Thursday July 7th
What an interesting day! First stop was Iron Knob which is nearly deserted as no mining is taking place. We were told that mining is scheduled to begin again in surrounding areas.
We went on to Mt Ive Station where we are camping tonight. We took a circuit drive this afternoon out to Lake Gairdner which is a massive salt lake. The salt is said to be 1.5 metres thick in some places. We could see great bands of salt with a ring of water around the edge. Salt was glistening in the course red sand around the lake. Reflections of nearby hills were clearly visible in the water.
St Ives Station is a typical outback sheep station with wonderful outcrops of basalt rock, spinefex, acacias, birds and flowers. On the way to Lake Gairdner we saw the remains of the old vermin fence, basalt formations called organ pipes and an old embankment or damn wall, built from rocks in 1892.
We identified a Port Lincoln Ring-neck parrot, Mulga parrot and a Blue Bonnet parrot. I have gathered two varieties of Mistletoe leaves with the hope of dyeing some silk with them.
At this stage we are finding it difficult to name the trees we are seeing. However we can identify the Dead Finish Acacia, the Fire-bush Cassia with its wonderful seed pods and the Casaurina which is most common of all and known as a Buloke. Hopefully the leaves of this tree will colour silk!