It’s a gusher! (Yass Dam)

The wettest September day in Canberra’s records on Friday. The Yass River ran a banker and the dam filled overtop! *

.

* ‘…It pelted, pelted all day long,

A-singing at its work,

Till every heart took up the song

Way out to Back-o’Bourke.

And every creek a banker ran,

And dams filled overtop;

“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,

“If this rain doesn’t stop.”…’

 


 

[from ‘Said Hanrahan’ by Australian bush poet John O’Brien, pseudonym of Fr Patrick J. Hartigan, born in O’Connell Town, Yass, New South Wales, Australia in 1878]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Said_Hanrahan

Sydney Harbour Bridge aka (affectionately) ‘The Giant Coat Hanger’

Australians like to poke fun at things*, especially themselves. So it’s with mostly pride and a fair bit of self-deprecation that we nicknamed our wonderfully unique Harbour Bridge in Sydney, ‘The Giant Coat Hanger’!

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia

The Giant Coat Hanger

.

I don’t know if kids still call it that? But my family did.

And although it was an absolute must for many school excursions and family holidays from ‘the Bush’, and everyone had the obligatory harbour shot with The Bridge front and centre, we still pulled it down a peg* and called it The Coat Hanger.

So I was amused at myself, a couple of weeks ago, when we were on a Sydney Harbour lunch cruise…

Apart from a couple of tables and us the boat was patronised by large groups of older tourists. Cameras on the swaying foredeck was the order of the day.

I resisted.

After all I’d seen The Harbour before, had even lived in Sydney where the harbour was my daily commute, and we had already done a hop-on hop-off harbour cruise a few years before where I wore out my shutter button. And, of course, there was lunch! Well, it wasn’t gourmet but that was part of what we’d come for.

So we were enjoying the harbour, the views and the beautiful day. We ate and drank and reminisced, watched the other boats, a ferry or two, and slipped in and around the coves and bays of blue water gawking at the amazing waterfront real estate.

But when it came to the final promenade up the main basin of Port Jackson, past ‘Pinchgut’ or Fort Denison, and approaching the Opera House and ‘The Giant Coat Hanger’ … I just couldn’t help myself!

Sydney Harbour by lunch cruise, Sydney, Australia

The grand icons of stunning Sydney Harbour

.

The cruise would end at Darling Harbour so it meant we would go UNDER The Bridge! I’ve been on, over, around, and at the base of The Bridge for New Year’s Eve, but never UNDER it by water!!

So I scrambled last minute to the top deck, braced myself against the lurching railing, and waited for the money shot!

ZOOOMMMMPP! That was the sound of my camera closing back up again, due to empty batteries!!!

So I laughed at myself for succumbing to the innate tourist urge … and sat and enjoyed the rest of the view!  ♦

.

But here are some of my past views of The Giant Coat Hanger.

I like to do things a little differently – being on ‘the road less travelled’ and all that – and as an Aussie I guess I don’t take The Bridge too seriously, so I usually look for oddball angles!

 


Aussie icons series

Photos taken with my old Canon Powershot A550, 2008-2014

* ‘to poke fun at’ – to make fun of in an affectionate, cheeky way.

We often do this with a serious looking face, then a delayed grin or a wink when the person takes you seriously. Some people, like my uncle, always teases with a straight face and I get caught thinking he’s serious just about every time! You think I’d have learnt by now!!

* ‘to pull something/someone down a peg’ – to treat something / someone with a dose of reality so they don’t become too full of vanity at their own greatness.

Rivets on the river (‘One Shot Wonders’)

Taemas Bridge, Wee Jasper Road, via Yass, New South Wales, Australia

Taemas Bridge, Wee Jasper Road, via Yass, New South Wales, Australia

Bridge to beyond

The moon was a sliver from full,

the bridge swelled from the darkness, gripping the empty gorge,

solid, rigid, locked in steely embrace.

The river now dwindled to tease the pylons’ toes,

dwarfed by the immense heft of steel and stone.

Silver light floated streamers from the ship

but no passengers except two stealing on board in the dead of night. 

____________________________

Water, ‘One Shot Wonders’ series

Photo taken 14 January 2014, with Fuji FinePix S2980

Taemas Bridge, Wee Jasper Road, via Yass, New South Wales, Australia

Taemas Bridge crosses the Murrumbidgee arm of Lake Burrinjuck. It was completed in 1931 and cost £60 895. It is 200 metres long with 4 trusses and constructed of steel and concrete.

For more information see:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taemas_Bridge

Heritage and Conservation Register listing:

‘Taemas Bridge over Murrumbidgee River’, Roads and Traffic Authority NSW web page (archived)

1915 photo of the Old Taemas Bridge that was washed away, State Library of New South Wales:

http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=205147#

Like a bridge over trickled water

Taemas Bridge, Wee Jasper Road, near Yass, New south Wales, Australia

Taemas Bridge on Wee Jasper Road

(a short drive from Yass, New south Wales, Australia)

Taemas Bridge crosses the Murrumbidgee arm of Lake Burrinjuck.

It’s normally a very good place for kayaking, fishing and swimming as it’s quiet, away from the main basins of the Lake (and the motor boats and jet skis).

The bridge is an old and interesting build of steel and concrete.

It might be a bit tricky getting our kayak up and over the wire fence and then down the embankment (definitely a two-person job) but we’re going to give it a go sometime. Good thing the water is low enough, you can see where the submerged trees are. (Lake Burrinjuck is 49% and falling*.)

And the road out to the bridge from Yass (only 10 minutes) has a pretty spectacular view from winding drop-sided hills. Just our sort of thing, I’ll have to show you one day.  ♦

____________________________

Water, ‘One Shot Wonders’ series

Photo taken 14 January 2014, with Fuji FinePix S2980

* Lake Burrinjuck water level – For real-time water storage data of the lake see the NSW Water Information website (http://waterinfo.nsw.gov.au/)

Real-time storage data – Mobile version: http://realtimedata.water.nsw.gov.au/mobile/#LatestValues

Taemas Bridge on Lake Burrinjuck, via Yass, New South Wales, Australia

To see the lake here at ‘high tide’ have a look at this photo by Conquimbo from 2011, on Wikipedia:Taemas Bridge,NSW, across the Murrumbidgee River’

Blue Pool (‘One Shot Wonders’)

This is the place I want to be, right here, right now*, because it’s too hot…

Murrumbidgee River, Boambolo Road, via Yass, New South Wales, Australia

Boambolo blue

It was a beautiful place to come across in the late afternoon, suddenly, unexpectedly.

We had the place all to ourselves – except for the frogs and a sentinel owl.

Every turn in the river was a surprise.

We found a cool blue pool, ringed by pines.

And watched the sun leave its last colour in the sky.

________________________

Water, ‘One Shot Wonders’ series

Photo taken 7 October 2013, with Fuji Finepix S2980

* ‘Right Here, Right Now’, from the album “Doubt” by Jesus Jones

Watch http://youtu.be/p9yVZSjzAtc for a video of wonders accompanying the song. ‘Right Here Right Now by Jesus Jones Lyrics’, YouTube by shawnNhouston.

[Song: Edwards, Mike. ‘Right Here, Right Now’, 1990, Doubt, Food Records, distributed by SBK Records and via Parlophone, 1991.]

Boambolo Road, a left turn off Wee Jasper Road, out of Yass town (New South Wales, Australia). It leads to a section of the Murrumbidgee River. 

Map of Boambolo, via Yass, NSW

The sign at the river states that no camping or fires are permitted.

‘Boambolo Section of Murrumbidgee River, Boambolo Road’ was listed on the Register of the National Estate in 1995.  [http://www.envcomm.act.gov.au/soe/soe2004/YassValley/heritage1.htm]

Swimming hole hideaway

One evening in Spring, we drove out with the sunroof open to enjoy the cool air and the last of the daylight.

Our planned destination was Taemas Bridge but not far from Yass we spotted an unknown dirt road sneaking off to the left. The road sign said, “No Through Road” *. So we took it!

The road passed pleasantly between grassed properties and occasional farm houses. We trundled over a small creek or two and crossed cattle grids.

We passed the large properties of ‘Wyemba’ and ‘Ravenswood’ belonging to Cavan Station (owned by Rupert Murdoch), then ‘Boambolo’ and ‘Boambolo North’.

We drove through unfenced paddocks with cattle huddled on the road. The road began to narrow to a rough track so we wondered if we were trespassing on private property. But the white road markers and even yellow traffic signs showed we were still on a public road, though it was hardly recognisable. It looked more like a stock route.

We finally reached the end of the road where the river paddocks were bordered by tall pines.

Boambolo Road, via Yass, New South Wales, Australia

Boambolo beauty. Murrumbidgee River at Boambolo.

We walked the rest of the way to the river, picking our path along sheep tracks, up and down rocky banks gnarled by tree roots. We could hear the water playing over rocks.

The criss-crossing tracks led the way to rocks and rapids, but also sand and clear pools. Frogs boomed at the water’s edge. A lone owl called to us, asking ‘Who? Who?’ we were.

A chance turn down an unknown road had brought us to a most wonderful river hideaway in a hidden valley.

We’ll have to go back to try the swimming hole on a hot day and the fishing on a grey one.  ♦

______________________________

* a “No Through Road” is a terminating road.

Water, ‘One Shot Wonders’ series

Photo taken 7 October 2013, with Fuji Finepix S2980

Boambolo Road 

Later we learned we had found Boambolo Road, a left turn off Wee Jasper Road, out of Yass town (New South Wales, Australia). It leads to a section of the Murrumbidgee River. 

Map of Boambolo, via Yass, NSW

The sign at the river states that no camping or fires are permitted.

‘Boambolo Section of Murrumbidgee River, Boambolo Road’ was listed on the Register of the National Estate in 1995.  [http://www.envcomm.act.gov.au/soe/soe2004/YassValley/heritage1.htm]

A shot in the dark (‘One Shot Wonders’)

Flat-bed farm truck at night, Yass Valley, New South Wales, Australia

Truck surprise!

Out on a winter walk one evening I spent too long taking sunset photos. I found myself scrambling to find the path back home in the near blackness.

The quickest route home was to go cross-country following the wire fences.

I ended up in an unfamiliar paddock, walking between the silhouettes of broad trees and picking my way over the uneven grasses.

I headed toward the town lights knowing that was the right direction.

Against the last glow of the sunset I came across a jumbled assembly of metal. I was curious to make out what it all was. I squatted down to view the shapes in profile. 

There were the dark frames of assorted farm machinery, steel drums and an aged vehicle.

I tried to photograph it all but, with only a compact camera and no tripod, couldn’t produce anything without blur.

Finally there was this shot.

*

The farm truck appears to be a Nissan Patrol! but it looks ancient. I’m familiar with recent models but I didn’t know the series went back that far.

Does anyone have an idea of the age of this Patrol? I’d love to know more about it.  ♦

_________________________________

‘One Shot Wonders’ series

Photo taken 24 July 2013, on my old Canon Powershot A550(!) – but an interesting subject