After two years' worth of storage water arrived in Canberra on the weekend, out at the Allen farm on the outskirts of the city it's now time for the rams to go to work.
While it's often said farmers are hard to please, the weekend deluge in most parts of NSW and the ACT, together with the promise of more to come, has finally brought smiles to many faces.
The so-called "east coast low" pressure system which drenched Sydney and marched further south on Sunday, sheeted down in parts of the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla shires, moved slowly inland to bring some relief to drought-ridden areas such as Braidwood, Nimmitabel, and Bemboka.
Rainfall in the Canberra district, although patchy, was generous enough to deliver 57mm to the Allen's 850-acre farm south of the city, filling dams which just last week were cracked and dry.
Farmers in areas north to Gundaroo, Gunning and further out to Taralga will see their paddocks begin to turn green over the next few weeks and thoughts will turn to sewing a winter crop. It's like a pressure relief valve for the entire district.
The Allens' three rams will be equally as pleased when the farm gate opens to the 220 ewes. The resulting lambs will arrive in August.
"We used to run 900 head here but we got rid of most of them through the drought because we've had to hand-feed the sheep that we have left every other day," grazier Tom Allen, the president of the ACT's Rural Landholders' Association said.
"That's why it's wonderful to finally hear that amount of rain on the roof.
"This will give us some germination of sub-clover and maybe a little barley grass. And bring up the weeds and thistles, of course."
The week's forecast rainfall
- Tuesday: 27, showers increasing (80 per cent chance)
- Wednesday: 27, shower or two (70 per cent)
- Thursday: 26, showers (80 per cent)
- Friday: 27, showers (50 per cent)
The irony for Tom and Nina Allen was that the hailstorm which swept through the capital on January 20 punched holes in the inlet pipe to their rainwater tank so they couldn't collect as much as they would have liked.
"But even so, we'll take whatever we can get," he said.
Mr Allen was down to the final two of the 15 tonnes of pellets he had delivered last winter. If a little more rain comes in the weeks ahead, that can now stay in the shed.
"The tricky bit now is waiting to see what falls between now and St Patrick's Day," he said.
"Farmers will want to get that follow-up rain because that's what will take the pressure off over winter."
Looking out across his paddocks early on Monday morning, he was surprised to see the flowing sheets of water.
"That's very unusual to see that. It [the rain] didn't belt down here like it did further north which can be destructive but it came down in enough volume to create these slow-moving sheets of water."
Tom Allen grew up in Cobargo on the NSW South Coast before moving to Canberra, and was back there recently to help out with some fencing.
Tom's brother, Keith, had his house burnt down in the recent Cobargo bushfires, and Tom Allen knows the Salway family well. Both Robert Salway and his son, Patrick, died while attempting to defend their Cobargo dairy farm.
"It's been a very tough time for a lot of people down there so getting this rain will mean a lot to them," he said.
"Good soaking rain gives a kick-start to everything after fire goes through like that. They'll be on their tractors now.
"My brother, Kevin, lost his house plus his sheds and his dairy. But he'll rebuild and there's lots of willing hands pitching in to help."