Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Organ Pipe National Park

About 20 minutes from us, just near the airport is the Organ Pipe National Park. This is a place for a picnic, some intense climbing up and down a hill, and the view of some very old basalt formation. And at the bottom of the hill is a lethargic creek.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Australian King Parrot

On the deck at our house sit are feeders for the birds for us and the cat, Zac, to watch. One of the common visitors is the Australian King Parrot.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Essence of the Cat

For you cat lovers out there, here's the cat we are taking care of nowadays. Her name is Zac, after Anzac, since she was adopted on Anzac Day.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hanging Rock

Hanging Rock, or Mount Diogenes as it’s also known, is a rare volcanic formation near the townships of Woodend and Mount Macedon. One of the best examples of a volcanic plug or mamelon in the world, it has been exposed to considerable weathering and erosion, resulting in a conglomeration of unusual rock formations.
Although we visited this place when we were sitting in Melbourne, we have now finally climbed to the top to take in the view.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Macedon Regional Park

We are settled in Mount Macedon and we made an outing to see the area a bit. This town in the side of the mountain about 600 m above sea level. At the top of the mountain, about 1 km high is a park and a tea house. So we drove up for a look about.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


We took a ride through the country and about about 15 km from the farm is the small town of Dookie. It is among a small group of brown hills north and west of the house. However, here the dirt is bright red in places and the contrasts are interesting. The tan/brown hills put us in the mind of visiting northern California with its similar hills. There are also vineyards in the area adding to the general impression.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Last VIsit to Winton Wetlands

We found it irresistible to make one more visit to the Winton Wetlands before we left the countryside. The day was clear and breezy and not too hot. I took time to make a long exposure (about 4 minutes) of the landscape. The motion of the clouds give the sky a smooth look in contrast with the prickly character of the dead trees.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Few Scenes from the Farm

A few images from around the farm on Stewarton. Water comes from a well (a bore) and there is a windmill that pumps it into this holding tank in the front yard. The water we drink is pumped by an electric pump but has to be filtered heavily to get the minerals out of it. After filtering it takes pretty good. Without a filter, it is pretty bad. the water from the this tank is only used to water the lawn and flowers.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mooving Art

Shepparton has a park as you enter from the east and in this park are cows. Not real cows, but painted fiberglass cows. We are in dairy country and cows are an important part of what drives the economy hereabouts. For a bit of fun, Shepparton has a display of what they call Mooving Art.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Winton Wetlands

About 30 minutes from the farm is a large wetland. It sits in a depression in the valley where water collects when it rains and it is really huge. Apparently, it used to be dry and people farmed this area. But starting some years back, it has taken to accumulating water and the farmers left. As a result there are lots of dead trees about, the result of having been drowned. These cows, are what greet you at the entrance.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


A visit to a new place would not be complete without a stop by a cemetery or two. On our visit to Rushworth, the old gold mining town, we found a great cemetery with lots of stories.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Moving on

Today we end our stay in the vast farmland of northern Victoria and head back in the direction of Melbourne. Our next sit in Mount Macedon, in the hills just under an hour from Melbourne. Here we will take care of a little girl cat named Zac. And we will pack for our (temporary) return to the US. I expect it to be cooler than we've had here at times since we are further south, a bit higher in elevation, a bit later in the season, and surrounded by lots and lots of trees.

Stayed tuned for posts about the Stewarton area to continue for a few days before you start seeing images of the Mount Macedon area. Mostly, we will be packing and stowing in preparation for our return. We have to empty the ute, something we haven't done in months, and sort everything into piles of what we need to take and what can be left behind for our return. We need to make a visit or two to Melbourne to secure ute storage for our absence and do a bit of last minute shopping. Going to be a busy couple of weeks.

About the Farm

Just a bit north of us, maybe a couple hours drive, is the border with New South Wales. And there is a record-breaking heat wave hitting them now. Places are reaching 45C and a couple even more. A couple days ago the power was shut off for some customers in South Australia to avoid a complete crash of the system (you can believe that created a brouhaha!). So, needless to say, it is hot here. Not 45C, but still hot. As a result, I've been pretty timid about getting outside to photograph about the farm and bring you some rural scenery. The photo above is my first attempt and and I fairly well roasted while I took it.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tatura Internment Museum

In a surprise to us, we learned that Australia housed Internment camps during WWII. Several were located near Tatura and there is a museum there that tells the story. It also tells about how the region was irrigated, but that is for another day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


About an hour from our housesit is a the small town of Rushworth. This is is a town settled in the 1850's during the gold rush. the folks here has done a great job of restoring and maintaining the old buildings even though there is not much here now.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Meet Raoul

Since everyone like cat pictures on the inter-toobz, here is our charge for the current housesit, Raoul. He is a Devon Rex with a quite unusually shaped head. It probably is about the same as other cats, it just looks different without most of the hair.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Arriving in Stewarton

About 100 m from the driveway to our pet sit in Stewarton, we had to pull over and wait for a bicycle race to pass. Near the end of the pack, we saw this group. I thought is was interesting to see the guy in blue looking kinda bored, the guy in pink next to him clearly in it to win, and the fellow behind him who just seems to be in pain.

We are on a farm about 30 minutes or so outside of Shepparton. The network is indeed limited so I posting from the library in a little town about 20 minutes away called Benalla. Now that we know where to get a reliable (and unlimited) access to the network, I'll be getting more posts of the area ready for you.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

West Terrace Cemetery

We can't really pass through a new place without visiting a cemetery. This is on nearest the city center. It is located on the west side in the park zone around the city.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral

There is, of course, a Catholic Cathedral in central Adelaide...St. Francis Xavier. We stopped in for a look about as it started to sprinkle a little. There is only one tram line in Adelaide that tooks us to and from the Central Market and this Church. This was a stop on the way back to the hotel from the market.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Adelaide Central Market

Melbourne has the Queen Victoria Market...Adelaide has the Central Market. Given that Adelaide is about 1/4 the size of Melbourne, the Central Market is pretty large, but of course, it pales in comparison to the one in Melbourne.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Rundle Street Mall & Environs

Adelaide is an interesting place. In some ways, just like the other cities we visited here in Australia, but in other ways quite different. While we've seen drive through bottle shops everywhere, this is the place that had one on the street for pedestrians.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

West to Adelaide

When we left Broken Hill, the weather report was calling for a high of 41C. In fact, it reached 45C that day. Fortunately, we were on the road before the worst of the heat and as we headed toward Adelaide, it got cooler and cloudier.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Broken Hill's Night Sky

No visit to the outback would be complete without a trip out of town at night to see the sky. We drove maybe three minutes out of Broken Hill (north, toward the Living Desert State Park for those of you with a map in your hand). In about 40 minutes, here's what I got.

Monday, February 06, 2017

The Palace Hotel

Our visit to the Palace Hotel in Broken Hill was like stepping back in time to a movie set. The walls all painted with landscapes and the definite gay overtone.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Living Desert State Park

We've now made two trips to the Living Desert State Park. This is just outside Broken Hill and easy to get to. In fact, you can see Broken Hill from the top
of the hill in the park. The first time we went it was about to rain.

Railway Mineral and Train Museum

A visit to the Railway Mineral and Train Museum reveals lots of interest to see. There was several nicely maintained trains from the history of the area and wide range of other items.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Stewarton, Victoria

Today we arrive in Stewarton after 5 days on the road. I hope that I am able to get images posted from the stay in Adelaide. Our internet access is limited at this house sit so we have to go to the library or something to be able to upload pictures. We'll see how this goes.

There are a few more posts from Broken Hill to come before the blogging slows.

Silverton and the Outback

Another day of cool weather and we headed back toward Silverton. A few kilometers on the other side of town are the Mundi Mundi plains. This is the outback for real. Here is one of the original sheep stations in this part of Australia. And the history continues.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017


About 25 km outside of Broken Hill is the original mining town of Silverton. The town was built here and when they figured out that the main lode was at the site o Broken Hill, they literally moved the town. With camels and the train, the buildings were moved to Broken Hill. There is not much left.