Picture a seasonal three-line haiku
arranged in a pattern of 5-7-5.
Share the five syllables of the first line
equally amongst the second line’s seven.
Take the share held by one of those seven
and give equal cuts to all five of the third.
Now fold your three lines into two assymetrical sections,
divide the share held by one-fifth of the third
equally between the five of the first,
then one fifth of that first among each of the third,
and so on and on periodically.
Presently I must return to my kin,
for the law has decreed it to be so
my dear feathered friend.
As it will pain me to leave you behind,
for life on the wing is no place for a shadow,
so it would plague me to bring you below:
I fear if the knowledge of you became common
our prison would run out of puppets to govern.
After spending the new year’s eve and day exploring around the Murray mouth, Goolwa, Hindmarsh Island, Coorong National Park, and Narrung, I arrived back at Waikerie in the Riverland region of South Australia shortly after dawn this morning. I need to slow down for a day or two in order to take stock of where I have been and gather my memories: in fact, I’m considering abandoning the next leg to the source of the Murray River in the Australian Alps. With only one week left to spare, I suspect it will be too much of a rush job. I’ve found a handy recharge point outside the Waikerie Library, so I’ll chill here for a bit while my devices recharge and see how the day develops.
We’ve had some extremely hot and windy days of late, making daytime photography both difficult and unpleasant. The opportunities for low light photography have been great though. It is a good thing I purchased a lens suited to that purpose before I began the journey.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and looking forward to catching up with your blogs when I have returned home.
Lake Bonney, South Australia
Lake Bonney, South Australia
I parked Vincent overnight for a sleep at Tilpa Weir on the Tilpa floodplain, between Bourke and Wilcannia, Monday last week. It rained overnight and turned the road out next day into an impassable bog of river mud. We were stuck in the mud on a paddock for the day and the next night. My survival kit of food and water was in the boot of the car, which resulted in me getting pretty grimy in the process of bringing it back into the car. No phone reception or internet service available, and no-one was going to rescue us due to the remoteness of the place. I worked Vincent hard to get us out by the Wednesday morning and back to Tilpa Hotel, then had to remove the rear wheels to dig out the mud, which had basically acted like a handbrake during our race back to civilization. Also managed to bottom out and crack the sump oil tank.
That’s the short version of the story. When I arrived in Broken Hill on Christmas Eve I was fortunate indeed to find a NRMA mechanic who had us ready for the long journey ahead within about 4 hours.
I have spent the last few days in and around Broken Hill: Silverton, Mundi Mundi Plains, Lake Menindee. Now heading south for the Murray Mouth. Here’s a small sample of what I’ve been working on in the Broken Hill region.
Facing the Day and the Night _ Eduardo Nasta Luna
Mundi Mundi Sunset
Mundi Mundi Moonrise
Arrived at Mays Bend in North Bourke later yesterday arvo. A very pleasant spot on the Darling River with pelicans, cormorants, and egrets. The sky was crispy clean and sparkling with milky way at 4am this morning; perfect conditions for me to try out some astrophotography. I used a little LED torch to paint the foreground during the exposure. The southern cross was also placed well for the event.
“Fuelled by redgum logs the Emmylou exudes old-world charm…” Murray River Paddlesteamers, Echuca
This time next week I expect to have reached the official starting point of the Darling river in northern NSW. The plan is to follow it through the outback to Wentworth, where it meets up with the Murray. From there I will follow the Murray down to its mouth at the Southern Ocean, then back to the source of the Murray in the Australian Alps. A few side trips will also be in order: Lightning Ridge, Broken Hill, and the Mundi Mundi Plains among them. I trust Vincent will be up to the task: much of the outback section will be through gravel and dirt and, provided rain doesn’t leave us bogged, searing heat and dust.
My awareness of the threats posed to the health and bio-diversity of the Murray-Darling river system has been steadily increasing since I first encountered the Murray River at Berri during the flood of 2011. At the time it was nothing more than a natural event to my mind, but simply having been there and fallen in love with the place opened my ears up to the various discussions and controversies around regulation of the system for irrigation. My levels of understanding regarding how the Murray-Darling ‘is operated’ are still pretty trivial: I intend to remedy that with the few weeks I have available to see it first hand, and pay full attention.
And so to the snippet I opened this post with, regarding the redgum fuelled paddlesteamer Emmylou. I discovered her while looking for a ride to pass me through one of the 13 navigation locks on the Murray: it would be useful to see how that works first-hand. The obvious pun in that snippet didn’t escape my attention, and drew something of a wry smile. Then I took a look at the promo video and was thoroughly taken aback. Surely this must be a parody!