The worst summer ever?

December 17, 2018

BeFunky-collage

38 years.  It’s a long time isn’t it?  But it has gone by so quickly.  That’s how long I have lived here at Kilcowera.  In those years I have seen the countryside go through so many changes.  The most enduring of these is drought – living in this part of the world one expects it to be fairly dry.  Visitors come here and marvel at the endless blue skies, the clear starry nights and the perfect weather.  We would be happier with a few more rain events!

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A dust storm from the nineties – they are still the same.

My morning walks have become  extremely tedious as I pass by dead bushes and trees, picking my feet up over the corrugations, so much bull dust and the constant flies keeping pace with me.  The huge dust storms are smothering the trees.  The dust gets in everywhere, I just clean the house from the last one and the next one is upon us.  Sometimes we wake in the morning to find our world is just blanketed by a white haze – dust from way out west somewhere.  Thank goodness I have my little dogs who bring me such joy and delight.  They don’t care about the drought, they’re just happy!  Must keep looking at them!

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Cardenyabba Lagoon and our airstrips

It’s much better for me to remember things like seeing fish and yabbies swimming down the road and Cardenyabba Lagoon full of water and birdlife.  The abundance of wildflowers after winter rain, the shield shrimp in the claypans, the dewy, sticky carnivorous plants that grow on the margins of swamps. Full dams and fat, shiny cattle. Going for an early morning fly around the property and seeing water everywhere and green on the ground. The way this country bounces back after rain is astonishing, the variety of grasses and herbage that springs up is mind blowing and then the insects and frogs follow to take up residence once again.

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I’ve got to remember that there are occasions when I am not constantly moving hoses around, watering lawns, trees and gardens. And that we are not alone in this horrible drought – that there are tens of thousands of other farmers and graziers doing it just as tough as we are.  I’m lucky that I at least have plenty of bore water to keep most of my garden and lawn alive.  And keep looking at those happy little terriers of mine because they make me smile.  But summer is upon us and it’s a very dry outlook, the next few months without any rain will be devastating.  Happy Christmas.

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Lucy and Maisie in, on the Lagoon

 

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Hmm, I thought I would share this post with you. It brings back many memories!

Kilcowera Station - Life on an outback Queensland Cattle Station

Me in the HJ47 a long time ago! Me in the HJ47 a long time ago!

When I first came to Kilcowera in 1980, Greg had a new yellow Hilux, his pride and joy, his Dad and Mum, (Toot and Clare) had a big old blue Fairlane (their pride and joy) and 2 station trayback Toyotas.  These were called Toot’s Toyota and Green door.  Vehicles had to have names of some sort so everyone new which one was being discussed.  As green door was the oldest it became our chariot. Those old Toyotas were so dependable and easy to fix if anything went wrong, they really didn’t know when to give up.

A few years went by and Green door was retired and a new vehicle was purchased from the Toyota dealership in Thargomindah which is owned by Greg’s sister and brother in law.  I’m looking at the purchase order here now: It was 1984, it was a…

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Was looking through old posts on my blog ( instead of writing new ones! ) And I thought wouldn’t it be nice if Lake Wyara looked like this again instead of the massive dry expanse that it is at the moment!

Kilcowera Station - Life on an outback Queensland Cattle Station

 
Taken from a Skyfox Gazelle
Kihee Creek running into Lake Wyara in South West Queensland

 

 Angela and I went for a fly on Anzac weekend after we did our little bit of mustering and she took about 400 photos.  She used her new Canon EOS 500 and my Panasonic DMC FZ50 which has a better Zoom lens than hers does.  At this stage.

Lake Wyara taken from the south, Kilcowera Station SW Queensland.

Lake Wyara  is a wetland of international significance and is part of Currawinya NP.  The wetlands on Currawinya are RAMSAR listed.

Lake Wyara in the foregrund and Lake Numalla in the background.

We were flying around in my little Skyfox Gazelle, it’s terrific for photography as you can have the doors open.  It was pretty cold though, Ang had the cameras firmly wrapped around her neck.

Pelican Rookery on Lake Wyara the eastern boundary of Kilcowera Station in Outback Australia.

And yes the Pelicans are back again.  They had a successful breeding event in 2008 but this year will be even better as they are isolated on islands.

Thousands of Pelicans are calling Lake Wyara home for the next few months as they bring up their chicks.Pelican Rookery on Lake Wyara, the eastern boundary of Kilcowera Station Outback Queensland.

 Pelican Rookery on Lake Wyara, the eastern boundary of Kilcowera Station.

The lake is not full but…

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July 14, 2017

And the second part all about our wonderful party line back in the 80’s.

Kilcowera Station - Life on an outback Queensland Cattle Station

Party line between Kilcowera Station and Zenonie, Outback Queensland.
Party line between Kilcowera Station and Zenonie, Outback Queensland.

 

Sometimes all this activity on the phone was a good thing.  If it rained anywhere over where the straggly little phone line went, the line would go out, if a little tree touched the line, it went out, sometimes the mulga post the line was attached to would fall over taking the line with it and it was said that if a bird flew over the line and did a poopsy the line went out.

So sometimes I would find myself swinging off the handle of the phone ringing, ringing trying to get the attention of the exchange ladies and they couldn’t hear me as the line was down somewhere. Usually someone along the line would eventually pick up and act as a relay between me and town and I would get my message across via a neighbour. 

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An old post from my blog. Written in 2009.

Kilcowera Station - Life on an outback Queensland Cattle Station

Old telephone from the party line days at Kilcowera Station.

 

About 1983 we escaped Kilcowera for a brief trip to Brisbane – first time away since marrying in 1980.  Yeehah!!! I remember being in some business house and the salesperson asked for my phone number, unthinkingly I replied “ Thargomindah 22R”  I got a very blank look and then the question “ How do you dial that”  Good question.  Seeing as I hadn’t been to a city since marrying I didn’t know.  When we were in a local town we used a telecard to make a call.  Seems you had to ring an operator and they would put the caller through to the Thargomindah phone exchange operator who would then ring the station with their own distinctive call.  Our number was 22R – the r was a short, long, short ring, based on Morse code.

 

It had taken me a long time…

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