Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 16th

Farewell to Thundelarra Station after a very peaceful stay. We were quite impressed by the tidiness of the farmyard. Very many Station properties have an enormous amount of old rusty equipment and junk lying around which definitely detract from the appearance.

It was a thrill to see two Major Mitchell Cockatoos fly up as we departed. We have been expecting to see these large white and pink cockatoos in the inland. They are magnificent birds.

Thundelarra Station Homestead
A wide gravel road was a pleasure to drive on. Western Australia do have excellent many of them are gravel. The road curved through many salty clay pans and some very pretty range country until we came upon ‘Fields Find’ mining centre. We drove around the deserted area, taking note of mullock heaps, the old batteries, pit mines and a 6 metre deep mine shaft. The Cemetery was interesting a s well. The graves had been restored late last century. As always these old and remote cemeteries tell tales of hardship and disaster. Our friend Helen Brock can remember visiting this area as a child. I wonder what it was like then..about 60 years ago. How many people lived and worked these mines. We found it an interesting place to visit.

We noticed quite a number of Kurrajong trees among the mulgas. Some were growing on the road verge and the grader had carefully graded around them. They must be significant!

Payne’s Find Roadhouse was the next stop for us. A very simple shop with only a very few supplies and yes. I found a small packet of Liptons teabags which will last John a few days..we have saved disaster!

Several roads went south from Payne’s Find and eventually we found the one that led to Beacon. What a pretty drive as it led off beside Moore’s Lake. Or was it a mirage we could see. Distant water in the desert is quite disconcerting. This mirage even had a reflection of trees on the bank. Dry station properties consist of a lot of large salt pans or Salina (another name for salt lake) have a lot of Samphire growing on them. The colours are soft green/grey to s deep red/purple. It can be steamed and eaten as a vegetable. Maybe I did not need to buy that last lot of broccoli!

John spotted a Quandong tree. He has treid to grow them at Milawa without much success so he collected a bag of nuts to try again. There was fruit on the tree. I hoped that I would not be asked to make Quandong jam while out here. Many years ago when we were touring the Kimberleys we found a  wonderful crop of Rosellas. I had never heard of Rosella plants only Rosella birds. Anyway my friend Del and I made jam from this fruit. The boys had fun weighing the sugar and of course what jars would we put the finished jam in. It was delicious on our morning toast.

Eventually we came to the STATE BARRIER FENCE. It was constructed during the late 1950s to keep emus, goats and wild dogs out of farming areas. It was called a Vermin Proof Fence.

Our destination for the day was a very attractive camping area at Billiburning Rock which we climbed late in the day. It is a large rock area with smaller rocks scattered over it. The view from the top showed the surrounding large area of wheat crops. It is mallee country similar to the Victorian Mallee.

On the summit of Billiburning Rock
Foe several days we have been noticing a tree which we are not familiar with. Today our lunch spot was amongst a number of these lovely eucalypts. This evening John has identified it as eucalyptus loxophleba. It can grow as a tree or a mallee form with a lignotuber. This is exciting for me as it is different tree for me to select leaves for dyeing. 

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