The Sunday drive.

The Sunday drive.

I remember my parents packing the car Sunday morning with picnic baskets, the thermos, rugs, toys, books, fishing hand lines , pieces of meat and string for yabbying and off we would go to Southport or Surfers or Burleigh heads for the day.  Other times we might head off to Beaudesert or Maleny, Lamington National Park or up the range to Toowoomba, all just for a Sunday drive.  It was cheap, fun and had all the family out doing things together and enjoying each other’s company.

We don’t really do Sundays at Kilcowera anymore, as there is not much point to it now there’s just Greg and me there mostly.  Hmm, what makes Sunday, Sunday for us now?  They play good music on the radio in the morning and Landline is on at lunchtime. 

But back to the Sunday drive, wow, most people have a pretty good car now, the roads are great, there are stacks of little towns with plenty to do and see and if you’re lacking in imagination there are stacks of TV programmes about this very subject.  The Visitor information centres are a wonderful resource  to find out what is going on in your area.

Even out where I live it’s possible to go for a Sunday drive and find something unusual, interesting and just a little bit different to what is on my back doorstep.

I remember too,  when I was little, we would arrive back home, us kids would be asleep on the back seat, but wake up to help with the unpacking, have a bath, probably all together ( not the parents! ), then have cheese and tomato on toast for tea, a cup of Milo and into bed, totally exhausted.  What a great way to spend the day!

Dead Man’s Pennies

April 24, 2013

Dead Man's Penny

Dead Man’s Penny

Yesterday, on the ABC radio, we heard some ladies had found a Dead man’s penny at the Longreach RSL Club. Well we have a bit of a story to tell about one too.

A couple of Christmases ago our youngest, Angela gave Greg a strange present – it was a Dead man’s penny with the name George Ernest Sherwin written on it. George would be Greg’s great uncle and died in 1918 of his wounds in France. Well Greg was dumfounded to say the least having never heard of Dead man’s pennies before. It transpired that the manager of Mt Margaret Station and his wife had found the Dead man’s penny on the rubbish dump. Mt Margaret is near Eromanga and Quilpie in SW Qld.

 The penny is not in pristine condition having been burnt but it is bronze and did survive, the engravings are all still visible and it has no dents or scratches on it. Evidently the manager or his wife knew Angela through the work she was doing in the area at that time and as her surname was Sherwin they contacted her and gave her the penny.

 It was George’s brother who had worked on Mt Margaret many, many years ago, he must have had the penny in his possion.  When he died from being run over by a train in Quilpie whoever was at Mt Margaret must have eventually thrown his belongings onto the dump and that penny was just sitting there all those years waiting to be found. If those people had not known Angela we would probably never have known about the penny and would not now have it in our possession. So thank you very much Anne Whiteman and Peter who recently passed away at a far too young age. Our condolences, it was a very tragic accident.

And I’ve just remembered, it’s Anzac Day today, so quite fitting that I put this post up!  Serendipitous!

George Ernest Sherwin

George Ernest Sherwin

Wedge-tailed Eagle at Kilcowera Station, Outback Queensland.

Wedge-tailed Eagle at Kilcowera Station, Outback Queensland.

Firstly, I’ll just say this is a, scratching my head post, wondering what makes some people tick yarn.  We recently had 2 birdwatchers visit Kilcowera for a 2 night stay.  Two nights only gives you one full day on the place and with over 100,000 acres to drive around and just over 175 birds on our list, there is plenty to see and do.  For dedicated birders a 3 or 4 night stay is advisable and you’ll find birds like these – everywhere!

Cinnamon Quail Thrush at Kilcowera Station, Outback Australia.

Well this pair arrived at 8pm and were courteously taken down to our Shearers Quarters and shown their accommodation.  The next morning they tore off like a pair of skittish emus and drove a further 250 kilometres west of Kilcowera looking for a specific bird! They didn’t find it and arrived back at Kilcowera around 7pm. Head scratch, head scratch.  Their itinery the day they left here was to have a bit of a look around Kilcowera for an hour or so, then do Bindegolly and Bowra before spending the night at St George which is 600 k’s from Kilcowera.

Why did they bother visiting Kilcowera?   This must be twitcher behaviour?  Surely?

Major Mitchells Cockatoo, Kilcowera Station on the Dowling Track.

Aren’t these beautiful images?  Thanks to Nevil Lazarus for them and for visiting Kilcowera and spending quite a few days cruising around.



Benanga Creek flowing into Lake Wyara , March 2012 at Kilcowera Station.

Benanga Creek flowing into Lake Wyara , March 2012 at Kilcowera Station.

Driving home yesterday the radio presenter was telling her audience that she had had a bad week, a week not to be repeated.  She asked if her listeners would like to call in and share the good or bad stories of their last week.  So I got too thinking about my week and realised that I had had a rather interesting one.  So I will inflict it upon you too!!

I’ll start with Monday.

 It is still very wet around here and Greg has not been able to check on the agistment cattle in the Lake Paddock as he can’t drive out to the east.  Couldn’t even ride a bike out there. The airstrip had dried out sufficiently for me to take off, so I happily went to check things out in the little Skyfox.  Saw lots of cows, 4 bulls fighting and hanging around a trough which had no water in it.  Surely the idiots will poke off and find a drink somewhere!  There is water everywhere but in that trough!  The creeks out there all ran very big and the fences have been washed down again.  But the cows have not gone out that far –  yet, so hopefully they will stay on Kilcowera and not wander onto the National Park or the neighbours place.  Greg will get out there as soon as he can to fix the fences. I could not see any cattle tracks on the wrong side of the fence or cattle for that matter.

 What I did see however was thousands of pelicans on the islands on Lake Wyara, so they are back again, for the third year in a row.  Oh thank God that rotten, horrible drought is over!  I changed the oil in the plane when I landed and helped to feed the mickey bulls who are waiting to be put on a truck for the saleyards.

Tuesday saw me tootling up the road to do my weekly cleaning job for the elderly couple at Wathopa, an 80 kilometre round trip.   I swear I do a better job on cleaning house there than I do here!  That afternoon I was cleaning the quarters trying to get things ready for our visitors.  And repainting signs.

Wednesday – Greg drove me into town over the flooded and washed out Gerrygheroo Creek crossing and I caught a commercial flight to Toowoomba to pick up my abandoned mini bus.  But it wasn’t all smooth sailing as there was a storm over the TWBA airport so we had to land at the Oakey Military Base and be bussed to TWBA.

  Thursday – the fun part, shopping all day!  Buying such things as a new TV as the one that we had can’t go digital.  Oil filters, batteries, groceries, beer, wine, and a haircut were all on the agenda.  And then there is the packing of the bus, after all if you just keep throwing the stuff in you won’t get as much in, as you would if you are meticulous about it.  So I am.  I also went to a tyre place just to check that I had the correct amount of air in the tyres as I have a big load in  the poor little thing.

Friday –   I took the bus to a radio place and had a UHF radio installed in it.  Greg has been going to put one in ever since we have had it (a few years now), I buy the radios off ebay but they seem to get put into some other vehicle or bike.  So it’s done now!

More shopping, then drive to Dalby.  Friday arvo I am buying fruit and veg, and meat (yummy things like pork and chicken and fish and lamb – we get sick of beef!)  Just on dark and I have nearly finished packing the bus up, cold stuff in, with lots of ice blocks and the eskies taped up ready for the drive home tomorrow.   Keep checking the weather, the monsoon trough is heading further south every day and more cloud is coming in from the west, will I make it home before it rains again???

Saturday – Leave Dalby at 5am and drive straight through to St George, a quick stop for breakfast (a pie!) and to deliver our new  brochures to the Visitor information Centre.  More deliveries are made at Bollon, Cunnamulla and Eulo, some rain on the way but no worries and no water over the road to speak of.  The last 100 kilometers on our dirt road was a breeze even though I was seriously tired.  The contractors are back on the job at Gerrygheroo,  I hope they get it fixed this time, they have been working on it for months and then it rains and washes the crossing away again and they go away for two weeks and then it rains again….and the bloody road is closed once more – we don’t get any mail, visitors can’t get here, we can’t truck our cattle and so it goes on……………………..and on.

But all up a good week!

We call this the Red Hole and have a nice drive for visitors to get to it.

Drama in the bird world

January 20, 2012


Budgerigars at Kilcowera

Budgerigars at Kilcowera Station

We have had some wonderful photographers here over the years and seen some terrific images taken of the birds, scenery and wildlife.
Nevil Lazarus is one of my favourite visitors, he has been here a few times and loves the outback, often bringing friends with him. Last year he borought out his beer drinking team AKA, the navigator, the cook and the organiser. Leaving him to take his photos. Here are a few of them.

Brown Falcon with his dinner.

I think his prey is a little yellow throated miner, there are plenty of them around here.

Brown Falcon at Kilcowera Station, Outback Queensland.

Settling in with his little meal.

Brown Falcon and Willy Wagtail at Kilcowera Station, Outback Australia.

About to be attacked!

Brown Falcon and Foe!!  At Kilcowera Station, SW Queensland.

WTF!!  Cheeky little sod!  I don’t suppose the falcon was put off his meal by this litle fella.