for another month, but she is looking healthy and well. This is the 3rd calf for her mother Ivory. We think she would have been born about 3-4 days earlier, the 11 May.
10 May 2019
As with so many others in the area we are delighted to be able to say the season has broken. In the first four days of May, Parawa recorded 48.2mm of rain and we recorded about 19.5mm.
Small green shoots are appearing over the property, with the rain not always soaking in as quickly as we would have liked. Our neighbour, over at our place to help feed the cattle, found this out. His comment: “Lucky you’ve got tight fences we can bounce off!”
25 April 2019
Very pleased to count ourselves amongst the 120 people who attended the Dawn Service at Second Valley. First dawn service there for 50 years and an opportunity to use the new flagpole. Organised by the Second Valley Progress Association.
7 April 2019
We’d like to introduce April! We were delighted to see that first-time-mum Beryl had safely delivered her calf. We have called her April. But working back to the date of Lindsay’s arrival, the dates didn’t seem right. Then we remembered Beryl had jumped a fence in June last year to join the neighbour’s herd for a while. At the time we thought this was unusual and couldn’t work out why…
A big week for Birders! In March two different groups of birders visited Anacotilla Springs. It was the first visit for Normanville NRM Birdwatchers and the fifth for BirdsSA.
Updated 19 Sep 2019