How green is my valley!

View of 'Euralie' and Black Range beyond, via Yass, New South Wales, Australia

Drought broken!

How would you like to wake up to this view? Or sit with a cuppa and watch the sun sink in crimson streaks across these hills?

We drive here quite often and sit and watch, with a steaming coffee in hand.

After weeks and weeks of rain, the dead grass is gone and the hills and creek valley are green felted. The dams are full and the causeway gushing.

The black polka dots of cows across the creek are still, until the farmer’s ute turns up, then watch them gallop!

View across to 'Euralie' from Shearsby Crescent, Yass, New South Wales, Australia

50 shades of green

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Home among the gum trees

I was born on an acre bush block in a sea of gum trees.River gum (detail), fallen into Murrumbidgee River, Jugiong, New South Wales, Australia

Our little green fibro* cottage was at the end of a long, steep, dirt driveway. The bush surrounded our house to the front, back and left side.

We were only 10 minutes from town by car but we had only one neighbour and an outside pan toilet.

We had bee hives and native birds on the block. Our neighbour had goats, chickens and a horse or two.

As kids, we stayed outdoors most of the time and could walk to the local park at the end of the street to fish from the jetty with hand lines.

Kilaben Bay Park, Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia

The jetty

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After all the places I’ve lived – in country towns and villages, the bright lights of Sydney, and in Canberra suburbia – the bush has always been my home.

When I lived in the towns and cities we spent many, many hours driving in the country, and camping and walking in the bush.

Now I’m back to my roots – a new home among the gum trees.

Ironbark tree sapling planted 2014

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We live on a 2 and a bit acre block ringed by gum trees and a native garden. We have rosellas, owls and magpies nesting in our trees. Galahs, cockatoos and kookaburras visit to feed. We have an occasional possum growling in the night. Cows and sometimes kangaroos come up to our back fence.

It’s a short walk to the river at the end of our road and a short drive to the town shops.

Again my house is at the end of a long, steep driveway. But thankfully now we have an indoor toilet!  ♦

Our new ironbark tree with views to the ranges

Ironbark with a view

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* fibro – fibrous cement sheeting or cladding boards

To mark Australia Day on Monday 26th January

Lazy bend in the river (Yass river)

View of Yass River bend beyond Joe O'Connor Park, Laidlaw Street, Yass, New South Wales, Australia

La rivière?

On a sparkling afternoon in September we went for one of our ambles along the Yass River at Joe O’Connor Park.

I was in a snap-happy camera daze of ‘Oohs’ and ‘Ahs’.

Another afternoon walker was also entranced by the green pasture on the banks after a rare, good fall of rain. Cows grazed on the far hill, wandering placidly. Willows trailed their leaves in the water, teasing the fish. The fish jumped occasionally, splashing circles across the mirrored surface.

In her admiration of the enchanting view, the lady said wistfully, “It looks just like France.”

That’s a very big call to make! I wouldn’t know, as I’ve never been there.

I’ll leave it to you to decide.  ♦

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‘One Shot Wonders’ series

One of my favourite photos, from the post of 8 January 2014. Photo taken 29 September 2013.

Moo river (Photo Challenge: Dreamy)

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Cows drinking at Yass River, 'Cliftonwood', Yass, New South Wales, Australia

Unexpected guests for tea!

On Sunday we took some friends down to a favourite spot on Yass River. We sat back in camping chairs circled round the esky*, sipped coffee and ginger beer, and talked fishing and other things.

It was a lazy afternoon to sit in the shade and chew the fat*. Some young boys were swimming in the river and swinging from the tree rope to crash into the water. 

Two black ducks waddled up the bank to inspect our campsite and bathe in a puddle. We could hear many peeping ducklings but they didn’t brave the steep bank.

As the afternoon got late we walked around the park to view the Clydesdale horses, on ‘Cliftonwood’ property, on the other side of the river.

Back at our ‘camp’, we found a great herd of black poll cows had meandered down to the water’s edge across the river.

What a dreamy way to while away a Sunday afternoon!  ♦

Yass River at Joe O’Connor Park, Yass, New South Wales, Australia

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/dreamy/

Photo taken 12 October 2014, with my old Canon PowerShot A550

* ‘esky’ – portable cooler for food or drink; chilly bin (NZ)

‘chew the fat’ – have a chat, having a lengthy conversation

Bridge to my past (Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned)

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For seven years we lived in Bungendore, New South Wales, a little village about half an hour on the other side of Canberra. We were “blow-ins”, with an unknown surname, not born in the local area. At least we had country credentials but we were still new bloods.

Or so I thought!…

After some family tree discoveries I found I was related to one of the large pioneering families, the Barretts, from a little rural locality just 2o minutes east of our village!!

Boro Creek, Mayfield Road at Lower Boro, New South Wales, Australia

Spanning the generations

My great, great, great grandmother Catherine Doolan and her sister Mary were Irish assisted immigrants and had migrated to Australia together from County Clare in 1841.

On the same ship was a Patrick Barrett. Mary later married Patrick and they took up land on the Boro Creek between the villages of Bungendore and Tarago.

As we do, we had aimlessly driven the crisscrossing dirt roads in the back blocks around our village.

Some of those dirt roads had passed right by the front gates of the Barrett family properties. Boro Creek cut through Barrett land. They held large blocks on either side of the creek between the mid 1840s and the early 1900s.

This is the old disused bridge over Boro Creek, on Mayfield Road at Lower Boro.

I was game and walked its rickety deck – I just had to throw a pebble in the water hole beneath.  

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Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Abandoned’

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/photo-challenge-abandoned/

Photos taken 7 November 2009 with my old Canon Powershot A550

* “a blow-in” – a stranger, or someone who comes from somewhere else

Lower Boro, via Tarago, New South Wales, Australia

http://www.bonzle.com/c/a?a=p&p=19826

 

Kangaroo family portrait

Kangaroo mob in the back paddock, Yass Valley, New South Wales, Australia

Say, “Leaves!”

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To celebrate Australia Day (January 26), my ‘One Shot Wonders’ this week will feature some good old Aussie icons.

So today’s Aussie icon is the kangaroo, ‘roo, boomer, Skippy…

There was a well-loved children’s television show in the late ’60s, ‘Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo’. Just about every kid I knew watched it.

My brother even looked like Sonny, the main (human) character from the show and best friend of Skippy.

Following the show, we all tried to whistle with a gum leaf (is that possible?) and thought that kangaroos made that tongue clicking sound. (The reality couldn’t have been more wrong! Ever heard a kangaroo? They grunt and blow air when angry.)

Like Lassie, Skippy always saved the day. Good on ya, Skip!

[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/02/Skippy-dvd.jpg/200px-Skippy-dvd.jpg]

“Skippy, Skippy, Skippy the bush kangaroo.

Skippy, Skippy, Skippy our friend ever true.”  

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Aussie icons, ‘One Shot Wonders’

Photo taken Yass Valley about August 2013, with Fuji FinePix S2980

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo is an Australian television series created by John McCallum, produced from 1966–1968, telling the adventures of a young boy and his intelligent pet kangaroo, and the various visitors to the fictional Waratah National Park in Duffys Forest, near SydneyNew South Wales.

Ninety-one 30-minute episodes were made over the three seasons of production.”

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skippy_the_Bush_Kangaroo]

The sweet smell of rain

Rain over Butmaroo Range, from Days Hill, Bungendore, New South Wales, Australia

Rain, rain on the range

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Today. Cool air dropping. Wind tossing the tops of the gum trees.

Rosellas twittering. Cockatoos cackling.

One or two thunder claps boom over the valley.

Cool skin turns to goosebumps.

Rain hurls down, briefly.

Everything

sighs.

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This is a place we used to sit often and watch the sunset, when we were living in the area. We had a deposit on a house block in about this spot (one street over) but let it go as we thought the space was too tight.

The view is much changed now as the last time we were there the ruins of the stone cottage (bottom left of photo), the home of the pioneering Day family, were no longer visible. The site is a last remnant of reserve land on Days Hill but surrounded by a new housing estate, Elmslea East, in Bungendore, New South Wales, Australia.  ♦

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Water, ‘One Shot Wonders’ series

Photo taken 16 April 2009, with my old Canon Powershot A550

Rain on Butmaroo Range, viewed from Days Hill, Bungendore

Bungendore village, New South Wales, Australia is located: 

276.6 km (2 hours 49 mins) from Sydney [Source: Google maps]

38 km (24 mi) from Canberra

112 km (70 mi) from Batemans Bay / NSW south coast

[Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bungendore,_New_South_Wales]