Water laying between sandhills in Queenslands Channel Country.
Water laying between sandhills in Queenslands Channel Country.

Kilcowera Station  is at the extreme southern end of the Channel Country according to the way the state is carved up by the Bureau of Meteorology.  But the rains have fallen over the whole area in sporadic bursts over the last few months (maybe not so much in the north though).  

Even the drought ravaged Bulloo Shire is looking magnificent again.  There’s water everywhere and now we are waiting for the rivers to go down so the Council workers will be able to get around and assess the condition of the roads and what work needs to be done to make them trafficable once more.

Emu chicks with dad in Outback Queensland - Kilcowera Station.

The birdlife is amazing, enormous flocks of Budgerigars looking for trees to nest in – one person reported seeing 14 pairs of them nesting in one Coolabah tree and a couple of desperados sitting on 4 eggs on the ground under the tree. 

Greg has been riding around the place on his motor bike and yesterday he found 2 quail nests and then a bit later nearly ran over some little baby quails – little balls of fluff that weren’t flying yet. 

Both horses and bikes are used throughout the Channel Country for mustering but now with the feed a meter high and very thick I would rather be on a horse.  Better still, I think I’ll stick to my plane!

Crucifix Frogs in shallow swamp water - Outback Queensland.

Lots of different frogs getting around too, including the cute little Crucifix Frog shown above and other burrowing frogs of various sizes.  I was feeling quite protective of the frogs hopping around the front lawn and veranda thinking how nice it was to see them bopping around all happy again.  A few days ago I saw this innocent looking burrowing frog only about 4 cms long with a small brown frog attached to his mouth.  I wondered at this thinking it may have been some sort of mating ritual.  But no, I kept an eye on him and small frog eventually disappeared down the hatch.  Well I suppose a frogs’ gotta eat too. 

Anyway this part of the outback is looking amazing, what a time to visit the Channel Country, just into Autumn and Easter coming up and the weather is perfect. 

Even though one does have to be careful where one drives, I bogged the 4 wheeler this morning, just riding along admiring the greeness of all the grass and found myself in a very wet spot.  Had to walk home too.

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The New South Wales and Queensland border fence, taken at Hamilton Gate
The New South Wales and Queensland border fence, taken at Hamilton Gate

On Sunday the 28th February I set off on my own for Cobar traveling the long way around through Hamilton Gate, Wanaaring, Bourke then Cobar.  Big rain was predicted for our area and the rivers and creeks were already up from rain the previous week so I could not go by the most direct route through Hungerford – the Paroo was still .8 meter over the causeway.

Cardenyabba Creek running over the causeway in Northern NSW, also known as Kilcowera Creek.

We had a caretaker lined up to look after Kilcowera so we could both attend the meeting, but he got crook and couldn’t make it and I was determined to not miss another of these once a year get togethers of OBB members.  We are a group of accommodation providers in outback NSW and QLD and a terrific bunch of people. I got to Cobar ok on the Sunday night and went out to tea with the other early birds. 

This beautiful little Splendid Fairy Wren was snapped by Raoul Slater on his last visit to Kilcowera.

The beautiful little Splendid Fairy Wren a resident of Kilcowera Station.

First day of the meeting went well, we had facilitators there helping us work through issues such as governance and organisation, marketing and development, decision making and communications.  As we are all so widely spread we only meet once a year so there is a lot to get through in the 2 days.  

Spoke to the hubby that evening and he tells me about all the rain that’s still on it’s way – he’s making me very nervous about the likelihood of me getting home again.  Now I did consider this before I left home, but I did want to get to that meeting………… However I wasn’t prepared to get stuck somewhere like Bourke, Hungerford, Cunnamulla or Wanaaring depending on which way I thought I might get home.  I could get stuck for a month if I couldn’t get home.

The road through Moombidary Station going toward Hamilton Gate.

Tuesday morning the rain had started to fall in QLD and the rivers were on the way up again.  I decided to leave the meeting early about 2 o’clock, so I missed a few hours and the AGM.  I didn’t miss out on getting a job though!  I’m the website person!  Sakes!!! 

The copper in Hungerford had gone to Brisbane ( he wasn’t going to be stuck ) so I ended up speaking to one in Cunnamulla who really didn’t know what the river was doing in Hungerford but the publican of The Royal Mail Hotel did and he said the bloody thing was still uncrossable.  It hadn’t actually rained much in NSW up till then, so after contacting Moc and Sherree at the Outback Inn, Wanaaring, I decided to go Cobar, Louth, Wanaaring, Hamilton Gate then home.

No dramas at all, the drive from Cobar to Louth is really nice and the Darling River at Louth is fantastic, so photogenic.  Unfortunately I was in a bit of a hurry so no photos taken there. Made it into W just on dark and enjoyed the hospitality there for the night.  Carried on the next morning and made it home about lunch time.  It started to rain about an hour after I got home.  Lucky, lucky me.  

Wildflowers after rain at Kilcowera Station.

We ended up getting 59 mls out of that weather event.  Thank goodness we didn’t get the 10 to 15 inches that places like South Galway, Windorah, Quilpie, Charleville and Roma had.  But all that rain makes its way down the river systems and isolates communities and properties for weeks at a time.  The damage to homes, businesses,roads and infrastructure around and in those towns is enormous and the poor people there have a big job ahead of them in the cleanup and just getting their lives back on track.

Outback Beds

Heard this little observation while away.  So true, I tried it out on my hubby and it does happen, sort of like couples shorthand.

 Couples who have lived together a long time have their own way of communicating.

A woman overheard her aunt and uncle one day, “What are you looking for in that wardrobe?” she asked.

“Nothing,” he snapped.

“Well, it’s not in there. Look under the bed.”