I wrote this first part while on holiday over Christmas …fun fact: blogs should be at least 1200 words long…so considering these written words are about 200 I best grab a cuppa and keep writing.
The comparison between the outback and the ocean.
Two of my loves.
They both go on forever.
Their horizons make awesome dawn and dusk photos…better with a touch of cloud.
Both deserve respect.
The sound of the sea is as unmistakable as the silence of the outback.
Both make you stop and appreciate their beauty, breath in their unique smells and sounds.
They can take your breath away just by being their natural selves.
Their power mixed with the weather can be a force manmade objects have no resilience against.
Their calm is all you need to revive your whole self.
The moon and stars seem brighter if you can stand in their vastness and soak up their awesomeness.
If you appreciate these living environments you will be richer in heart and soul.
How lucky is our country to be girt by sea and have an enormous outback to explore.
The history from both helped carve and created the character of Australia and Australians today.
(Not forgetting our mountain ranges and forest areas)
I have many wonderful memories of the ocean from my childhood and I love revisiting her…but the outback, my outback, holds my heart, soul and makes me feel whole.
I don’t think there was a day while we were away, over the Christmas/New Year period on the Sunshine Coast, that it didn’t rain. The surf was rough, just depended on the day whether it was very rough or just rough. I felt the rough sea was too strong for me these days, so opted out of swimming. There were always lots of people swimming and on the beach. Our families’ younger adults weren’t discouraged from going out amongst the rough sea swimming, always between the flags. Thankfully, from experience, Thomas my son, knew the signs of a rip and gathered our family out…even the younger ones in the shallows.
I felt for the lifeguards as they would obviously see the rip as well and sent out a warning across the very loud PA system, but still people swam. We also heard that even with the volunteer lifeguards being there early to set up flags so people could swim, and staying there till late in the afternoon, they felt obliqued to stay longer as people didn’t stop swimming and they knew some would get into trouble.
Huge respect to these lifeguards who know and respect the sea they love so much.
We had lunch at one Surf Club, there was an option of giving an extra percentage of the meal bill to the lifeguards. I did this in thanks that my family members could swim in the surf and knowing, with huge respect, that these volunteer people look over them and willing to rescue them if need be…as well as helping others. I also feel blessed to be able to do this.
I have often looked out across a very calm ocean from a height on the mainland or from a cruise ship and wondered how far I can see. What is the distance across a smooth sea where it meets the sky?
With no landmark is there a way of knowing?
It is similar with the vastness of the Outback Channel Country. With no visible environmental or manmade marker you can only estimate how far it is on the horizon where the land meets the sky. The atmosphere would have a lot to do with this as well. As it seems in the cool of winter you can see much further across an Outback landscape.
A drone perspective makes triple roadtrains look small.
Photo take August 2021 Mudgeacca cattle yards.
Same cattle yards, looking the opposite way, July 2020.
In March 2023 it wasn’t possible to drive to these yards, due to 9 Mile and the Hamilton channels to the east and south of these yards being in flood.
Kilometres wide of beautiful brown flood water that, other than fencing needing to be done, is nothing but beneficial. Which is just truly magical.
The vehicles throwing up dust in this photo are triple roadtrains, there are three of them. If you can see the hills/mountains in the background, these landmarks are about 50km away. The dryness of the landscape reminds us that 2021 was a dry year…but the magical channel country allowed the cattle in those trucks heading off to market to be in good condition.
A green carpet of grass and ground cover, dotted with white lilies makes a beautiful backdrop for a mob of cattle, looking into the wide blue yonder. May 2022, the year that it rained every month, except March. Something I had never witnessed before. The vegetation never turned brown. There was always a hint of green or a great deal of green most of the time. Considering we can go many years without rain, this was a very pleasant sight.
Dusk from the 5 Mile Goodwood watering point, from the drone. The dust you can see is from my vehicle I travelled over to this windmill in, hanging in the still August evening air in 2019. I’m sure if you can look hard enough you could see Goodwood, behind the dust, 8km away…at about the height of this windmill …which is approximately 30ft or 9.1m…according to Google the average roof height of a double storey house in Australia is 9.15m. To give you comparison in altitude.
Dry landscape and storms in January (2020)…in a word, hope.
Hope for the soil, and in turn the environment and all that live from it…as well as doing great wonders for the human’s souls…that a wet season might be coming, if not somewhat late.
The rain we received at the end of January 2020, a total of 102mm or just over 4inches, over 6 days was the first rain the landscape had experienced since the 4th of May 2019.