Corowa is left behind and the paddocks of hay bales and the river. Next destination is 80 km up the road to Urana so the official fifty km photo shoot is a bit before that. It didn’t make much difference because the surrounding landscape had become flat and featureless. We have travelled 400 km from Melbourne and the green rolling hills and the 5,000,000 people have long since faded from my mind and from the camera’s eye.
This is wheat country or sheep country.
Whether we are in drought or not, this is what the land would look like any year at this time.
A little further on we stop at Urana. All over the wheat country of Australia there are huge wheat silos and water towers and redback spiders. (Latrodectus hasseltii) This is a dangerous spider although in reality it is quite small. But poisonous. The redback is sometimes known as the Black Widow Spider.
It has also been responsible for an iconic song that no Aussie kid who has been brought up on iPhones and international musical rubbish will ever know. But oldies like me can sing it at the drop of a hat.
Just out of Urana heading north we came to the Urana Acquatic Centre. This is a man made lake for boating, swimming, fishing and water skiing.
(Don’t forget, you can enlarge the photographs with a single click of your mouse.)
But Urana was interesting, to me, especially for its place in the development of Irrigation. The whole of the Murray/Murrumbidgee basin is a net of large rivers and intermittent streams and it flows through fertile plains that often get insufficient rainfall. So visionaries wanted to develop an irrigation scheme that would make use of all the water in the rivers. Back then there was not the advanced poly pipes that can be used to move the water. Channels needed to be dug and below there is one of the first machines used to construct the channels needed.
We are heading for Narrandera which is about 100km so there will be two stops unless there is anything special to see and I will have reason to break all the rules and stop before the fifty comes up.
But nothing does.
The next photo stop is the same or similar to that back 50km.
And the scenery didn’t change at the next fifty so we kept on our way to Narrandera.
Below is a non-compulsory stop. I just thought some of you would like to see a few emus. Please note that the word is pronounced ‘eem-you’ NOT ‘eemoo’. Please do not spoil the language. It is ‘eem-you’ NOT ‘eemoo’. And don’t say “that’s how we pronounce it“. Get it right.
But then came the epiphany moment.
I always looked down because there are snakes in this part of the world that can kill you in half an hour. The dead, dry grass is depressing. But in the centre of the photo there is a tiny spot of colour. I bent down, changed my camera setting to macro and voilà!
The flower is the size of my fingernail. Not my thumbnail. And the plant was green. I wonder how deep the roots go down. I wonder if anyone else in the world will ever see that flower. I looked around and there was no other.
There is so much to see in the vast spread of nothingness – you just have to look closely when you chance upon it. From now on I won’t look at the ‘nothing-to-see-here’ places with my eyes closed.
And then just a kilometre along there was a large paddock with saltbush. Here is a LINK for anyone interested in this amazing drought tolerant plant.
In some parts of Australia saltbush keeps the wool industry going.
And it is starting to be used as a culinary herb. Dried, it can be sprinkled on salads and in casseroles instead of salt. A LINK for all you cooking gurus.
That’s enough for now. Can’t stop, gotta get t’ N’randera.