Not a lot happening on the building front - I am being held up by people who apparently don't want me to give them money!
I am at the stage of needing a structural engineer to check my building plans and give me a soil report for the foundations. (And I have to organise a second soil report for the waste-water management plan as I cannot use the other soil report). I have been waiting over two weeks for one engineer (and they are thin on the ground in this area) just to give me a quote.
Also I am having a small dam put in. I am allowed only up to about 0.75 of a megalitre (approx. 3/4 of an Olympic pool.) without a special permit. I don't really need a bigger one as it will really be used for wildlife (attracting wild birds and 'roos) and occasional watering for my small veggy patch.
I could only find three dam builders in the area - one gave me a phone quote, came to see the land, tried to get me to go to a megalitre ("you don't have to tell anyone") said on seeing the location "Should take me a day or a little over".
Then the written quote came in: 15 hours and 50% higher than the phone quote. (No mention on the phone of an almost $500 fee just to bring the bulldozer to the property - a distance of about 22 kms)
The other two have not even bothered to return my phonecalls.
In the meantime I have started to think about putting some trees back on the land. Being a former sheep farm it has been cleared of a lot of natural vegetation in favour of grassland.
I decided quite early on that I only want native vegetation - with the exception of a handful of fruit trees (mainly a lemon, lime, almond, and a couple of others I can't think of right now). And I would like to focus on plants and trees that attract native fauna.
My last visit out to the property gave me the opportunity to plant a few trees. Only 9 at the moment!
I bought tubestock (usually only 5 - 10cms high) as they better survive planting than more mature trees. And these natives need little or no attention once in the ground.
The first four trees to go in are Eucalyptus Leucoxylon var. Rosea aka known as Blue/Yellow Gum or White Ironbark:
The other 5 are Eucalyptus Pauciflora (snow gum):
Eventually - when I can find them - I really want some of my favourite Eucalypts: Eucalyptus Macrocarpa (Mottlecah). An amazing tree with enormous flowers - I only hope they will grow in this climate.