That didn't prevent the fossickers coming out for the day yesterday. We were aware that there was an abandoned gold mine on the top of one of our ridges. Not your typical "Indiana Jones" or "King Solomon's" notion of a gold-mine. I could see the disappointment in the kids' eyes the first time we showed them the "gold-mine". In my mind too there should have been underground shafts, with great rotting pillars of timber holding the earth at bay, cobwebs, the occasional drip of moisture, only to be viewed by the glimmering shadowy light of the kerosene lantern held at arm's length in front of your eye. No, our gold mine was merely a rather unobtrusive hole in the ground, with a pile of matter that once filled the hole beside it. Big deal. But still they came, excited by the lay of the land, the occasional quartz outcrop jutting from the hillside, the hills running into alluvial flats....all the signs of a great reef of wealth awaiting their touch. (I think they enjoyed the attentive audience).
And after a hearty smoko, filling our heads with the thoughts of what great wealth lay in front of us, they went. Like the great gold-miners before them, minus pans, buckets and hairy beards, they set forth with metal-detectors, tiny sample bottles and a great bucket-load of optimism.
And they returned. With this. See the gold. See the great fortune awaiting us. Neither can I. At least not without my reading glasses.
And so today, with grand plans of real estate purchases, new cars and fine living all dashed, we reverted to our daily chores. The lucerne paddock was 'renovated', re-seeded in parts with lucerne and a cover-crop of millet, irrigators put back in place, with the older girls taking turns roaring around the paddock behind the tractor on the quad pulling a makeshift 'harrow' consisting of a left-over piece of reinforcing mesh from a cement job past behind. In between these farmer antics, they managed to mulch my garden beds. Bless them.